Characterised by exclusivity, and high-quality craftsmanship, every DeWitt Manufacture timepiece is crafted with a nod to traditional watchmaking techniques. At the heart of the company is its entrepreneurial founder Count Jérôme de Witt, who continually inspires his small team to set new standards in horology through the development of innovative mechanisms. The pioneering spirit of the DeWitt Manufacture is demonstrated through their ground-breaking Concept timepieces.
Sometimes, when two talented individuals from different disciplines combine their talents, something extraordinary occurs. The DeWitt Concept WX-1 watch is the result of just such a mergence.
For this Concept piece, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, an architect who understands the process of ensuring success through the formality of mathematics and analytical design, converged his skills with Jérôme de Witt a self-confessed lover of all things mechanical who is well-known for his unconventional creativity.
Together they created an astonishing time measuring machine quite unlike any other. Styled to be strapped to the wrist, the Concept WX-1 indicates the hours and minutes like a traditional watch but that is where the similarity ends. By referencing the design of modern planes, cars and speedboats infused with Steampunk elements, this impressive time-piece is as much a miniature work of contemporary art as it is a functional, accurate wristwatch.
Futuristic and impressive from every angle, the piece has an immediate wrist presence, thanks to its generous proportions. However, clever use of titanium and aluminium, used throughout its construction, makes the WX-1 unexpectedly ergonomic.
The time indication is via the use of two rotating discs. The first, showing the minutes, turns in a clockwise direction, while the hours display turns counter-clockwise. An ingenious gear system mounted on six runners was designed to create this aesthetically unique and beautiful arrangement. Time-setting is via the protruding crown at 3 o’clock.
The panorama of the impressive mechanical hand-wound movement, which gives this piece power, is only revealed when its enclosure, or “hood”, slides forwards and is therefore entirely at its owners discretion.
Here, a parallel going train with five barrels enables a 21-day (approximately 504-hour) power reserve. As aesthetically impressive as it is complex, the unusual architecture which make up this “competitive racing” engine – the barrels, gear train, tourbillon carriage, power-reserve indicator and winding device –are all arranged neatly in vertical order. The mainplate and bridges are constructed from aluminium-lithium alloy so, despite its generous proportions, the movement itself weighs no more than 27 grams.
On the back of the case at the cuff-side, sit two cylindrical chimneys, one which represents the skill of the Master Watchmaker, the other which characterises the avant-garde personality of this timepiece. The first showcases the animated finesse of a vertical flying tourbillon with a carriage performing one revolution per minute.
Housed within the other is the winding system of the WX-1. This device, which can be extracted from its recess by activating a bolt placed between the two cylindrical openings, serves to wind the watch. An electronically-driven tool specially developed for this object serves to wind the five barrels in a few dozen seconds. This unique high-tech instrument has a 90-minute running time when fully charged. Rotating at 60 revs per minute and featuring a torque of 10 Newton/millimetre, it is powered by a lithium battery and enables the user to wind the five WX-1 barrels in just a few seconds, by means of a vertical switch. It can be recharged by a wall charger or by the USB socket on the back of the tool. Purists may prefer to manually wind their WX-1 and this is made possible by using a second tool supplied with the watch.
With this design, DeWitt have blended art, science and watchmaking to create an unconventional, provocative timepiece. Although ultimately complex, the WX-1 Concept also possesses rarity and beauty, and it stands apart as a tribute to the skills of fine watchmaking of the past, while resolutely pushing the boundaries of what is possible now, and for the future.