DeWitt Academia Watch Hands-On

DeWitt Academia Watch Hands-On

In early 2015, I had the opportunity to visit the watchmaker DeWitt held in Geneva. DeWitt brand has its ups and downs of the global economy as many years, but recently it really sorted out organizational issues, and not just back on track around to create some of the most interesting and unique watches – such as this is quite rare German Witt out of time to collect academia. What makes DeWitt watch interesting and unique, in my opinion? So, in addition to production and some complications, you will not see very unique internal elsewhere to exercise an entire universe, DeWitt often used in the design and style, from the rest of the watch industry is quite removed. With that said, DeWitt still is a Swiss-born radical, and reproduction of living in harmony with other watch company unique niche luxury brands.


What is very cool about the beat seconds hand is that it exists over a skeletonized view of the movement which allows you to see how this mechanism works. In fact, this is the first time I can think of that I’ve seen a dead seconds hand executed (with the view). I believe DeWitt designed the DeWitt Academia Out Of Time this way for two reasons. One is to offer a view of the particular contraption which allows the dead seconds hand to operate, and second is as a subtle reminder that “this is, indeed, not a quartz timepiece.”

To the left of the beat second hand is something else interesting. This is the “flying time” dial and it is really a sort of foudroyante hand. Some watches that have hands that make a full revolution each second, and we refer to those as “flying hands.” The reason is that they appear to move so quickly, watchmakers say they are “flying.” Rather than a traditional hand, DeWitt developed two overlapping discs. The discs have small holes, and when the upper disc moves, it creates a unique animation on the dial.

Jerome DeWitt explained that the purpose of the DeWitt Academia Out Of Time watch was to demonstrate the visual contrast between two different indicators that nevertheless operate each second. There is also the contrast between the slow and the fast. It is a poetic concept, and I have to admit that if I wore the DeWitt Academia Out Of Time on my wrist, I would probably be spending a lot of time idly staring at it.

Otherwise, the dial merely indicates the time, and much of the upper part of the face looks relatively stark compared to the bottom of the dial. It is also unique how DeWitt borders each of the two subdials separately. It makes for a dial which looks both asymmetrical and symmetrical at the same time – which is something I don’t recall ever saying before.

Perhaps my favorite version of the DeWitt Academia Out Of Time watch is the model with the royal blue dial. Boy, does that one look cool. The odd movements on the dial mixed with the distinctive case and loud dial make for a decidedly “courtly” wrist statement. Anything but conservative, I just find it cool in a sort of excessive “see what fun toys I can afford” way.

DeWitt Academia Watch Hands-On

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.