Watches: DeWitt Classic Collection

By Thierry Ané on November 18, 2013

DeWitt is adding a new creation to its “Classic” line launched earlier this year. It gives me the opportunity to present this fast-growing line that already offers three different models, all of them in three different versions.

At 40 millimetres, the case of the “Classic” collection is significantly smaller than its predecessors. Oscillating between 9.60 and 10.60 millimetres depending on the model, it is also much slimmer. In my opinion, this rose gold case marks a true departure from the design cues that have made the Academia and Twenty-8-Eight lines so famous. Of course the new models remain faithful to some of DeWitt’s signature designs: the imperial columns on the case band, the engraved “W” on the fluted crown and some dial decorations like the openwork sword-shaped hands. But, what makes it so aesthetically different, though, is the polished bezel. The bezel shows no trace of the beautiful imperial columns of the Academia line or their more subtle and refine (but present nevertheless) version on the Twenty-8-Eight. Here, DeWitt loses a little of his DNA…

Is this “Classic” line benefiting from its classical, almost consensual, new design or am I wrong in thinking that they have altered DeWitt’s identity? Whatever the reason, the speed at which the line is expanding seems to indicate that there is an audience for it. With the new introductions, the line already consists of a 3-hand automatic model, a jumping hour watch and now a calendar timepiece. Let us thus present these three models in more details.

DeWitt Classic HMS Models

The HMS model is a resolutely classic watch, with extremely pure lines. Simply displaying central hours, minutes and seconds, the appeal of this understated timepiece comes from the purity of the dial design. In white, black or blue depending on the version, the sunray guilloché dial is embellished with a railway circle and 18-carat rose gold hour marker appliqués. Automatic calibre DW.HMS offers 42 hours of power reserve. The white and black versions are fitted with a black alligator strap while the blue dial model comes with a blue alligator strap for a perfect tone-on-tone effect. A diamond-set version of each model is also available.

DeWitt Classic Jumping Hour Models

With a little asymmetry and two bold intersecting counters, the Jumping Hour model is definitely more contemporary than the HMS watch. In my view, it is also closer to DeWitt’s DNA. This model houses calibre DW.HSA, a self-winding movement with a 42-hour power reserve. It indicates the hours by a disc appearing through a wide aperture at 9 o’clock in the minutes counter. The smaller counter on the right-hand side of the dial displays the seconds. The gold appliqués bring a sense of relief and depth to the sunray guilloché dial, again in black, white or blue.

DeWitt Classic Quantième Models

In addition to indicating the hours, minutes and seconds by central hands, the newly launched Quantième model is a triple calendar with the day of the week in the aperture at 11 o’clock, the month in the aperture at 2 o’clock and finally the date using a central hand. The automatic calibre DW.9000 also features a moon phase indicator at 6 o’clock. Made of mother-of-pearl, the moon is delicately placed on a “goldstone” sky. (The brand reminds us that “goldstone is a glittering glass discovered in Venice in the seventeenth century, which later developed in to the famous Murano glass”). Unlike the previous two models, the dial of the Classic Quantième is not guilloché but also comes in white, black or blue.

I am really curious to know what all of you think of this new line relative to the famous Academia and Twenty-8-Eight models. Or the other new line, the Furtive, for that matter. To me, it is not as “DeWitt” as this Academia Tourbillon Force Constante or this Twenty-8-Eight Tourbillon to only give two examples from this year's production.