DeWitt is a celebrated atelier, well-known in the modern luxury timepiece-collecting world. They often create complicated movements, with simple, appealing, and classic designs. Plus, they are known as masters of innovation in the watchmaking world. DeWitt traces its roots to founder Jerome DeWitt. A direct descendant of French Emperor Napolean Bonaparte, the horologist initially founded his company in 2003 in Geneva. Since the inception of the company, over 400 watches have been made and dozens of designs have been patented.
Plus, DeWitt’s appreciation of automotive features often have an influence on the designs of their watches. One of the newest watches from the DeWitt Academia line is the DeWitt Academia Endless Drive. It offers a few cool mechanical touches (more on this later) and is a great addition to the DeWitt portfolio. The watch is minimalistic in a way, but brings new ideas to the floor that haven’t yet been seen in mechanical watches.
This watch from DeWitt comes in at about 42.5mm, an average size for a luxury watch of this type. It has a good look on one’s wrist without being overbearing, and includes the imperial column motif that all DeWitt watches are known for. Plus, there is a sapphire crystal over the dial allowing easy, clear viewing of the readouts inside. The case itself is made of pink gold, with significant portions constructed of black rubber. This offers excellent contrast for the outer ring of the watch, which almost seems to glow. It is also water-resistant to 3 atm – so you’ll never break it, even by submerging it. Well, unless you do it intentionally.
The Dial and Screw
The first thing that will catch your eye on the DeWitt Academia Endless Drive is the worm screw that runs directly up the center of the watch. It is a power reserve meter, with a small section of the screw slowly revealing a red color (rather than green) as the stored tension of the watch begins to run out. It’s like a mechanical “battery” meter. There are two discs located on either side of the watch that tell the hours and minutes, respectively. They are white, and thus provide excellent contrast with the black, galvanic dial that was handcrafted in-house by this atelier. There are no hands on the watch – the discs themselves rotate in order to display the correct time.
The movement is a modified DeWitt caliber 5050, and was custom-created and patented in-house. It can store up to 59 hours of power, and is made up of an astonishing 320 parts. 39 of them are jewels. Plus, you can watch this movement in action through the caseback of the watch, which offers a cutaway view of the mechanism. The helical screw is also worth mentioning. As it goes through its 12-hour cycle, and slowly reveals the red bar, it is actually sliding down. It will continue to until it reaches the bottom, at which point it runs out of power. As the crown is rotated, it will go back up consistently until it has reached the top level of the green again. The caseback is engraved with the DeWitt logo, alongside a few other words along the rose gold edge. It is truly a work of art – not only does it provide an excellent view of the mechanism, and flawless contrast with the rest of the watch, it does so with an elegant aesthetic sense.
The strap on the DeWitt Academia Endless Drive is a smooth calfskin leather strap. It’s a great color for this watch, and makes it fit with just about anything. Plus, the 18K gold buckle, featuring the DeWitt logo, ties the whole timepiece together. The juxtaposition of black, and gold, and black again provides a nice effect, and great contrast for the power meter and hour and minute discs.
The DeWitt Academia Endless Drive is a great choice for the discerning watch collector. It comes in at a steep price of about $40,000. However, when you consider the excellent attention to detail and revolutionary mechanisms used in the watch, it is an investment worth making that could pay off one day. And if it doesn’t, you’ll still have a fantastic watch to hold on to for many years.
Overall, the DeWitt Academia Endless Drive is a pretty solid watch. It has great aesthetic sense and a minimalistic appeal, and would go well with anyone’s style. Plus, the ingrained mechanical power meter is a cool feature that you don’t see in many other places. All in all, if you have the money this is a good choice of timepiece for any collection.