De Bethune DB28xs Purple Rain

Few brands are so closely connected to a color as De Bethune. By heating up titanium, one of the brand’s preferred metals, you can obtain this beautiful hue that is vibrant and mesmerizing. It would be going too far as to say that De Bethune owed its success to this distinctive blue, but it most certainly added to the equation.

Like a modern-day alchemist, it came to life in the workshop of one of De Bethune’s founding fathers: Denis Flageollet. When he was working on a titanium balance wheel, he wanted to see if he could apply the same thermal oxidation as is done in carefully heating stainless steel. He discovered that if he heated the titanium to 700 degrees Celsius, the distinct blue protective oxidation occurred.

It became a signature treatment that De Bethune has since applied on the movement and hands, dials, and even titanium cases.

Difficult is an understatement.

De Bethune DB28xs Purple Rain

Blue is not the only color that can be obtained by heating titanium, purple is another. The DB28xs Purple Rain is not the first watch in which De Bethune used this before, as this purple can also be found on the case of the stunning Maestri’Art DW5 Cempasúchil, launched in 2020.

Now they go all in with purple, and rightfully so.



The DB28xs Purple Rain offers a full immersive experience of the color purple, as the brand heat treated virtually every surface.

This also immediately underscores the challenge of making this watch. Heating up titanium until its color changes sounds very simple, but to get an even thermal oxidation over the entire part is a whole other ballgame.

This becomes exceptionally more difficult when you have various parts of all different shapes and sizes that all need to exhibit the same hue when they are combined into a single timepiece. 

This is also why this type of spectacular color treatment is not widespread within the industry, with most brands only applying it to stainless steel screws used in the movement. When done correctly, as De Bethune has mastered, the result is nothing short of sensational.

De Bethune DB28xs Purple Rain

In low light conditions, the DB28xs Purple Rain seems to have a nice, deep hue, but when taken into the light, preferably sunlight, it really comes to life.

It explodes in a kaleidoscope of different color tones and shows an effect that you can’t obtain in any other way. This also ensures that while the DB28xs Purple Rain lacks any complications, it ranks as one of the most spectacular De Bethune timepieces in the current collection.

De Bethune DB28xs Purple Rain

Less is more

This might come as a surprise that it is also the smallest De Bethune, with a diameter of 38.7mm. That 0.7mm is, by the way, an indication of De Bethune’s dedication to getting everything just right, including the dimensions of the watch.

While it was quite challenging to incorporate the brand’s patented (in 2006) floating lugs into the smaller size, they prevailed, and how!

The DB28xs is the perfect combination of elegance and comfort.

De Bethune DB28xs Purple Rain on the wist

The wearing comfort of the Purple Rain is superb, both because of the smaller diameter and floating lugs and De Bethune’s tradition of keeping its watches as thin as possible.

With a height of just 7.4mm, it most certainly fits the bill. The smaller size and the use of titanium also keep this timepiece remarkably light. 




The movement is prominently shown through the sapphire insert in the caseback, and here, De Bethune shows its dedication to excellence. Shaped at what looks a bit like the Star Trek logo is the massive main bridge, under which you can see the mainspring barrels poking out from underneath.

Movement visible from the back of the De Bethune DB28xs Purple Rain

At the six o’clock position, it is graced by an elegant and perfectly finished full bridge supporting the balance wheel.

While it all may look simple, the movement is packed with innovation, many of which De Bethune has patented. It has a silicon escape wheel, which is combined with a titanium balance wheel (patented in 2016) and a special ‘De Bethune’ balance spring (patented in 2006).

Older innovations by the brand, applied to the movement inside the DB28xs Purple Rain, are the patented Triple para-chute shock-absorbing system and the patented self-regulating twin mainspring barrels. This latter ensures that this De Bethune has a generous power reserve of 6 days.


For the dial, De Bethune opted for its signature random guilloche that made quite an impact when they launched it last year in another DB28xs called Starry Seas. Stars are also something that the Purple Rain has in abundance, with white gold pins hand set in the purple titanium dial evoking stars in the sky.

De Bethune DB28xs Purple Rain

Combined with the hands, these are the only parts on the dial that are not purple, with the exception of the Arabic numerals and minute dots on the chapter ring. In quite a subtle way, they ensure perfect legibility, without taking away from the purple splendor of the rest of the dial.

De Bethune DB28xs Purple Rain random wave-like guilloche

As the guilloche pattern is random, no two of these watches are alike, although the differences are subtle. So subtle, that it doesn’t take away from the perfect symmetry of the DB28xs Purple Rain, which De Bethune ensures by positioning the crown at twelve o’clock. De Bethune could have fitted this watch with a purple strap, but then it would be hard-pressed to find a color and finish to match the case.

Instead, they went a different route and delivered the DB28xs Purple Rain with two straps, both featuring purple stitching: one made out of black alligator leather and the other made from canvas.

Again, a subtle difference, yet where the alligator leather brings out the stylish dress watch side of this De Bethune, the canvas strap offers a more sportive option. De Bethune opts for a titanium buckle, instead of a more bulky folding clasp, and yes, this gets the purple heat treatment as well.

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Quick Facts De Bethune DB28xs Purple Rain
Case: grade five titanium, 38.7 x 7.4 mm; floating lugs
Dial: Purple titanium plate hours and minute ring with Arabic numerals, random guilloché purple titanium dial (world’s first), starry sky with white gold stars, polished titanium hands
Movement: manually wound, twin spring barrels, silicon balance wheel with palladium rim, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Power reserve: 6-days
Functions: hours, minutes
Strap and buckle: Extra-supple alligator leather with alligator lining plus canvas strap, heat treated purple grade 5 titanium buckle and pin
Water resistance:30 meters
Price: CHF 90,000

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De Bethune DB Eight: The Ultimate in Chronograph Refinement!

De Bethune DB28XS Starry Seas Reviewed by Tim Mosso

De Bethune DB28: How I Launched It, Why I Bought It, And Why It’s The Perfect ‘One Watch’

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