De Bethune has devoted considerable research into natural blue, because the brand considers this colour to be symbolically related to the concept of infinity and harmony. Therefore, De Bethune has dedicated two new creations to this colour, both entirely blue, and united them under the name of Kind of Blue.
At De Bethune, the colour blue is imbued with a broad and deep meaning. Evoking simultaneously water, the sky and space, the colour blue is above all envisaged as a luminous vibration. At De Bethune, each colour corresponds to a different type of energy derived from the colours of which it is composed.
Blue is also associated with the notion of plentitude: within and beyond itsel, and as far as this unfathomable infinity that is the universe, the source of life. So blue becomes a cevtor that subtky connects mandkind with his physical and his spiritual environment. Seen in the context of artistic expression, the concept of blue approaches the magic of music, which is the inspiration for the name given to these creations.
HAND AND HEAT
To create its own blue, De Bethune relied exclusively on a traditional technique, and all the parts in titanium and steel used in Kind of Blue were treated in this manner. It consists of heating the material to colour its surface through oxidation and to modify its physical properties in the process. Since its invention at the beginning of the 16th century, the technique has been used by watchmakers to give a new lustre to watch parts without altering their finishings. It also provides protection against corrosion. The synonym of watchmaking excellence, it requires a preliminary fine polishing followed by a heating phase, normally by flame, to create a natural and long-lasting protective film, at the same time as it increases the hardness of the piece. Steel and iron were the only materials treated in this manner until De Bethune began its own experiments with titanium. Finalized in 2006, the technique is now applied to the purest form of this material, grade 5 titanium. Entirely done by hand, this extremely demanding treatment involved the development of a whole new repertory of steps, because titanium has proven to be a very arduous material to remodel. To give it its definitive lustre, the artisans at De Bethune have to demonstrate exceptional tenacity with each piece they work on.
RANGE OF COLORS
The thermal treatment for Kind of Blue is applied not only to the elements of the case, but also to most of the parts of the movement. Thus, each part is studied individually, as the process has to be adapted according to its form and its mass. This preliminary phase is essential to ensure a uniform range of tones in the finished product. However, the human touch and the different typologies of the materials result in very subtle variations. These nuances are essential for De Bethune, because they create a visual resonance that affects the appearance of the finished piece. Actually, the definitive colour comes from the sum of all these variations and it is expressed by a kind of overall vibration.
Production limited to 10 pieces in 2017