Montres DeWitt is a fairly young brand. Established only in 2003, it is still in its infancy. The lack of “heritage” doesn’t keep them from making one stunning collection after another. At the beginning of 2009, the brand has introduced yet another series of great-looking models that feature even more mature design. With its charismatic gearwheel-shaped case and swords-shaped hour and minute hands, the DeWitt Academia Seconde Retrograde Serenity (refs. AC.1102.48.M030 & AC.1102.53.M040) looks like it belongs to the dark world of The Equilibrium.
Unlike most recently introduced brands, Montres DeWitt belongs to an exclusive club of manufacturers producing their own sophisticated movements independently of the omnipresent ETA SA and its numerous smaller rivals that are always busy biting pieces of the pie here and there without delivering any real value to their customers. Regretfully, not all of their calibers are made in-house, even though they often feature extremely extensive levels of modification, the young brand still often needs to use a “donor” as a base for their complications.
This particular model, for example, is powered by their new Calibre DW1102 automatic movement, which is a cousin of the caliber that we’ve already seen in the original Academia Seconde Retrograde series that was first presented back in 2007 and received its share of compliments from both experts and enthusiasts.
Built on 21 jewels and beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, this mechanism is claimed to be an in-house job but is based on the ETA 2892-A2 ebauche with a complication module designed by Agenhor -a Swiss-based, privately owned company that makes money developing all sorts of complications for premium brands that lack competence and know-how to make their own- and some minor improvements.
The caliber, for example, features a flat balance spring made of Glucydur, an alloy of copper, beryllium, and iron, which is known for its anti-magnetic properties and particularly low coefficient of thermal expansion.
The movement has a pretty standard power reserve of 42 hours, which, taking into account the mechanisms slightly expanded functionality, is not that bad.
Although the Serenity features the same basic layout as the original Seconde Retrograde line, stylistically it is completely different.
The twelve Arabic numerals are replaced with only four Roman numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock.
The retrograde-seconds indicator looks more like a speedometer from the BMW Mini, and the slide-ruler on its dial comes in perfect harmony with the gearwheel-shaped bezel giving the watch even more industrial look.
The whole assembly comes packed into a finely crafted rose gold or white gold case. Around 43 millimeters in diameters and 12.10 mm thick, it is not particularly large but is remarkably thin, which makes the Serenity more comfortable to wear compared to other “sporty” timekeepers out there.
Currently, the collection is shipped on a natural matt black alligator leather strap, but would also look nice on a black rubber band.
In its press release, DeWitt says that the Serenity will be a limited edition model, but doesn’t clarify, how many timepieces they plan to sell.
Photos: Montres DeWitt
DeWitt Academia Seconde Retrograde Serenity (ref. AC.1102.53.M040) specification
Price: $27,999 (Retail)
Movement: Calibre DW1102, automatic, 28,800 vph, 21 jewels, Swiss Made
Complications: Retrograde seconds
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: White gold (ref. AC.1102.48.M030) or Rose gold (ref. AC.1102.53.M040)
Size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Alligator leather strap with rose or white gold folding clasp