SIHH 2018: DeWitt Academia Endless Drive. The Watch with the Helical Screw at the Center of the Dial.

A huge comeback for DeWitt after presenting at the SIHH 2018 for the very first time. The new DeWitt Academia Endless Drive reveals an original design, consistent with the strong and distinct character of DeWitt creations, with an endless screw as the dial’s signature element. This rotating endless screw is a nod to automotive mechanics, which has been the field of inspiration to the brand's founder, Count Jérôme de Witt. With the thread on the screw in one unidirectional direction, the endless screw creates an irreversible rotation that serves as an allegory for time itself. Through both aesthetics and function, the model forms a new addition to DeWitt's series of watch creations with strong and distinct character.

About the Watch

As usual, the Geneva based Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie innovates and offers a winding mechanism that confers an unusual movement to the helical screw, which is linked to the power reserve’s winding system. More precisely, the model features two degrees of freedom. As the 59-hour power reserve decreases, the screw rotates and reveals a red indicator. When the barrel is wound, the screw slides on its longitudinal axis showing a green indicator at 12 o'clock.

The timepiece’s prowess lies in the design idea's materialization, which honors the endless screw mechanism, animated in a decidedly unique way. The Geneva-based Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie’s teams of engineers and master watchmakers adapted the standard DeWitt 5050 automatic movement, entirely developed, produced and assembled by hand in order to give life to a model with shocking allure.

Fitted with a handcrafted matte black galvanic dial the time is not indicated in a conventional way as this is not conventional timepiece. The hours and minutes are indicated with two silvered white discs with black imprints and 5N gold surrounds located at 9 and 3 o’clock respectively. These discs rotate around a black fixed gear-shaped piece labeled 'Hours' and 'Minutes' and a triangular marker in 5N gold indicates the corresponding time.

The Case

The round case in 18K rose gold measures 42.5 mm in diameter and is exquisitely finished in a combination of high polished areas and grain finish on the side of the lugs. Giving the watch a sportier look and a little bit less classic, the case creates an interplay of contrasting effects through the combination 18K rose gold and a black rubber inlay. This black rubber inlay, subtly recreates the famous imperial column motif —the distinctive signature of the brand— with the symbol of the Emperor Napoleon I. Additionally, two small "W" signatures are also found on the crown and on the buckle. The watch is water resistant to 30 meters.

The Movement

Based off of the DeWitt 5050 automatic movement, the calibre DW1653 powering the new DeWitt Academia Endless Drive is composed of 320 parts and 39 jewels to provide a power reserve of 59 hours while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph. The movement is nicely finished but not as nice as we would've expected for a watch with such a price tag.

On the Wrist & Pricing

The new DeWitt Academia Endless Drive is delivered on a black satin calf skin leather strap with triple folding clasp in 18K rose gold. The watch wears true to its size and perhaps one millimeter bigger or so. The wrist presence is unparalleled with its very unique helical screw at the center of the dial. This is for sure a new watch that gets DeWitt back in the game and a timepiece that we are confident will do very well.

Sticker Price $46,500 USD. For more info on DeWitt click here.