Press Release: De Bethune Maestri’Art Collection

Two new Asian culture inspired pieces from the independent brand

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The magical De Bethune has two new pieces, Maestri’Art I and, respectively, Maestri’Art II. De Bethune once again draws inspiration from the Asian heritage.

“I have always been entranced by the craftsmanship and techniques involved in Asian art. Despite natural feelings of apprehension, I wished to create timepieces that would serve as a support on which to express this art” – confides Denis Flageollet, Master Watchmaker and Creative Talent of De Bethune.

After the special series of 12 Art Pieces, the DB25 Imperial Fountain timepieces, De Bethune once again draws inspiration from the Asian heritage so greatly prized in the West and presents two one-of-a-kind models.

The first is crafted from a specific alloy little known in the West, using the working methods of historical Japanese metallurgists and combining this ancestral expertise with cutting-edge techniques. Conversely, the second model focuses on the quest for artisan-style techniques that involved adjusting hand engraving methods to fashion an extremely high-tech material such as titanium.

De Bethune Maestri’Art I

This model recreates the technical and aesthetic spirit of Tsubas, the Japanese sword guards designed to protect a samurai’s hand from sliding into the blade.

In creating this entirely engraved contemporary timepiece, De Bethune conveys its determination to perpetuate a heritage shared by goldsmiths and watchmakers, by applying to this timepiece born of cutting-edge technologies a set of meticulous ancestral techniques illustrating powerful symbols from Japanese and Chinese mythology.

De Bethune Maestri’Art I front

The animal motifs inlaid and engraved on the model exalt this material by infusing it with strength and light. Witness the dragon perched on the clouds and stretching across the entire watch, from the dial to the case middle and on to the back. He is boldly defied by a tiger, master of the bamboo forest. The tiger represents power, courage, bravery and ferocity, all elements of raw human nature. The dragon also embodies power and vitality but combined with wisdom.

These two types of character appear in human beings in the making. To begin with, the tiger dominates and then, as time goes by, the dragon progressively takes over and an individual thus acquires balance and maturity.

De Bethune Maestri’Art I back

The tiger and dragon thus represent an important symbolic image often used to signify self-control in the teaching of martial arts.

The hours and minutes functions are displayed on a microlight dial, in the centre of this objet d’art.

 

De Bethune Maestri’Art II

This model evokes the finesse and extreme delicacy of Asian etchings, often made on bronze vases. It channels the spirit of Chinese poetry and engravers through a modern watch.

After the achievement represented by its starry skies, De Bethune continues its research on titanium, this time focusing on hand engraving. Enhanced with gold particles, the latter drew upon the spirit of innovation and expertise cultivated by the Manufacture. The result is a classic blued titanium watch with hours and minutes shown on 12 diamond hour markers.

De Bethune Maestri’Art II front

In Asia, and particularly in China, symbols occupy a crucial place in art, culture and daily life. Whether ancient or modern, Chinese koi symbolism appears in the decoration of objects, furniture and clothing.

With its powerful scales, the carp was often compared to a warrior and venerated for its courage and perseverance in swimming upstream to leap over the “Dragon’s Gate” (Longmen Falls). If it managed to clear the falls, it turned into a dragon. A candidate having successfully passed the difficult exams giving access to the highest levels of the imperial administration was referred to as “a fish transformed into a dragon”.

De Bethune Maestri’Art II back

In developing these artistic creations, De Bethune highlights the work of the greatest artisans in their respective crafts. Both engraved by the artist Michèle Rothen, these two models are at the crossroads between art and artisanship.

Sharing values such as meticulous care and fine craftsmanship, combining its watchmaking expertise with the experience and creativity of illustrious Japanese and Chinese artisans, the Manufacture De Bethune recognises in Far Eastern art the same level of excellence as that prevailing in Swiss Watchmaking.

 

Maestri’Art I Technical specifications

Name: Maestri’Art I
Functions: Hours, Minutes
Movement: AUTOV2
Type: Mechanical self-winding movement
Adjustment: Winding and setting the time (2 positions)

Technical features of calibre AUTOV2

Number of parts: 217
Jewelling: 29 jewels
Diameter: 30 mm
Power reserve: 60 hours
Specificities: Titanium balance wheel with white gold inserts, optimized for
temperature differences and air penetration
De Bethune Patent (2016)
“De Bethune” balance-spring with flat terminal curve
De Bethune Patent (2006)
Steel escape wheel
Optimized oscillating weight in titanium and alloy of tungsten
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
Adornment: Hand-crafted finishing and decoration

Display: Hand-polished steel hands
Dial: Alloy according to Japanese ancestral methods, engraved by hand
representing a tiger and a dragon enhanced with gold particles
Case material: Alloy according to Japanese ancestral methods engraved by hand
enhanced with gold particles
Case diameter: 43 mm
Case thickness: 10 mm
Lugs: Short floating lugs in black polished zirconium
De Bethune Patent (2006)
Crystal: In sapphire crystal (hardness of 1800 Vickers) with double anti-reflective
coating
Case back: Open in Alloy according to Japanese ancestral methods engraved by
hand enhanced with gold particles
Sapphire crystal (hardness of 1800 Vickers) with double anti-reflective
coating
Water resistance: 3 ATM
Strap: Extra-supple alligator skin, lining in alligator
Buckle: Pin buckle in black polished zirconium

 

Maestri’Art II Technical specifications

Name: Maestri’ Art II
Functions: Hours, Minutes
Movement: DB2005
Type: Mechanical manual-winding calibre
Adjustment: Winding and setting the time by means of the crown (2 positions)

Technical features of calibre DB2005

Number of parts: 160
Jewelling: 27 jewels
Diameter: 30 mm
Power reserve: 6 days, ensured by a self-regulating twin barrel
De Bethune Innovation (2004)
Specificities: Titanium balance wheel with white gold inserts, optimised for
temperature differences and air penetration
De Bethune Patent (2016)
“De Bethune” balance-spring with flat terminal curve
De Bethune Patent (2006)
Silicon escape wheel
Triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system
De Bethune Innovation (2005)
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
Adornment: Silver plate and barrel bridge cover adorned with
“Côtes De Bethune”
Hand-snailed barrels
Hand-polished, chamfered steel parts

Display: Hands in hand-polished steel
Dial : In blued grade 5 titanium engraved by hand enhanced with gold
particles
Hours and minutes shown on 12 diamond hour-markers
Case material: Blued polished grade 5 titanium
Case diameter: 42 mm
Case thickness: 8,8 mm
Lugs: Integrated, hollowed lugs
Crystal: In sapphire crystal (1800 Vickers hardness) with double antireflective
coating
Case back: Open case back in polished grade 5 titanium
Sapphire crystal (1800 Vickers hardness) with double anti-reflective
coating
Water-resistance: 3 ATM
Strap: Extra-supple alligator leather, alligator lining
Buckle: Pin buckle in blued grade 5 titanium

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