DeWitt Academia Mathematical

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It’s very rare that you hear a watchmaking story like that of the watchmaker Jérôme de Witt, who was a direct descendant of the infamous political leader and military tactician, Emperor Napoléon. DeWitt founded his eponymous watch manufacturer in 2003, inspired by his vision of creating intricate and skilfully wrought complications, which reflected the refined tradition of watchmaking. Though the company began as the brainchild of one man has since become a collective adventure, empowered by the founders heritage and his inherent interest in history, which he saw as a source of abundance wealth, not strictly in monetary terms (although of course that is a part of it), but rather in the way that it could confer wisdom.

This particular model, called the DeWitt Academia Mathematical, was first showcased at the Baselworld Show in 2015. It was hand-assembled with particular focus being placed on the fascinating dial, which brings the turn of each hour and minute to life, using chaotic wheels of whirring, jumping numbers. The time can be discerned, with a fair amount of difficultly, using two vertically aligned apertures that occupy the upper half of the smoky sapphire crystal. The mechanism that is visible through the sapphire runs using four notched wheels, each with its own elegant gilt numerals, used to record four-digit decimal time. In total the timepiece is made up of 384 little pieces that  a movement based on the current DeWitt Manufacture automatic calibre. Every individual component was adapted and developed in-house, just as all the watches are hand-assembled by DeWitt’s expert team.

Furthermore, it features a screwed balance and a classical gear train that naturally displays hours and minutes, as well as jumping hours, and runs with a power reserve that lasts up to 48 hours. There’s also the addition of a Cotes de Geneve patterned caseback, stylish leather strap with a folding buckle and an elegant watch face, framed by a round, rose gold and rubber casing marked with the brands emblem. This is the fourth in a series of concept watches created by DeWitt. It’s certainly a unique creation, although perhaps you might be slightly put off to know that it costs between $185,000 – $225,000.

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Originality 8.3
Movement5.7
Style4.4
Quality9.3
You can't deny that fact that DeWitt are always going to craft high-end, quality timepieces, determined to push the envelope in terms of innovation. However, the question we had to ask ourselves was whether we thought this outlandish aesthetic worked, with the cluttered, unconventional watch face. In the end we decided that his particularly mad design didn't float our boat. It's really a matter of preference though.
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