You know us, here at Monochrome-Watches. We just can’t help ourselves when it comes to the appeal for non-classical horology. It’s especially true when it comes to unusual displays, meaning watches that tells times not with 2 or 3 classical hands but with… well, anything that are not hands. Liquids, discs, satellites… we love all ‘other displays‘. For this reason, we had a strong interest in a brand we don’t usually cover and for a special watch, the DeWitt Academia Mathematical a.k.a Concept Watch No. 4.
The main attraction of the DeWitt Academia Mathematical is its apparent chaos of numbers and discs. Don’t expect its dial to be as rigorous and balanced as a Lange Zeitwerk. Instead, it comes with 4 independent discs that are displaying the time information’s in a very strange but, in the end, legible way. As time is usually identify by 4 numbers (xx:xx), this watch is composed of 4 totally autonomous jumping numerals that are enlightened in the central axis of the dial.
From an aperture at 12, on the very top part of the dial, we can read the hours. The first numeral is displayed by a small jumping disc with only 0 and 1. The other number that composes the hours is a large disc showing numerals from 0 to 9. Below the hour aperture sits the minutes, also displayed by 2 discs, one graduated from 0 to 5 and the other graduated from 0 to 9. Thanks to that, time is easily readable in a digital way – but be reassured, this is all mechanical. The 4 numeral are not printed on discs but part of the discs themselves, as you can see through the tinted sapphire plate upon the dial. From this apparent chaos appears an easily readable timing indication.
The DeWitt Academia Mathematical comes in reasonably sized (42.5mm x 11.90) case made of 18k rose gold – for the bezel, lugs, caseback – and the intermediate ring are made of blackened titanium, adorned with an ‘imperial column’ pattern – the key element of all the DeWitt creations. The bezel is adorned with (unfortunately) a lot of literature and the brand’s logo. These inscriptions are not ruining the look of the DeWitt Academia Mathematical but their absence would have created a much more elegant and refined design. The Concept Watch No. 4 is fitted on a black alligator strap with a rose gold triple folding clasp.
Through the transparent sapphire caseback we can see a nicely finished movement. It is based on the new in-house DeWitt movement, usually made to drive classical hands but here modified here to drive the 4 jumping discs. This self-winding movement with central rotor (partially skeletonized and with the logo of the brand) is composed of 384 pieces and is assembled by hand. It shows polished bevelled angles, Geneva stripes and circular graining on the main plate. The bridges are widely open to show most of the technical elements. It ticks at 21.600bph, features a variable inertia balance-wheel and boasts 48 hours of power reserve.
Price: 188.000 Swiss Francs. More details on dewitt.ch.