De Bethune x @byJorgHysek present the Dream Watch 6 table clock
The Sky: De Bethune sees it bigger, deeper, wider, more experienceable…transcended.
Contemporary creativity in design by @byJorgHysek reinterprets De Bethune’s DNA, aspiring to a different vision of the world.
A moon phase with an accuracy of 5.7 seconds in a lunar month, or 1 day every 1225 years – which corresponds to an accuracy improved by a factor of 457 over conventional moon phase watches.
It’s contemporary Art mechanics taking us to a different place in time and space with the unique creation that is Dream Watch 6.
Art mechanics implies a very particular know-how, and it is fast becoming a lost skill. Contrary to popular belief, a clock is not just a bigger watch. The mechanical object is a question of balance and harmony between each and every component taken separately and as a whole. It is a different way of working and understanding the object that is considered more instinctively, holistically, with a comprehensive aesthetic. Complexity is increased exponentially. Surfaces that are now expanses need to be broken down proportions redefines for more lightness. The new volumes are thus more generous and airier than in a watch, and thus require an acute sense and ability to adapt.
Denis Flageollet, who has lost nothing of his passion for timekeeping objects and has worked on many of them, conceives of and creates De Bethune clocks that combine the traditions established by of 18thcentury Master Watchmakers with contemporary art mechanics.
Faithful to the spirit that drives De Bethune, each clock project originates in the juxtaposition of watchmaking history during the Enlightenment, of various techniques both for the movement and for the finishing, alongside the spirit of modernity that characterizes De Bethune’s identity.
In other words, to develop these objects, is to have an intimate knowledge of what has been done in the past and what is being done present, and to draw from both in defining one’s sources of mechanical and aesthetic inspiration. The historical and emblematic pieces resulting from 400 years of watchmaking history are the foundations on which today’s creation is based.
De Bethune presented his first clock movement in 2003. It was inspired by the marine chronometers so dear to Denis Flageollet, a great sailing enthusiast, then came the mysterious Stellar Clock with its two sphynxes, and finally the famous Helicopter Clock created in 2015. At the core, Denis’ approach has always been emotional. Each of his creations allows a better understanding of Art mechanics, which really comes through in a larger volume, a bigger space in which to unfold – rather than in a watch where the mechanics are ultra-condensed.
2019. Four years have passed.
De Bethune now presents the Dream Watch 6, a clock designed in close collaboration with the Swiss
artist Jörg Hysek.
With the Dream Watch 6, De Bethune yet again looked up to the sky, to represent in a more meaningful, more contemporary manner. The initial idea is simple: to transpose the De Bethune sky to a clock and in doing so utilize to the fullest the larger volumes afforded to express it – even transcend it.
More space, more depth: The night sky of De Bethune becomes even more magical. The more generous volume offers it a more experienceable cosmos. The moon takes up a more even-handed proportion in our unconscious. The two spheres, for hours and minutes, play with volumes. It all comes together in a whole that allows one to marvel at a completely new vision of the planets, the sky, the cosmos, our environment, all in harmony and beauty.
De Bethune is one of the very few manufacturers to master the know-how of clockmaking. Thanks to the skill of some of its watchmakers, the 180-component hand-wound mechanical movement 1318-010, adapted to the design and equipped with a constant force escapement, displays the hour, minute and moon phase functions with an accuracy of 5.7 seconds in a lunar month, or 1 day every 1225 years, which corresponds to an accuracy 457 times higher than conventional moon phases – an improvement by a factor of ten compared to the De Bethune standard. 18,000 vibrations per hour. 8 days of power reserve.
Dial design and movement conception by De Bethune. A body created by Swiss artist Jörg Hysek
For the casing, a casual exchange between Denis and his friend Jörg gave rise to the obvious idea of a collaboration. Sharing a creative vision and passion for unique watchmaking objects, together they worked in close concert for 18 months to create a new piece.
