[Hands-On] De Bethune Goes All Blue (Again) with New Kind of Blue DB28XP

De Bethune is returning to their Kind of Blue concept within a new frame that combines the best of the DB28XP and the DB28 Kind of Blue to create the, you guessed it, DB28XP Kind of Blue. The new watch is trimmer than ever, and bluer than ever (insert Tobias joke here), and leans into the absolute best of DeBethune’s design language. It’s a smaller, thinner watch, but there’s still plenty of visual impact thanks to the wide frame that the lugs define. And as complex is it may look at a glance, at its core, there’s a very straightforward watch here. 

The case and dial are made of thermally blued titanium with “microlight” pattern finish, and the result is stunning under any amount of light. It shifts between blue hues that pick up notes of purple at certain angles, and the finish creases a near liquid-metal appearance. All of this applied to the shapes and structures that De Bethune uses with the DB28 create an incredibly dramatic presence that will have you staring at the watch without a moment’s thought of the time. There are a set of hands reading off the hour and the minutes, but they feel secondary to the rest of the experience of this watch.


De Bethune is using the thin, hand wound DB2115v12 movement with their own balance wheel, which is visible at the bottom of the dial, under the arch-like structure. The XP in the name denotes that this is an extra thin (plat) watch, and indeed it stands at just 8.5mm in thickness, but this isn’t a watch about the numbers. It’s also 43mm in diameter, though a portion of that is the lug structures, which articulate from a point near the center of the case. Their movement allows the watch to sit flush against the wrist, creating one of most comfortable watches I’ve come across yet. 

In addition to providing the hours and minutes, turning the watch over reveals a power reserve indication, a handy feature on a hand wound movement. Despite its svelte case, there are two mainspring barrels here, which you can see peaking through on the dial side, which provide an impressive 6 days of reserve. As you might imagine, there’s just as much thought put into the view on the other side of the case as well.

The unorthodox shape of the case and lugs, as well as the crown placement at the top of the watch, place this watch very much within its own category. There is a lot going on here, and while there is something horologically impressive worth celebrating, the real draw comes from the case and dial, which are transcendent in their execution. It’s something I’d very much like to see offered on a wider basis than the 25 examples of this watch that are planned for production, which, when paired with the unlisted price, tells me that not nearly enough people will get to see and experience this watch. 

The DB28XP Kind of Blue is among the most compelling DeBethune watches to date, serving as a culmination of their past, and hopefully offering a new path forward that we will see them expand upon in a broader sense. Learn more from De Bethune.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.