De Bethune’s latest horological masterpiece recreates the technical and aesthetic spirit of Tsubas, a type of guard on a Japanese sword protects a samurai’s hand from sliding into the blade that often carried detailed etchings and engravings of important symbols and animals.
The Maestri’Art I has a dragon perched on the clouds at the top of the deal with a tiger and waterfall below. The tiger and dragon represent an important symbolic image often used to signify self-control in the teaching of martial arts, De Bethune says.
A second piece, the Maestri’Art II, is made from blued titanium and carries a carp swimming upstream to leap over a Dragon’s Gate waterfall. If the fish clears the falls, it turns into a dragon.
“I have always been entranced by the craftsmanship and techniques involved in Asian art. Despite natural feelings of apprehension, I wished to create timepieces that would serve as a support on which to express this art,” says Denis Flageollet, master watchmaker of De Bethune.
The stories are told on 43mm watches containing automatic AUTOV2 and DB2005 movements respectively.