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Mechanical Machine Inventions

The DeWitt Academia Limited Edition Collection from DeWitt Watches Switzerland

In a short period of time, Jérôme de Witt, actually Count Jérôme de Witt to some (a descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte), has established both DeWitt Watch, the Geneva, Switzerland based manufacture, and the Academia Collection of limited edition ultra-high-end automatic watches, as a real force to be reckoned with, and a Swiss manufacture that really is at the top of its game. The Academia collection of limited edition watches from DeWitt Watches Switzerland continue the Swiss brand’s use of sculpted watch case, bezel and dial featuring 24 “Imperial Columns” in some form, offering a range of watches predominantly with a rose gold case or occasionally black case and alternative dial colours.

While the limited edition ultra high end automatic watches from the Academia Collection of limited edition pieces from DeWitt Watches Switzerland are undoubtedly Haute Horlogerie pieces, with a DeWitt self-winding movement manufactured in house complete with hand-finished screw fasteners and other Haute Horlogerie touches which recall the Swiss brand’s success at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve, the DeWitt Academia collection of red gold and black case beauties are also playful and fascinating at the same time. The Academia collection of limited edition red gold and black cased marvels from Dewitt Watch Geneva, all offering an interesting display of hours, minutes and seconds from their inhouse designed movement, have done nothing if cement the Swiss brand’s reputation as a manufacturer, from Paris all the way to the US and beyond, and their rightful position alongside names such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Vacheron Constantin, Lange & Söhne, Maurice Lacroix and others, especially so since achieving the previously prize for innovation at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve.  

What the Geneva, Switzerland based manufacture of DeWitt Watches manages to do with the Academia Collection of limited edition red gold, titanium and black cased delights, is though, in many cases, to go beyond what more traditional brands such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Vacheron Constantin, Lange & Söhne, Maurice Lacroix can do: the DeWitt Academia Collection of watches from DeWitt Watch Geneva present hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve with not only high complication in-house automatic movements, but beautiful, creative and playful designs. The current range Academia Collection of red gold and black cased automatic wristwatches from DeWitt Watch Geneva includes the Dewitt Watch Academia Small Second Automatic, the DeWitt Watch Academia Chronostream II Automatic in Rose gold with black dial, Academia Endless Drive Automatic with rose gold case and bezel, the Academia Out of Time Automatic, the Academia Hour Planet, the Academia Mathematical, Academia GMT2 Poetic, and the Academia Tourbillon Force Constante. Many of these automatic, hand-winding mechanical movement watches are available in numerous sub-models, some delighting in not only Haute Horlogerie finishing, but sunburst guilloche dials and even baguette-cut diamond decoration, with playful, mechanically inspired complications. While collectors in the market for a previously owned DeWitt Watches Geneva Academia might also like to keep an eye out for legacy models, such as the DeWitt Academia Seconde Retrograde (Retrograde Seconds), the DeWitt Academia Grande Tourbillon in 18k Rose Gold, the DeWitt Academia Tourbillon Differential (Tourbillon Differential) , or the DeWitt Academia Minute Repeater, the current lineup of watches in the Academia Collection offers a feast of limited edition delights, and all of which offer something that many of the other, larger Swiss-based manufactures, and certainly not Van Cleef &  Arpels, Vacheron Constantin, Lange & Söhne or Maurice Lacroix are able to do. DeWitt has a real fondness for ‘the mechanical’, and all members of the current Academia collection display this in a playful, whimsical manner, to a greater or lesser extent.

The red-gold color tone DeWitt Academia Endless Drive Watch from DeWitt Watches Switzerland is a perfect example, with the dial face side of the watch dominated by the DeWitt “Endless Drive” mechanism, which positions a central worm gear shaft between a pair of helical cut gears, which themselves are able to move upwards and downwards on the 6 -12 o’clock axis, in a vertical slot down the watch centerline. The result is a shaft that spins endlessly, with the helical cut gears on either side being connected to a colour coded power reserve indicator close to the 12 o’clock position, the joy of green turning red as the power reserve is drawn down by the watch and the screw slides on the longitudinal axis. A total of 59 hours of power reserve is provided for by the in house movement manufactured by DeWitt and represented by the movement of the Endless Drive mechanism itself which forms the power reserve indicator. Either side of the Endless Drive Mechanism, hours and minutes are displayed with the use of two hours and minutes sub-dials with indexes in black on white, fashioned as if from some enormous electricity generating plant of old. This is a massively playful design, which the DeWitt Academia Endless Drive Watch from DeWitt Watches Switzerland continues into the remaining elements of the watch design, including the slightly bell-shaped 18K rich rose gold case, reminiscent of ship’s clock in some ways, offering a diameter of just over 42.5mm, encircled by Switzerland based manufacture’s trademark column design motif, formed from the interplay between the 18K rose gold and rubber inserts  The DeWitt calibre DW1653 automatic movement is rendered perfectly visible to the backside of the watch case, which features a full-width sapphire crystal exhibition-style case back. As you would expect the DeWitt calibre DW1653 hand-winding movement is finished to impeccable standards,

