The iron meteorite that was worked to create the case of the unique Dream Watch Meteorite will remain an enigma for all time, in its origins and its composition. A work of art in the form of a watch, it is an avant-garde testimony to a place where time does not exist.
De Bethune worked on a fragment of outer space to create the Dream Watch Meteorite. Beyond classification, this timepiece reflects the philosophy developed by the brand, which is an approach involving fundamental exploration in the field of watchmaking, always seen in relation with mankind and the human universe. Among the collections, the Dream Watch brings together the most experimental creations. The Dream Watch Meteorite completes the line, with the use of a rare material that comes from the cosmos and with a purity that is impossible to reproduce. By utilising a fragment that fell more than 4,000 years ago in Campo del Cielo, Argentina, De Bethune has created a magisterial time piece that is a witness, through its origins, to the unfathomable mysteries of the universe. At once a work of art, a philosophical object and a technical challenge, the Dream Watch Meteorite is a dream that mirrors space.
The Dream Watch Meteorite has its origins in a chain of random, unpredictable events that began in the realm of the stars and galaxies, and ended in the manufacturing process of the case. Its creation is the result of the assiduous workmanship of watchmaking pioneers, led by David Zanetta – Curator and Co-Founder – and Denis Flageollet – Master Watchmaker and Co-Founder of De Bethune. The highly intuitive design follows the organic arching lines that are spontaneously visible in nature, for example in the shape of a leaf. The execution of the design involved a profound rethinking of conventional watch-machining techniques. Composed essentially of iron (92 %) with traces of nickel and cobalt, the hard and compact structure of the meteorite has no similarity to the usual watchmaking materials. Denis Flageollet and his team advanced step by step to come to grips with the unusual characteristics of this material. The method they adapted for working the original 3-kilo block resembled the techniques of a sculptor, with an initial examination of the raw material, to detect its irregularities and identify the best zone from which the case could be carved. Each step in the manufacturing process was transformed into an enigma that challenged their skills, knowledge and intuition. Finished by hand, the case retains it original anthracite colour that was then flame-blued by hand, according to the traditional watchmaking technique. This process brought out the profound texture of the meteorite, which is studded with streaks and flashes that ultimately compose a snapshot of the universe.
Although De Bethune pursues a conquest of the unknown, it remains nevertheless faithful to the essence of fine watchmaking, which is to design and produce the most precious timepieces possible. In the Dream Watch Meteorite, the manually wound mechanical movement houses a high speed tourbillon developed by De Bethune. Ultra-light, weighing 0.20 grams, beating to one-tenth of a second, it makes one revolution in 30 seconds. These three key features determine the precision of a tourbillon and De Bethune has chosen the optimal performance for each of them. The calibre incorporates a number of silicon parts, including the patented balance wheel ringed in white gold, and the escape wheel. The balance spring features the patented De Bethune flat terminal curve, developed in-house. The time is displayed digitally, through a trapezoidal sapphire aperture with a jumping-hours disc and a second dragging minute disc. In the centre, the spherical moon-phase, also a patented complication, turns regularly with such precision that it only needs to be adjusted by one lunar day every 1,112 years. Winding and setting the time is done by means of a meteorite crown – the same material as the ardillon buckle – decorated with a large natural ruby cabochon protecting a diamond in its inner core.
Shaped like a rocket to travel through time, the Dream Watch Meteorite carries within it the history of an odyssey.