Haute Time caught up with Alessandro Zanetta last week in Singapore, who succeeds his father David Zanetta, co-founder of De Bethune together with Denis Flageollet in 2002. In a short period, the independent brand has pioneered nine patent registrations, seventeen world première innovations and amazingly fifteen in-house calibres.
Alessandro joined De Bethune five year ago, having been exposed to exceptional items through his father who is both an aesthete and collector of works of art. “I grew up surrounded by watches”, he says. Additionally, Alessandro possesses an astute knowledge in the field of mechanical watchmaking, which he honed during a spell at Antiquorum in 2007 as a Junior Watch Expert with the auction house.
Today, he unveils the brand’s latest timpepiece, the DB27 Digitale Polo edition. Why Polo? “We have been sponsoring a Polo tournament in Liechtenstein and our retailer there asked us to do a limited edition of pieces that can be really resistant to play Polo with, as the shocks during the game can smash your watch every second,” he answers.
“The watch has a black DLC case, but (he takes a coin and starts scratching on the case) nothing happened to it because we have found a solution which comes from the stainless steel used in Formula 1 (cars) engines. I’ve been trying to smash this watch on the floor and scratch it with a key for more than a month, to the horror of collectors who beg me to ‘please stop.’ The case is extremely hard. We manufacture it, then treat it, mirror-polish it, and finally, we add DFC coating with a special treatment, a sort of a black-diamond coating. At that point, it’s a nearly uncrushable watch,” explains Alessandro.
The shiny polished effect is enriched by a pink gold medallion hand-engraved with two mallets and inlaid with a hand-polished white gold ball; the creators of the DB27 Digitale Polo edition, David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet, leaving their aesthetic mark on the unique timepiece, which is limited to only 10 pieces.
The digital jumping hours display and the minutes indicator, make it possible for the player to read the time instantly even during chukkas, as the apertures are protected. The DB27 D Polo edition has it’s crown at 12 o’clock and short floating lugs, making the 43mm round case even more comfortable on the wrist, and has a power-reserve of 5 days. “The deliveries will only start in a couple of weeks,” reveals Alessandro.