DeWitt’s tenth anniversary is also marked by the launch of a new promotion campaign addressed to the “new emperors”. One of the illustrious forebears of brand founder Jérôme de Witt, including many crowned heads of Europe, is the Emperor Napoleon the First. DeWitt has been “drawing on its rich origins as well as projecting towards the present and the future by focusing on the new emperors of today and tomorrow, men and women all over the world who have achieved success.” At a nod to its history, the brand offers a reinterpretation of its ancestor’s famous hand-in-waistcoat gesture through understated and elegant visuals emerging in both masculine and female versions. The “Revolutionary by Tradition” signature accentuates the concept of a watchmaker with a bold vision, that of “creating a different type of Haute Horlogerie that’s authentic and commendable, combining age-old expertise and exceptional technical excellence.” The newest visuals feature watches from the Twenty-8-Eight collection. In 2013, it welcomes two new tourbillon versions, issued in 99-piece restricted series, as well as two new retrograde seconds versions. The Twenty-8-Eight Tourbillons play on contrasts with bold combinations of white gold and glacier-toned PVD-coated titaniumpink or pink stone and bronze-toned PVD-coated titanium. The dials associate Art Deco motivated vertical appliques using a beaded circle enclosing the tourbillon carriage. Their exceptionally graphic dials available in two colour variants are distinguished by a raised sunburst motif.
In addition to the blue dial, the DeWitt Academia Out Of Time is available with an off-white or black dial. Each, I feel, has its own important place in the collection, and I further want to say that even though this watch does have an Academia-style case, the DeWitt Academia Out Of Time looks very unique among the larger DeWitt watch collection.
Above, I mentioned that DeWitt makes all of their own movements. It’s rather impressive what the small brand does at their factory, and true enough, they make all their own stuff. For that reason, their movements often have a very original look to them, even for those which are basic. Inside the DeWitt Academia Out Of Time is the DeWitt caliber DW1201 automatic. It features just the time with the two unique seconds hands, operating at a frequency of 21,600 (3Hz). Power reserve is a decent 65 hours, and the movement is made from 217 parts. I like the design of the movement which exposes the gears with a more grand view as compared to many others, and also has that cool art deco-style automatic rotor design with the castle-style crenelation around its edge to mimic the “columns” on the side of the watch case.
The DeWitt Academia Out Of Time comes only in 18k rose gold (for now) in a 42.5mm wide case. That actually makes it one of the smaller DeWitt watches out there (for men). The case is 12.85mm thick, and there is black rubber inlaid into the side of the case to further emphasize the “DeWitt imperial column” motif that is there. Or you could see the side of the case as looking like a row of angular (golden) robot teeth. Weird or not, I like details like that as well as the detailing and various finishing on the lugs.
For all its wonderful strangeness, you’ve got to love watches like the DeWitt Academia Out Of Time for the sheer effort to be successfully different. More so, I find that DeWitt watches are always so comfortably different, in that they aren’t trying to merely adapt existing aesthetic genres but that they are really just doing whatever they want from a design perspective. That is confidence, and the type of confidence I want to see in a brand whose motto is offering exclusive products to exclusive people. At least with a DeWitt on your wrist, you don’t need to feign personal originality.
Price for the DeWitt Academia Out Of Time reference AC.OUT.001 watch is $63,700. dewitt.ch