De Bethune Ninth Mayan Underworld is in a style quite different from what we are accustomed to and a novel piece exploring new territory, the Arts and Crafts. It is inspired by the Mayan Calendar.
Through their calendars, the Maya established with incredible precision the end of their ‘long count’ calendar to be Friday, December 21, 2012, this being the basis of various interpretations for the end of the world.
To mark the symbolic passing of humankind as predicted by the Mayan calendar, De Bethune will release twelve unique watches in honor of these traditions.
With the De Bethune Ninth Mayan Underworld, De Bethune has tried to recreate the deep atmosphere of pottery and stone sculptures by Mayan scribes.
The bezel of the dial shows the time according to the Mayan number system, while the inner ring shows the 20 glyphs of deities, sacred animals and objects representing different calendar days.
The center of the dial which has the “Baktun” hand-engraved by Michèle Rothen on it.
This is the longest measurement of the Mayan calendar system known as the ‘Long Count’ and equals 144,000 days.
In order to highlight the subtle visual balance the needles are made of sapphire blue trim steel following an exclusive procedure devised by De Bethune.
The name of the watch refers to the ninth and final underworld – each lasts 400 years – and will culminate as the calendar ends in 2012.
Technical description of the De Bethune Ninth Mayan Underworld
Functions: hours – minutes
Movement: Calibre DB 2005 – mechanical hand-wound
Mainplate hand-decorated and snailed, hand-chamfered and polished steel parts, De Bethune stripes
Self-regulating twin barrel*
Silicon/platinum balance wheel*
Triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system*
Jewelling: 29 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
Power reserve: 6-day power reserve
Case Drum measuring 44 mm in diameter in white gold with hollowed lugs
Thickness: 12.50 mm
Glass: sapphire crystal, 1800 Vickers with double anti-reflective treatment
Crown at 3 o’clock – adjustment in 2 positions
Exhibition back: sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment
Dial in solid gold hand-engraved by Michèle Rothen and composed of three parts:
outer ring with numerical glyphs in flame-blued steel
inner ring composed of 20 different glyphs symbolising divinities, animals or sacred objects
central part representing a period glyph, the baktun comprising 144,000 days
Hands in sapphire rimmed with flame-blued steel
Strap : extra-supple alligator leather with pin buckle
* Patents registered by the Manufacture De Bethune