In January 2021, the Manufacture De Bethune presented the DB Kind of Two Tourbillon. Bold and classic, its double dial was already out of place. Its complexity has even challenged all limits and now it presents the DB Kind of Two Jumping GMT, offering a different time zone on each of its sides.
With horologists increasingly driven by the temptation to develop ever more complicated models, double-sided cases became increasingly prevalent, a solution enabling their creators to express the full scope of their aesthetic and technical expertise by making it possible to display a greater number of functions.
Double-sided watches hold a special place in the realm of highly complicated watches. Beneath the apparent simplicity of this timepiece, De Bethune has clearly not taken the easiest path with this model involving two dials that embody a real watchmaking challenge. Views from back and front reveal an authentic transformation.
This was an idea that had been taking shape for many years in the mind of Denis Flageollet, who was convinced that it would offer him an unprecedented field of research and the opportunity to provide a different, contemporary interpretation. Just as with the invention of his silicon balance and balancespring, as well as the famous floating lugs, it would enable him to make another contribution to the advancement of horology.
The DB Kind of Two Jumping GMT is perfectly reversible and can be worn on either side according to the mood of the moment and the time zone chosen. This model houses a highly sophisticated mechanism based on a complex system of gears and pinions arranged on the front or back of the watch, and which enables the hands to turn in the right direction, regardless of the dial chosen.
On one side the jumping hour hand of the GMT function, on the other the central jumping second hand Opt for a modern or more traditional design? The initial inspiration was to create a watch with two very different identities, of which the aesthetic aspect guided the technical design of the new calibre entirely developed by Manufacture De Bethune at L’Auberson in the Swiss Jura.
The front side of the DB Kind of Two Jumping GMT displays a dial featuring a sleek and contemporary design that highlights the mechanics. Indeed, it is a new reading of the hour centred on the balance wheel at 6 o’clock, accompanied by the minute index on the periphery. Extensive work has been done on integrating polished, curved shapes, matt or glossy components, different thicknesses and levels, thereby creating a sensation of ample space and optimal volume, given the minimum height available for a watch integrating the complications of the jumping deadbeat second and the GMT.
A deltoid-shaped bridge—perfectly symmetrical—is positioned in the centre, like an isosceles triangle that contributesto the overall sense of harmony. The GMT side reveals a dial based on more traditional aesthetic inspiration, with a finely hand-guilloché central part surrounded by the numerals already featured on the dials of De Bethune models such as the DB8 and DB10.
Finally, the DB29’s case middle quickly became a key element in the pivoting case project developed by De Bethune. Its perfectly symmetrical shape offers a beautiful balance with the floating lugs and its elegant crown totally integrated at 12 o’clock (or 6 o’clock depending on the side chosen). It thus swivels naturally and the circumference principle is patently obvious, offering a true understanding of the object.
All in all, with its elegant design, the combination of contemporary mechanics with a more traditional face, as well as the meticulous care devoted to details, legibility and comfort, the DB Kind of Two Jumping GMT perfectly illustrates one of the great principles of the Manufacture De Bethune: reinterpreting grand traditions with a contemporary vision of the horological object, there by opening up a new field of expression that is refined and sophisticated while preserving user-friendliness and simple read-off. A work of art with two faces, whose timeless beauty reflects mechanical and aesthetic perfection.