Jörg Hysek, a visionary artist whose star has been shining high above Swiss watchmaking for decades, continues to surprise with ways to tell time – always with a fresh artistic intention. Driven by his own vision and creativity, he literally immersed himself in De Bethune’s spirit and the multiple strands of the brand’s DNA.
We find these references in the tense curves that characterize De Bethune, in the use of titanium, the vibrant color of the immediately recognizable hallmark blue, the famous De Bethune lugs in the feet as well as fixing points, the polished bezel that gives a true clarification of the reading of the time, the vision of the inside of the mechanism through the lower part of the part… All these elements that make the signature of De Bethune watches find themselves reinterpreted and re-orchestrated to create this object of art mechanics.
What Jörg Hysek conceived of and designed is a mechanical sculpture, with a creative aesthetic that gives off a force that speaks to lovers of the truly exclusive. Challenging the known and assumed, he expresses his sensibility to the mechanics of time. This clock is new, unique. The feet, for example: In addition to their almost sensual refinement and the role they play in design, the three legs have the double function of keeping it upright on a table, or to laying it down, as in a cradle so it can easily be rewound. Arming the clock and setting the time – it’s done discreetly from below, sparing the eye a glance at perhaps unwelcome “interruptions” in the clock’s lines.
De Bethune plunges into the fantasy universe of designer and scenographer François Schuiten, nicknamed the “Watchmaker of Dreams”, while engaging in a dialogue with the enigmatic world of The Obscure Cities through signature motif highlighted on the very structure of its DW5.
A reality shift, a parallel universe in which humans are often left to their own devices – even though reality is never very far away – this imaginary world is composed of enigmas and mysteries. Through shadows and unusual reflections of our world subject to the principle of worrying strangeness, the authors of The Obscure Cities usher their readers into spectacularly extravagant settings while maintaining a distinctly human approach.
Within this retro-futuristic aesthetic free of any nostalgia, the stunning architecture, imaginary cartography, and oft heavy and imposing machines together constitute the driving elements of plots where science and engineering mingle with fantasy.
It is precisely in the context of this rich and extraordinary universe that De Bethune has taken an interest in Armilia: a submerged, almost entirely underground city. It is in this remote place in the far North of the imaginary Continent that the control of Time is handled, a concept oddly mingling chronology and climate disruptions.
Dialogue between two civilisations
De Bethune observes the exchanges permitted between the real world and the world of The Obscure Cities, recognizing that time does not have the same value in this parallel world. Raising the question of perfect and imperfect time, exploring this “white zone” of the work’s nonetheless incredibly rich universe, De Bethune has imagined a time measurement object, a watch directly inspired by the depiction of Armilia and its universe. As a watch movement, it refers to observing time from a different angle. The model was indeed almost called Reflet (reflection). A reflection of this non human world, but into which humans make regular incursions.
The boundary between art and artisanship
A watchmaker’s work is mainly based on the search for precision, for all that is perfect, the ideal touch… This quest for perfection, this reference to the perfect and the imperfect, the acceptance of imperfection, the relative borderline between perfection and imperfection: it is this almost schizophrenic path that gives rise to emotions when facing matter. Matter that resists, that can be worked on, that can be tamed.
Breaking free of scales and proportions, Denis Flageollet, De Bethune co-founder and Master Watchmaker, and passionate about The Obscure Cities, has imagined a wrist-sized sculpture, engraved as a direct reference to a drawing of the City of Armilia.
Reflecting similar gestures, a dialogue was established between Schuiten’s pen & ink drawings and renowned Swiss engraver Michelle Roten, whose talents were enlisted for this particular project. The structure of the watch thus comes to life or rather creates a reflection of Armilia’s imaginary world, as if the watch were a ship setting out to explore this world. Bearing in mind the idea of achieving a depiction similar to the original drawings, it is no coincidence that De Bethune chose 18K pink gold. The warm colour of the precious metal recalls the equally warm colours characterising the drawings of the city at sunset.