The DeWitt Academia Force Constante a Chaine watch from DeWitt Watches Switzerland is another from the DeWitt Academia Collection which has a beguiling mechanical novelty placed at the heart of the watch, this time combining this with not only a constant force mechanism but the Haute Horlogerie excellence of a tourbillon. The chain drive system, reminiscent of the chain drive system used on everything from early planes, cars and bicycles, is placed just below 12 o’clock on the dial side face, and serves to transmit both winding energies from the crown as the barrel spring is wound, and by the use of an intermediate gear, engages the power reserve indicator sliding on a worm screw gear. This particular mechanical manual winding movement manufactured in house by DeWitt themselves is entitled the calibre DW8050, is offered in a rose gold or platinum rather than stainless steel case, with black white strip dial, with the tourbillon and constant force device providing the necessary twin means of regulation, with, of course, the power reserve indicator on the worm screw.

Suffice to say, that while some other watches in the DeWitt Academia Collection may not offer the sheer whimsy of the  DeWitt Academia Force Constante a Chaine Watch or the DeWitt Academia Endless Drive Watch from DeWitt Watches, models such as the DeWitt Academia “Slide”, with its unique sliding hour markers, the DeWitt “Mathematical” and DeWitt “Skeleton” all offer hugely technical accomplishments in their own right, which the connoisseur of the unique will surely appreciate. The detailing of the 18k (karat) White Gold case DeWitt Watch Academia Tourbillon Force Constante, with sapphire crystal case-back secured by screws, black alligator leather wristband and 72 hours power reserve is a typical example of what a buyer can expect from any of the watches from the collection.

Some features of the DeWitt Academia collection of watches from DeWitt Watches Geneva is of course, such as the 24 Classic Column motif, mirrored in the other ranges from the Swiss manufacture, such as the Glorious Knight Collection of marginally simpler, stainless steel case automatic and chronograph watch models with both stainless steel and black rubber bracelet strap options, clearly aimed at the sporting chic segment, but it is DeWitt Watch’s Academia Collection which best demonstrates the brands DNA and commitment to ultra-high-end Haute Horlogerie finishing alongside the Swiss manufacturer's innovative, playful design matched with mechanically inspired technical excellence. And it is this combination of the presentation of a timepiece which displays not only hours minutes and seconds but does so with playful design matched with mechanically inspired technical excellence and high complication features such as constant force devices, the grand tourbillon and minute repeater functions that is providing such a refreshing alternative to the more established brands such as Van Cleef & Arpels watches, Vacheron Constantin watches, Lange & Söhne watches, and watches from Maurice Lacroix and others.

Technical specifications

Reference  DW6005 
Movement  Mechanical self-winding movement 
Diameter  30.4 mm 
Functions  Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph 
Power reserve  48 hours 
Frequency  28,800 vph 
Balance  3-armed, made in Glucydur 
Balance spring  Flat 
Escapement  Swiss lever (49°angle of lift) 
Jewelling  27 jewels 
Case  Round case with Dewitt imperial columns on sides 
Material  18-carat rose gold and black rubber 
Diameter  42.5 mm 
Total thickness  14.2 mm 
Crown  18-carat rose gold, “W” signature 
Case back  DeWitt design 
Distance between lugs  21 mm 
Dial  Silvered, black centre with "Clou de Paris" decoration, silvered counters surrounded with a circle in rose gold colour tone 
Hands  Central hours and minutes: 18-carat rose gold, open-worked hands in the shape of double-edged swords
Central second: flat, blue colour tone
Counters at 3 and 9 o’clock: flat, blue colour tone 
Wristband Alligator  
Buckle  Triple folding clasp, polished 18-carat rose gold cover with “W” signature 
Water-resistance  30 metres 

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