Baroque Access finds out all about the extraordinary one-of-a-kind timepiece from Swiss watchmaker De Bethune that is created from a 5,000-year-old meteorite
We usually categorize luxury watches according to whether they have been created from metals such as gold, silver or bronze. Not anymore. Luxury Swiss horologists De Bethune used pieces from a 5,000-year-old cosmic rock for their latest watch, the De Bethune DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite Timepiece.
The ferrous meteorite featured in this exceptional timepiece was discovered by scientists in Santiago del Estero, Argentina in 2016. De Bethune has used meteorite before, in a previous timepiece, the amazing Dream Watch 5 Meteorite, just over a year previously. This variant, which was also a once-off timepiece, was valued at $446,000 at the time – even more expensive than the latest model. But that’s to be expected: the entire case was made from a blueish purple meteorite which was discovered in an area known as Campo del Cielo, or ‘Field of Heaven’, the site of the largest meteorite impact ever to hit earth.
This time around, De Bethune’s timepiece is not as ambitious, but equally exquisite. Created from a rare type of ferrous meteorite, the DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite watch doesn’t feature a regular dial. Instead, it’s formed from meteorite that has been cut into a thin slice. The result? A deep blue disc created from hand-polished iron meteorite plus a heated alloy of iron and nickel. This forms the sky, that is studded with ‘star’s created out of tiny pieces of white gold.
The watch, which is water-resistant to 30m, has a case 42.6mm in diameter and 9.7mm high, made of blued and hand-polished titanium. There is a double AR-coated sapphire crystal inside the case, and its screwed back is polished 18-karat rose gold (the gold is visible on the linear power reserve indicator of the watch as well as on its javelin-shaped hands). The watch also features a magnificent alligator leather strap with padding and featuring mirror-polished and blue titanium. The ardillon buckle is made from 18kt rose gold.
This unique wrist watch with its gold-studded meteorite dial and blued titanium case features a hand-wound caliber DB2019v3 movement that is equipped with a high-speed, 30-second tourbillon that runs at 36,000 beats every hour. The tourbillon, which is made from silicon and titanium, also boasts a silicon hairspring and escape wheel. When fully wound, the tourbillon caliber has a power reserve of five days.
As expected, this exceptional one-of-a-kind watch doesn’t come cheap. It’s expected to retail at around $278,000. Worth every cent, when you consider that, of all the variations of the DB28 created in recent years, this one is definitely the champion.