Outside, a totally imaginary world. Inside this watch, the real world of precision and watch engineering.
With Armilia, De Bethune has created a fascinating work that it is placing like a landmark on the frontier between art and watchmaking. The watch testifies to a vision of unbridled creativity while remaining based on profound understanding and respect for the great master-watchmakers of the past, whose work it transcends and magnifies.
Exploring the past so as to reinterpret it even more effectively, knowing its heritage, pushing its limits and finally inventing the future. Mastering its codes to the point of breaking free of them in order to transform expertise into emotion and technique into pure beauty. For De Bethune, the approach applies to both art and watchmaking. Armilia belongs to both worlds. It speaks of space, movement and speed as much as precision and complications.
Armilia is the result of extreme miniaturisation of its mechanism, entirely dedicated to design, of which time is only one element. A De Bethune interpretation appearing as a nod or a signature, a small two-coloured sphere indicates the moon phases. Composed of two assembled and polished blued steel and palladium half-spheres, it guides the eye towards the digital and minimalist display of the hours and minutes. All this is visible through a hand-cut cabochon-shaped tempered glass such as only a rare few are capable of producing, providing a chance to get a better view of this mechanism that counts off time, within a fantasy world that approaches it from an entirely different standpoint.
United we are stronger in the fight against disease. In support of the Only Watch biennial charity auction of unique timekeepers, two great independent watchmaking “Maisons” De Bethune and Urwerk joined their creative energies in bringing forth a timepiece that arouses curiosity, focuses attention and touches the senses. From the outside, a case that challenges established norms, fusing the design and function genetics of De Bethune and Urwerk with its floating lugs and the singular vibrancy of mirror polished titanium. Under the hood and curved sapphire crystal, a mechanical universe which amazes us with the one-off URDB01 caliber jointly developed for this very special auction the crown at 12 o’clock, spherical moon phase, and Urwerk’s signature time indication with the now-famous satellite window in an arc that evokes the sun’s curvature.
DE BETHUNE x URWERK is the story of four personalities, Denis Flageollet and Pierre Jacques at De Bethune, and Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei at Urwerk. A story of mutual respect and implicit trust. The meeting of two ultra-creative and independent watchmaking minds, linked by a longstanding friendship, to donate for auction a truly original and highly desirable timepiece in support of the fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 1 + 1 = 3.
De Bethune is particularly proud and pleased to learn that the two timepieces submitted as entries for the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève 2019, were retained for the jury’s official preselection.
The DB28 Yellow Tones in the Men’s Category
A master in the art of thermal oxidation of metals, De Bethune continues to explore all the hues and shades achievable with steel grades and titanium by heat-induced chemical reactions. To create its own fiery yellow, De Bethune applies its famous technique of gently oxidizing grade 5 titanium to naturally tint its surface. This ritual conjures a rare, unique, uniform and extraordinary flame blonde colour.
Furthermore, the DB28 impresses with the Maison’s latest innovations:
The patented spherical moon phase, located at 6 o’clock. Made of steel and palladium, it is
accurate to within one lunar day every 122 years.
Aerodynamics, optimized efficiency, reliability, regulating quality, thermo-compensation,
anti-magnetism… the high-performance escapement features a titanium balance wheel torque with white gold weights, and a patented flat terminal curve spiral, ensuring an ideal mass/inertia ratio for an optimal frequency of 28,800 vph adapted to wristwatches.
The benchmark-setting “triple pare-chute” shock absorption system.
The DB28GS Grand Bleu in the Diver’s Category
A new calibre, water resistance now extended to 100 metres, excellent legibility even in lowest light conditions thanks to ingenious lighting inside the movement, a different bezel that now rotates together with the crystal to give diving time, a titanium case for lightness, and a rubber strap for practicality. This watch also features a 5-day power reserve.