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Titanium tourbillon

DE BETHUNE Titanium tourbillonEvolution of the wonderful world of watchmaking

It took more than two and a half years of development for the DE BETHUNE Manufacture to present the final version of its silicon / titanium tourbillon, the lightest tourbillon in the world with a remarkable frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour. This tourbillion differs from others in its design, since it has been adapted and calculated for a wristwatch, as opposed to existing tourbillons which are smaller versions of those used in pocket watches.

So it was necessary to design a tourbillon with the highest frequency and rotational speed combined with the smallest amount of weight and the highest level of inertia. After thinking about these requirements, what emerged from the DE BETHUNE research and development workshops was a tourbillon created in silicon and titanium with a form that is more reminiscent of the exo‐skeleton of an insect than of a escapement from mechanical watch.

The structure of the cage is made of silicon and titanium, not with the traditional pillars which are too heavy and bulky, but with a U and S‐shaped frame, which also serves as the seconds hand for maximum lightness. The escape wheel, the centre of the balance and the pallet cock are also made of silicon. The total weight of this architectural tourbillon is 0.18 grams (4 times lighter than a conventional tourbillon). To give more detailed figures, the lightest part weighs less than 0.0001 gram and the heaviest 0.0276 grams. All the parts have been shaped by nanotechnology and high speed 5‐axis machining. This tourbillon is available in two versions. The first version has a silicon and platinum thermo‐compensated balance for lovers of high technology. The second version uses the patented DE BETHUNE titanium / platinum balance which is a source of inspiration for many of the brand’s developments.

This jewel of technology is enclosed in a platinum case with mobile strap attachments, the twin sister of the DBW1 which revealed the first annular silicon / platinum balance. The dial is made of titanium with a microlight effect, produced by high‐precision milling and then sanded before finally being blued in an oven at a temperature of more than 750 °C. This tourbillon has been designed and created with the aim of playing a part in the evolution of the wonderful world of watchmaking.