With its new Twenty-8-Eight Ladies Collection (Ref. T8.AU.53.003), DeWitt keeps exploring the monumental blend of art-deco style and classical watchmaking. Like the last year’s Twenty-8-Eight Regulator A.S.W. Limited Edition Tourbillon, the new collection features a similar design of the chapter ring.
As you can see in the pictures, the four Roman numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock are visually connected with eight Arabic numerals that represent the minute track.
The theme of blends and contrasts is further supported with two guilloche zones on the dial –one in light flame pattern and the other in sunray motif– that are separated with an applied rose gold ring that, in its own turn, supports the theme of fluted bezel and sides of the case.
The sword-shaped hour and minute hands could be considered too massive for the timekeeper, but their open-worked design makes them look a trifle lighter, although –to my taste– they are still too stately (or even too imperial) for a ladies’ watch.
What I am not particularly fond of here is the choice of the caliber that animates this otherwise absolutely stunning timekeeper. While DeWitt is proud of its own ability to make their wristwatches almost completely in-house (if memory serves well, they make their own Manufacture-grade calibers, own cases, and own dials, although the straps are offered from a third-party supplier,) they for some reason decided to save some cash and used a slightly modified version of a relatively inexpensive mass-produced mechanism that you would usually find in a $500 watch.
According to the corporate press release, the new Twenty-8-Eight Ladies (Ref. T8.AU.53.003) is powered by a self-winding DWT8AU movement, which is based on nothing more impressive than the omnipresent ETA 2892 blank caliber and is equipped with their own oscillating weight.
Yes, I understand that the ETA 2892 is a great mechanism that combines good reliability with adequate ability to keep good time in most circumstances. I am even sure that the movement was probably rigorously tested and adjusted in all the necessary positions to make sure that your expensive timekeeper works as it is supposed to. Still, an in-house caliber would be a more appropriate choice for a timekeeper that costs like a family sedan.
The movement is encased in a rather massive round rose gold case 43.00 mm in diameter and only 10.28 millimeters in height.
It is perfectly visible through a transparent display case-back, which is covered with a sapphire crystal.
The T8.AU.53.003 is going to be officially unveiled next month during the Baselworld 2011 show.
DeWitt Twenty-8-Eight Ladies in Rose Gold (Ref. T8.AU.53.003) specification
Price: $25,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber DWT8AU, based on ETA 2892, 28,800 vph, 21 jewels, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Rotor designed by DeWitt
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Rose gold
Size: 43.00 mm
Lug width: 21.00 mm
Case height: 10.28 mm
Dial: Chocolate brown, two guilloche zones
Numerals: Arabic and Roman
Hands: Rose gold, skeletonized
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Brown alligator leather with 18-karat rose gold pin buckle, polished, engraved “W” signature
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective