De Bethune and Urwerk reveal their Only Watch collaboration

Debethwerk? Urthune? Whatever you call it, it's pretty wonderful

De Bethune X Urwerk Moon Satellite
De Bethune X Urwerk

When the list of one-off watches to be auctioned at Only Watch this November was announced earlier in the year, we marvelled at the weird and wonderful, and lusted over the rare versions of popular classics. But there was a gap.

Listed as a collaboration between De Bethune and Urwerk, where we expected a photograph there was only this rough sketch, and the name "Moon Satellite".

De Bethune X Urwerk Moon Satellite
De Bethune X Urwerk Moon Satellite Sketch
De Bethune X Urwerk

Now, we have the full details of the watch, which combines signature elements of both brands to great effect. Cased in grade five titanium, the watch uses De Bethune's patented floating lugs system to house a watch head which displays Urwerk's wandering hour satellite system. Cut into the minutes track (Urwerk) you find a spherical blue and silver moonphase indicator (De Bethune).

The case shape bears a resemblance to Urwerk's UR-106 and UR-202 designs, albeit softened slightly at its extremities to fit more smoothly into the lugs. The crown is positioned at 12 o'clock, something embraced by both brands from time to time. And on the reverse, you will see familiar De Bethune movement architecture, with the twin barrels, triangular bridges and small, blued escapement.

De Bethune X Urwerk Moon Satellite
De Bethune X Urwerk

Indeed, the specifications for the calibre (designated DBUR2105) list the twin barrels, titanium balance wheel and patented hairspring design common to De Bethune movements, combined with Urwerk's satellite indications, so it seems acceptable to assume the satellite module has been mounted to a De Bethune calibre. It beats at 28,80 vph and has a four day power reserve.

Aesthetically the watch could arguably be described as closer to De Bethune than Urwerk; the copious use of polished titanium, rich blues and traditional bevelling are all straight out of Denis Flageollet's playbook. But the shape of the main display, the armadillo-style knurling and use of luminova on the satellites are pure Urwerk.

De Bethune X Urwerk Moon Satellite
De Bethune X Urwerk

This is not the first time Urwerk has collaborated for Only Watch; in 2017, it teamed up with Laurent Ferrier in what seemed a very unlikely pairing to create the Arpal One. Similar to the Moon Satellite, this consisted of Urwerk innards in another brand's case; in this instance, what was then a brand new case shape for Laurent Ferrier emerged as a regular model in the collection in the form of the Bridge One at SIHH 2019.

The Moon Satellite will be auctioned at Only Watch 2019 in Monaco on November 9th, with an estimate of CHF120,000 - CHF150,000.


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