The co-founder and master watchmaker of De Bethune, Denis Flageollet, wanted a wristwatch with an engraving that directly reference a drawing of the City of Armilia, from the novel series The Obscure Cities.
“Les Cités obscures (The Obscure Cities) is a graphic novel series set on a Counter-Earth, started by the Belgian comics artist François Schuiten and his friend, writer Benoît Peeters in the early 1980s. In this fictional world, humans live in independent city-states, each of which has developed a distinct civilization, each characterized by a distinctive architectural style,” according to Wikipedia.
Using the company’s existing DW5 timepiece as the starting point, the De Bethune created a one-of-a-kind timepiece with a case that’s been hand engraved with a drawing of the City of Armilia from the Obscure Cities novel series, aptly named the Maestri’Art DW5 Armilia.
The Maestri’Art DW5 Armilia (Ref. DW5RMA) features a digital jumping hours display, with a dragging minutes disc that resides to the right of the hours, and the company’s signature, patented spherical moon-phase indication to the far left. The hour is framed by a blued grade 5 titanium aperture.
De Bethune’s in-house hand-wound 4Hz caliber DB2144V2 movement, which has 320 components, 32 jewels, and a 5-day self-regulating twin barrel system, drives all of the functions. Additional notable technical features including a silicon annular balance encircled by a white gold ring, a “De Bethune” balance-spring with a flat terminal curve (2006), and a silicon escape wheel.
The case is Delta shaped in polished rose gold 18K (58 mm x 47 mm x 16 mm). The caseback is solid and screwed down in black titanium with an opening that shows off the balance wheel. Interestingly, the crystal is a curved hard-mineral crystal cut by hand as opposed to a sapphire crystal. The small aperture on the back is also protected by a hard-mineral crystal (1800 Vickers hardness). Water-resistance is 30 meters.
As you can see in the images, the 18K rose gold has been engraved by hand, using the City of Armilia drawing as the guide.
Learn more at De Bethune.