De Bethune Launches Two New DB Eight References

A little over a year on from the release of the DB Eight, De Bethune is following up the mono-usher chronograph with two new variants, each in gold, and each of which offers a welcome look back at the early days of the brand. 

De Bethune is a brand well-versed in the avant-garde. The name alone tends to conjure images of remarkably blue tourbillons with spring-loaded lugs, and other sci-fi-esque watches. In the last few years, De Bethune has become well known for pushing the boundaries of watchmaking in both a technical and aesthetic sense — they even sent a watch to (near) space on the wrist of Michael Strahan.

If you’re only familiar with De Bethune thanks to watches like the DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon or the DB28GS Yellow Submarine, looking back at the early days of De Bethune might come with a bit of a surprise. Early De Bethunes stood out not because of any outrageous architecture or wild case finishing, but rather thanks to a refined — and very traditional — look, backed up by the technical prowess of Denis Flageollet, the brand’s founder.

The DB8 was one of these early, very traditional watches. Though still identifiable as a De Bethune thanks to its bullet lugs and three-part case, the DB8 was (in most senses) a very traditional take on the concept of a mono-pusher chronograph dress watch. The new DB Eight is a fitting follow up to that watch, holding on to much of the original’s concept and charm, but with each and every detail refined and updated to fit better in the current De Bethune collection.


When the DB Eight first launched last year, the watch was made in Grade 5 titanium — a hallmark of De Bethune. This year’s additions to the catalog are offered in yellow or white gold, each fitted with an engine turned dial, with the yellow gold option sporting a warm brown dial, and the white gold a wonderful blue dial (very few brands have a handle on blue the way De Bethune does). Both watches use titanium hands, with the hands on the gold model heat treated to a golden color, and come on alligator leather straps color matched to the dials.

Besides the material and dial colors, this year’s DB Eight releases are the same watch Zach and Zach were introduced to last year in Geneva. They are each powered by the in-house caliber DB3000 mono-pusher chronograph movement, which has a centrally mounted 60-second counter and a 60-minute chronograph subdial at 6 o’clock, and which features De Bethune’s proprietary blued-titanium balance wheel and a silicon escape wheel. There’s also plenty of hand-finishing to go around, all of which you’ll be able to see through the expansive display caseback.

The watch itself is a great size, at 42.4mm across and 9.2mm thick. From experience with last year’s model I can tell you that the watch wears wide and flat, but is shockingly adaptable to a wide range of wrist sizes thanks to its short bullet lugs and svelte architecture.

There really isn’t any other watch brand that is doing what De Bethune is. Sure, you can point to other independents like Greubel Forsey, or at micro-brands like SpaceOne, but in the same way that those two brands exist somewhat in their own space, De Bethune does as well. If what you want is a De Bethune, there really is no substitute. And if what you want is a slightly calmer, more sedate De Bethune, then there really is no substitute for the DB Eight. De Bethune

Images from this post:
Related Posts
A native New Englander now based in Philadelphia, Griffin has been a passionate watch enthusiast since the age of 13, when he was given a 1947 Hamilton Norman as a birthday gift by his godfather. Well over a decade later, Griffin continues to marvel and obsess about all things watches, while also cultivating lifelong love affairs with music, film, photography, cooking, and making.