“Watchmaker Of Dreams” De Bethune plunged into a fantasy Universe.
The name Armilia is taken from one specific creation of a submerged underground city, which has been reproduced on the DW5 watch case in meticulous detail by master engraver Michele Rothen.
A one-of-kind De Bethune creation from its Maestri’art collection
De Bethune has taken an interest in Armilia: a submerged, almost entirely underground city. It is in this remote place in the far North of the imaginary Continent that the control of Time is handled, a concept oddly mingling chronology and climate disruptions.
Breaking free of scales and proportions, Denis Flageollet, De Bethune co-founder and Master Watchmaker, and passionate about The Obscure Cities, has imagined a wrist-sized sculpture, engraved as a direct reference to a drawing of the City of Armilia.
De Bethune has imagined a time measurement object, a watch directly inspired by the depiction of Armilia and its universe.
As a watch movement, it refers to observing time from a different angle. The unique model was indeed almost called Reflet (reflection). A reflection of this non-human world, but into which humans make regular incursions.
Reflecting similar gestures, a dialogue was established between Schuiten’s pen & ink drawings and renowned Swiss engraver Michelle Rothen, whose talents were enlisted for this particular project. The structure of the watch thus comes to life or rather creates a reflection of Armilia’s imaginary world, as if the watch were a ship setting out to explore this world. Bearing in mind the idea of achieving a depiction similar to the originaldrawings, it is no coincidence that De Bethune chose 18K pink gold. The warm colour of the precious metal recalls the equally warm colours characterising the drawings of the city at sunset.
Armilia is the result of extreme miniaturisation of its mechanism, entirely dedicated to design, of which time is only one element. A De Bethune interpretation appearing as a nod or a signature, a small two-coloured sphere indicates the moon phases. Composed of two assembled and polished blued steel and palladium half-spheres,it guides the eye towards the digital and minimalist display of the hours and minutes. All this is visible through ahand-cut cabochon-shaped tempered glass such as only a rare few are capable of producing, providing achance to get a better view of this mechanism that counts off time, within a fantasy world that approaches it froman entirely different standpoint.
Last October, De Bethune presented the Dream Watch 6, a clock designed in close collaboration with the Swiss artist Jörg Hysek.
With the Dream Watch 6, De Bethune yet again looked up to the sky, to represent in a more meaningful, more contemporary manner. The initial idea is simple: to transpose the De Bethune sky to a clock and in doing so utilize to the fullest the larger volumes afforded to express it – even transcend it.