As a boutique brands (of course they were not fine, considering the size of the place) the number of new watches and sports an impressive DeWitt being produced on a regular basis. Their technical and visual intensity a good example is a set of watches like DeWitt Tourbillon academia large, this is a new 2015. It combines the hollow interior made tourbillon movement, adjustable monitor, and jump to the hour and minute indicators. If this does not make sense to you, then I have included a short video I posted big Tourbillon DeWitt academia, demonstrates how to move the hands of “hops” and a complete bill, for most other watches.
What makes this jumping hours and minutes system so relevant on a regulator-style display (where the hours, minutes, and seconds are each indicated on their own separate dial) is that, historically, these types of layouts were used on the most precise clocks (which were called regulator clocks). The name is based on the fact that the clocks were used to “regulate” the time of other clocks. Many of these had “dead seconds” hands which ticked versus sweeping for a more precise ability to read the time. While I don’t know if this is a novel concept (I sort of doubt that it entirely is) DeWitt has adopted the ticking concept of a dead seconds hand to the hours and minute hands. I find the concept interesting both technically and emotionally as the concept very much fits into the notion of idealized mechanical indication of the time.
In the gallery at the end of the article, you’ll find a few images from DeWitt as well as additional images I took of the DeWitt Academia Grand Tourbillon. I included those images to illustrate how there is a bit of a fashionable element to the collection, as well as that the 18k rose gold cases with their “imperial column” sides have dials accented in black, blue, and, remarkably, also green. The latter is an interesting option for sure. Like many other DeWitt watches, the DeWitt Academia Grand Tourbillon wears prodigiously at 46mm wide, but only 11.90mm thick. The new motto of the brand is “Heirs of Napoleon,” which should be an indicator to you that nothing about what DeWitt is trying to do attempts to be “discreet.” Which, for some people (or moods), is an excellent thing.
Looking at the Dewitt Academia Grand Tourbillon makes me think of something about how people judge watch design to day. I love how, from time to time, the luxury watch industry somehow inexplicably feels the need to apologize for producing ostentatious products. There is such a big push for “under the radar” and “stealth wealth” that each time certain types of watch collectors see something with a wild design they freak out. These people need to chill and recall that, like traditional art, timepieces are artistic as well. They also serve a double purpose to express both taste and status. You might not like the design of a watch but there is no need to yell from the hilltops that brands are wrong to attempt original or fresh designs. Luxury watches are about showing off (something), and whether or not you agree with what that thing is let’s not delude ourselves that many high-end timepieces are meant to have a place on someone’s wrist who feels as though they have afforded themselves the right to “say” something to to the world.
In fact, that is one of the major things I like about companies like DeWitt – they don’t produce the same old types of interchangeable horological items that could come from any number of brands. These are distinct works of art with a serious level of mechanical thought and effort put into them. An interesting detail is the signature on the back of each of DeWitt’s most complicated timepieces such as the DeWitt Academia Grand Tourbillon. A single watchmaker assembles each of the watches, and their signature is engraved on the back of the watch. It was interesting to view several different DeWitt timepieces and see various names engraved in cursive font on the backs of the movements – a classy touch, if you ask me.
On the wrist, the DeWitt Academia Grand Tourbillon wears largely but isn’t uncomfortable, given the fact that the case is not too thick. The jutting lugs will, however, make it difficult for some people to wear this case style and not feel as though it is too large. Over the years, I’ve further come to very much appreciate the distinct look of DeWitt bezels that remind me of crenelation on castles. There is a sort of opulence to the style when it is rendered in gold. DeWitt often does a good job of producing a watch that goes with a landed aristocracy sort of lifestyle – its really what I want to see on the wrists of an eccentric old world family with generations of wealth.
Legibility may not be the DeWitt Academia Grand Tourbillon’s strong suit, but it isn’t that difficult to read. Seconds can be “inferred” from the spinning tourbillon, while the separated hour and minute hands have pluses and minuses to legibility. On the plus side, because of their jumping nature, they should point right to their respective markers. This is particularly useful for the small hours dial. Having said that, neither the minute nor hour dial is remarkably easy to read, which is especially the case with the minute indicator dial. DeWitt puts all that time and effort into a jumping minute hand… but doesn’t create a dial with clear minute indicators that allow the wearer to appreciate the precision of this functionality.
In a nutshell, and based upon my above statement, I feel that separately, the case design with dial and the DW 8030 movement are interesting and laudable creations. When put together, they make for a lovely design, but I still don’t feel that the dial design of the DeWitt Academia Grand Tourbillon is able to fully demonstrate the technical and legible intelligence of the jumping hour and minute hands. It would actually be easy for DeWitt to come out with a “purer” version of the watch that remedies this.