Independent watchmaker, De Bethune, announced a new limited edition timepiece with a meteorite dial today.
The De Bethune DB28XP Meteorite comes in the company’s 43 mm diameter case — with its unmistakable, patented floating lug design. Instead of stainless steel, titanium, or precious metal — the case, lugs, and caseback use a scratch-resistant, lightweight, matte anthracite zirconium (ceramic) material.
A rare Muonionalusta meteorite is the source of the unique dial, and accordingly, production is limited. According to De Bethune, it’s “believed to have struck planet Earth more than one million years BCE, somewhere between Finland and Sweden on the banks of the Muniono river, this is probably the world’s oldest known meteorite to date. The first fragment was discovered in Sweden, in 1906. Composed mainly of iron and nickel, it is distinguished by the perfectly geometrical lines of its 60° angle cross-hatched ‘Widmanstätten’ pattern.”
Taking the sliced meteorite, De Bethune created the unique blue shade on the dial by heating the space material, and naturally, each dial is one-of-a-kind. To create the look of the starry sky, numerous white gold pins (representing stars) were applied to the dial, along with gilt markings. In addition to bringing a unique fragment of space to the wrist, each sky is different and the customer can choose a given constellation, according to a precise sky map, at a specific date, time, and place.
Contrasting the center of the dial is an anthracite chapter ring with pink gold Arabic numerals marking the hours. Surrounding this is a satin-brushed titanium outer ring that displays transferred minute graduations. The aperture at 6 o’clock reveals the balance beneath, supported by a blued balance bridge, in the shape of the De Bethune emblem, that’s surrounded by a chamfered blue polished steel rim. Two oversized arrow-tipped gold-plated hands indicated the hours and minutes.
The 30 mm diameter 4Hz hand-wound movement has 27 jewels, 175 total components, and can run for 6-days when fully wound, thanks to self-regulating twin mainspring barrels (patented in 2004). A titanium balance wheel with white gold weights (patented in 2016) — optimized for temperature differences and air penetration — and a silicon escape wheel, work together to regulate the watch.
A solid caseback made of zirconium, with an engraved blued circular satin-finished titanium ring and blue zirconium insert that’s been engraved with De Bethune’s logo, is secured to the back with individual micro bolts. An interesting caseback, even if it does not show off the movement at all.
The De Bethune DB28XP Meteorite Limited Edition is water-resistant to 30 meters and comes with an alligator strap, secured by a matte anthracite zirconium buckle and pin. Limited to 10 pieces.
Retail is $120,000.