De Bethune – Blue is the new black

De Bethune – Blue is the new black



As classic as it comes in terms of colour. Whether it is used in fashion, calligraphy or in our case watchmaking.

The monochrome pairing of black and white is something we have come to love and almost expect. In every watch brand there is almost certainly a black watch or component, whether it be the dial or the strap, and in some cases completely black. True, those all-black, stealth watches are almost purely just a fashion statement but the appeal has always been there.

So why blue?

Blue is somehow more elegant and at times truly striking to look at. Some companies use a touch of blue here or a dash there, partly in the belief that ‘blued’ hands or ‘blued’ components takes it up a notch in terms of craftsmanship.

For those of you who know me, I have a bit of a penchant for blue and its many hues. And like most watch fanatics a touch of blue here and there always makes me a happy chap. But to see blue used in almost every single part of a watch that is visible is a rarity.



Enter De Bethune, an independent watch brand founded in 2002 by two intrepid men, Denis Flageollet and David Zanetta. Innovation in their watchmaking and aesthetic culminated in a Aiguille d’Or in 2011 at the GPHG.

These guys, like myself, have a penchant for blue and use it to great effect. At times sparingly but the most striking examples are the DB25L and the DB28 SkyBridge. The lustre that they have achieved whilst producing the blued steel dials is truly breathtaking. It catches the light in a way that black could never do, and strangely in certain light the blue looks darker than black. Weird as that sounds, its true.

Small independent watchmakers and brands push the boundaries that the larger companies may never dare to even approach. Innovative use of colour and their unique design language makes this brand instantly recognisable and prized by newcomers to the watch world as well as watch fanatics.