There’s pretty much no getting away from it; the timepieces which DeWitt manufacture in their state of the art facility in Meyrin are about as subtle as a fox in a hen house. Always instantly recognisable with their never subdued styling, even the DeWitt logo itself is a forceful statement which exudes an aura of power and dominance and which on the face of it, is not completely out of character as the Company owner, Jérome DeWitt is a man with royal blood coarsing through his veins and a a direct genealogical lineage which includes many of Europe’s most famous (and infamous) historic royals, rulers and characters, up to and including Napoleon himself!
Little wonder then that a watch brand from such an illustrious stable would be famed for its styling which would not have been out of place in the palaces and grand state bulidings M. DeWitts’ predecessors would have been familiar with. However much all of this pomp and ceremony is part of what Montres DeWitt are all about, there is another side; because under the tutelage of its charismatic owner, the manufacture produce some of the most technically accomplished and aesthetically daring timepieces to be found anywhere.
The new Montres DeWitt Twenty-8-Eight Skeleton Tourbillon made its debut this month and is the latest addition to the Twenty-8-Eight collection which first saw daylight back in 2010 and like its forebears, it is a kaléidoscopic fusion of detail and finesse with practically every available surface – whether exposed or hidden amid the recesses of the DW8028 manually wound manufacture movement – carved away to its barest form to create a complex metallic maze which at the same time pulses and ticks hypnotically as it draws you deep into its heart and towards the magnificent tourbillon with 18Kt yellow gold balance and escapement wheel and pallets.
The Twenty-8-Eight comes in a 43mm titanium case and sports the DeWitt signature columns around its flanks, which contribute considerable overall presence, even if they are slightly less pronounced than on previous DeWitt collections. The large crown continues the columns theme and elsewhere the case has new refined lugs which contribute to a more ergonomic and comfortable feel on the wrist.
There will be two versions of the Twenty-8-Eight with a choice of a bare metal or chocolate PVD treatment options to consider. The former features contrasting brushed, grained and polished external surfaces, and within a pair of blue heat-oxidised hands very much compliment the almost stark backdrop of meticulously skeletonised plates, bridges and even the open worked barrel. On the Chocolate version, the use of gold hands and a gold barrel nestling just beneath the open dial provides a tantalising contrast.
Where skeletonisation is often an exercise in delicacy, here it is not: the effect is industrial rather than fragile and works really well on a piece whose chunky appearance belies the painstaking effort put into the creation of each component, manufactured and finished by hand to the very highest standards.
Both pieces are presented on alligator leather and are secured to the wrist with the use of a titanium tang buckle. Sticker Price £120,000.