The upcoming Baselworld 2011 international trade show is still months away, but the media offense by major Swiss-based brands is already in full swing. DeWitt, of course, is not an exception here. Together with the new Twenty-8-Eight Regulator A.S.W. Limited Edition (Ref. T8.TH.53.004), DeWitt is going to present the new hand-wound Twenty-8-Eight Tourbillon (Ref. T8.TH.53.004) that will be available both in white and rose gold.
It’s interesting that, unlike many other independent manufacturers, DeWitt can actually afford using different mechanisms to power their timekeepers, although I have the impression that their calibers use a lot of common components to cut costs and streamline the development process. Anyway, while the gorgeous DeWitt Regulator A.S.W. mentioned above is powered by the DW 8014 automatic movement with a ring-shaped peripheral oscillating weight, the new DeWitt Twenty-8-Eight Tourbillon comes equipped with a more sober DW8028 hand-wound movement.
Introduced earlier last year (for some reason that I, frankly, was not able to grasp, DeWitt prefers to call it “historical,” perhaps, it has something to do with its archaic design that is intentional, too) this relatively slow-beating caliber (its balance makes only 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour: something that you may expect from an early 20th century pocket watch, not from a modern timekeeper that costs like a fully-loaded Porsche 911) runs on 19 jewels and comprises 185 hand-crafted components.
Designed and assembled solely in-house, the movement is decorated by hand with inevitable Cotes de Geneve motif and all the usual embellishments that include beveled edges on all parts of the mechanism that are large enough to have their edges beveled, expertly polished screw heads, and painstakingly executed inscriptions.
Stylistically, the device is close to its younger brother.
The dial sports a nice-looking mix of Roman (for the hour marks) and Arabic (for the minutes) numerals applied to the circular rhodium-plated applique that sports the same sunray pattern as the rest of the black-colored dial.
The art-deco-styled grille looks like a front end of a 1930s steam engine, counterbalancing the huge opening that embraces the tourbillon carriage.
Although the exterior may look a trifle ponderous to some, it perfectly completes its primary objective: to make the Twenty-8-Eight Tourbillon as easily recognizable as possible.
The only flaw that I see here is the pair of “children” appliques at 3 and 9 o’clock. From where I sit, they look redundant.
DeWitt Twenty-8-Eight Tourbillon in Rose Gold (Ref. T8.TH.53.004) specification
Movement: Hand-wound, caliber DW8028, 18,000 vph, 19 jewels, 33.00 mm x 7.45 mm, 185 parts, in-house, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Decorated by hand
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 72 hours
Case: 18-karat rose gold
Size: 43.00 mm
Lug width: 21.00 mm
Case height: 10.28 mm
Numerals: Arabic and Roman
Hands: Sword-shaped, open-worked, rose gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Alligator leather strap with a triple-blade folding clasp in rose gold; polished, engraved “W” signature
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective