De Bethune - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: De Bethune
    Year: 2002
    Reference No: DB1
    Case No: 38
    Model Name: DB1
    Material: 18K white gold
    Calibre: Manual, DB 2002, 21 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k De Bethune pin buckle
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by De Bethune fitted box, Certificate of Origin (Extract from the Archives) and outer packaging
    Literature: De Bethune is featured in Watchmakers: The Masters of Art Horology by Maxima Gallery pp. 104-121

  • Catalogue Essay

    The brainchild of Davide Zanetta, a collector of vintage timepieces and art, and Denis Flageollet, a genius watchmaker who started his career restoring vintage timepieces and developing über complicated movements for others, De Bethune was created in 2002 and in close to 20 years they have developed over 35 inhouse movements and are at the origin of a cavalcade of extraordinary technical inventions.

    De Bethune is certainly one of the brands that today best symbolises 21st century watchmaking. This independent watchmaker is known for creative contemporary design innovations, mechanical perfection and continuous research and development within the manufacture’s laboratory.

    The present DB1 single button chronograph is, as its name implies, the brand’s first creation. Its rather classical design is far from the more audacious ones the brand has come to be known for today but certain design elements, such as the bullet shaped lugs, can still be found in the brand’s current models.

    The DB1 was launched in 2002 and made in 28 pieces in white gold, 21 pieces in pink gold and one unique example in yellow gold (sold at Phillips Geneva in May 2021 for CHF 151,200). There were only 4 pieces made in white gold and gem-set like the present example.

    This piece exudes a certain sophisticated sotto voce elegance of the 1920s-1930s with its slim case, silver guilloché dial, blue Roman numerals and subtle diamond-set case band.

    The movement was originally created by Flageollet for Jaquet (now Lajoux Perret), a company creating high end mechanical movements for third parties. It is stamped C.D.B, standing for Chevalier De Bethune, an 18th Century French aristocrat and horologist known for his innovative escapement system and whose name inspired the founders of De Bethune.


Ref. DB1
A superbly elegant white gold and diamond-set single button chronograph wristwatch with box and certificate

42mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for CHF163,800

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East Director

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021