Transparency and precision might be the stated aims of DeWitt’s new Twenty-8-Eight Skeleton Tourbillon high jewellery watch, but the effect of this new piece puts it firmly in the astonishment basket.
As DeWitt describes it, the timepiece’s skeletonised movement uses age-old, and highly reliable technical parameters in its construction, which for the buffs means 18,000 Vph, a variable-inertia balance, a 44° angle escapement and a 72-hour power reserve.
Produced in-house, this manually wound tourbillon is equipped with a Swiss anchor escapement and a Straumann Hairspring® with a Phillips terminal curve made from an unbreakable, self-compensating, non-oxidising, anti-magnetic alloy sequenced at 2.5 Hz.
According to DeWitt, “The perfect homogeneity and incredibly precise flat rolling of the hairspring (0.0001 mm) give the mechanism extremely high precision.”
If that’s reassuring, the brand makes a wonderful admission: “The Twenty-8-Eight Skeleton Tourbillon does not intend to compete with the ultra-skinny and fragile skeleton movements where as much material as possible has been removed. The architecture of DeWitt’s skeleton remains decidedly strong and is therefore very well balanced with the design of the case which features 48 imperial columns – a typical feature of practically all DeWitt masterpieces.”
Indeed the carved-out main plate – a sand-blasted nickel silver base with black gold surface finishing and a yellow gold inscription of the calibre reference – is a labyrinth of curves, circles and straight lines which reveals a skeletonised “W” logo positioned at 9 o’clock.
The barrel, positioned at 12 o’clock, is also skeletonised in order to reveal the interior of the motor. The shape given to the open-worked barrel was inspired by the design of vintage car steering wheels. As the barrel drum gently turns with the unwinding of the spring, the upper stems of this “vintage” wheel glide over the stems of the lower part in an interesting play on layers.
As if that’s not enough, on the interior side of the bezel a diamond-polished ‘wall’ in 18-carat rose gold surrounds the movement above the skeletonised section, decorated by four more “W” logos. The main plate, bridges, wheels and even miniature screws are angled, polished, satin-brushed and finished by hand.
Finally, the Twenty-8-Eight Skeleton Tourbillon is housed in a 43 mm gold case set with 36 baguette-cut diamonds and 96 brilliant-cut diamonds. Each watch is entirely hand-assembled, adjusted and tested by a single master watchmaker.
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