Watches: DeWitt Academia Out of Time (+live pics and video)

By Thierry Ané on April 7, 2015

For its comeback to Baselworld, the DeWitt Manufacture had a lot of impressive models to showcase this year. As we visited the brand in their Meyrin workshops during the Geneva week, we were already able to offer you an in-depth presentation of the splendid Academia Grand TourbillonWatches: DeWitt Academia Grand Tourbillon (+live pics). This in-house regulator-style tourbillon model with jumping hours and minutes looks absolutely stunning in all its renditions. The silvered grid and black chapters work as well on the anthracite grey open-worked dial as the colourful green or blue chapters paired with a rose gold grid.

Today, I would like to draw our readers’ attention to another magnificent member of the Academia collection, albeit in its re-designed interpretation. Indeed, the new “Academia Out of Time” features the 42.5 mm rose gold case with a more classical slightly convex bezel and the brand’s trademark imperial columns in black rubber on the case band only. The grooved crown with the “W” signature that also appears on the triple folding buckle remains an important detail of this brand’s unique aesthetic.

As you can imagine with a watch bearing such a provocative name, the “Academia Out of Time” offers some new and exciting mechanical complications. The self-winding DW 1201 calibre developed on the manufactured DW 5051 powerhouse indeed features a dual representation of the passage of time. With the use of ingenious modules also designed, developed, and assembled at the Manufacture, this intriguing timepiece opposes “dead-beat seconds” and “flying time” as it states so boldly above the two rose gold circles positioned at 4:30 and 7:30 respectively.

On the aperture located at 4:30, a leaf-shaped rose gold hand gives you an accurate measure of time as it rotates one tick at the time. This dead-beat seconds complication was indeed used on most marine chronometers to allow for an accurate reading of the time and is undoubtedly a sought-after complication for seasoned watch connoisseurs.

The second register positioned at 7:30 offers the watch owner a much more poetic vision of the course of time. There, a disc featuring black and white dots sweeps continuously under a black perforated surface and creates a much smoother evolution of the seconds. The visual contrast between these two endless rotations is utterly mesmerising. One can hardly comprehend it takes exactly the same time for both systems to complete a rotation.

Three versions of this “Academia Out of Time” have been introduced, all of them sharing the same rose gold case but with different dial renditions and strap colours. The watch is first available in a sober yet extremely elegant version featuring a black lacquer dial and matching alligator strap. Black and rose gold is a tried and tested combination and this watch would look great in all occasions.

If your watch collection already includes too many timekeepers with such conventional colour schemes, the DeWitt Manufacture also presented two more assertive design variations: a blue lacquer model also mounted on black alligator and a version pairing white lacquer with burgundy alligator. The blue hue of the former is extremely gorgeous and adds a nice youthful touch while the colour scheme of the latter creates a truly interesting neo-vintage look. This is clearly the version I would go for even though I would be delighted to wear this stunning watch in any rendition.

On all models, the brand used their signature open-worked hands in the shape of double-edged swords. The gorgeous “DeWitt” gold appliqué at 12 o’clock and the combination of both Arabic and Roman numerals are additional design codes shared with the rest of the Academia collection. On the back of the watch, a sapphire crystal lets you admire the superlative finishing of the DW 1201 movement as well as the beauty of its skeleton oscillating weight proudly bearing the “W” signature.

Priced at CHF 52,000, the “Academia Out of Time” is an extremely refined piece of Fine Watchmaking but it also represents a truly innovative approach to Horology: it uses mechanical complications to question the way we grasp time itself. Not only does it represent a nice talking piece, it is also simply fascinating to look at.

For more information please visit the DeWitt web site.