We’ve seen a lot of premieres at BaselWorld this year, where innovation and great ideas didn’t lack at all. Montres DeWitt also presented a novelty, his first manufacture movement, in steel and yellow gold. He has driven all of his experience and knowledge into creating the DW8028 calibre which is used at the new Twenty-8-Eight Tourbillon.
The intricate mechanism of DeWitt Twenty-8-Eight Tourbillion Squelette is fully skeletonised, as the name states, comprising 185 parts and a 43 x 10.78 mm round case decked in 18-carat rose gold. The Haute Joallierie version will be coated in white gold, though.
Concerning the technique of the mechanism we mention the 44 degree angle escapement, variable inertia-balance and 18’000 A/h. It also boasts a 72-hour power reserve. All of this manually-wound tourbillion is produced in-house, featuring Straumann Hairspring with Philips terminal curve crafted of an anti-magnetic, non-oxidizing, self-compensating and extremely resistant allot, plus a Swiss anchor escapement, being sequenced at 2.5 Hz.
There’s a large dose of precision to this timepiece, the flat rolling of the Hairspring (0,0001 mm) ensuring this. Large amounts of 18-carat gold are found here too, on the anchor and escape wheel. What diferentiates this watch from all other skeletons and alike are its durability and sturdiness.
All others were stripped out of parts as much as possible, while the current one has remained deliberately strong, with a case-design sculpted in 48 columns – this is actually one of DeWitt’s signatures. The imperial columns boast their own historical meaning, Jerome DeWitt, the founder of Montres DeWitt being actually a descendant of King Leopold II of Belgium, as well as a distant descendent of Napoleon’s brother – King Jérôme of Westphalia.
The whole watch represents a designer’s dream and independence, his mind floating in the rivers of knowledge – we see this within the curves, straight lines and circles of the magnificent watch. The sand-brushed nickel silver base with black gold surface finishing, a yellow-gold inscription mentioning the caliber and the carved main plate make us wonder how far elegance can go. In addition, the “W” mark at 9 o’clock definitely managed to capture our sight. The same logo gets duplication on the lower part of the movement, creating a sensation of volume.
Overall, what catches our attention the most is the mechanism itself. The ticking parts and the rotating tourbillion raise the hair on our spines with the Art Decó Bridge that holds them in place. Furthermore, the 12 o’clock position is skeletonised as well, revealing the heart of the gadget.
The visible barrel got its influences from vintage car steering wheels; during the turning of the barrel, with the unwinding spring, we notice a beautiful interaction between the stems of the lower part and the ones from the upper part, elegantly flowing on top of each other.
In fact, there’s more than beauty, elegance and innovation to this DeWitt manufacture. It simply represents the ongoing time.