A star is born: The De Bethune DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite

A star is born: The De Bethune DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite

From the heavens


The De Bethune DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite may not be the first watch sporting material from outer space – Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Calendar and Parmigiani Fleurier’s Tonda 1950 Meteorite predate it – but it certainly is the most striking so far.

Crafted from a meteorite unearthed in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, the unique colouration of the space rock yields a new timepiece that is startling. A portion of the same rock – called Campo del Cielo, or Field of Heaven – went into De Bethune’s Dream Watch 5 Meteorite from 2016, and there was enough left for the one-off DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite. And unlike other timepieces utilising otherworldly materials (generally using the Widmanstatten technique of etching a cross-section with weak acid), De Bethune has opted for a different style here.

A star is born: The De Bethune DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite
A galaxy made for our wrists

First, a thin sliver of the meteorite was cut off to the form the dial. When heated, the slice turns a deep shade of blue due to high proportion of iron, while other metals create a shimmering iridescence reminiscent of oil sheen. After polishing, tiny holes were drilled, into which tiny spheres of white gold were embedded, a representation of stars in a night sky, a signature motif of De Bethune. Surrounded by mechanical elements made of blued titanium, there is a touch of contrast in the javelin-shaped hands and arrowhead-shaped hour markers done in pink gold.

The DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite is powered by De Bethune’s DB2019v3 30-second tourbillon caliber running at 36,000 beats per hour, offering a power reserve of five days when fully wound. The unique piece is priced at SwF280,000 (S392,000); an astronomical price, perhaps, but this is literally an astronomical watch.

De Bethune

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Published 29th April 2017
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