The Pre-Raphaelites of 19th century Victorian England were considered as the pioneers of first avant-garde movement in art. Their beautiful celebration of Woman, Romanticism and Symbolic Nature now inspires DeWitt’s new timepiece collection for women.
With the Golden Afternoon collection, Swiss watchmaker DeWitt has tried to poetically and artistically retrace the different stages in the life of a woman and her changing perceptions of the world around her. With great lightness and a touch of fantasy, the Golden Afternoon collection offers a set of mirrors to the minds and hearts of women.
The dial of the Golden Afternoon is a delicate mother of pearl garden with a gentle breeze blowing across its colourful beds of flowers. Of different dimensions and tonalities, the flowers pour out of the centre and are dispatched poetically across the dial.
In the background, a mother of pearl sky with discrete puffy clouds mingles with a dozen water lily diamonds to form a painting in which reflection is reality. The slightly “out of focus” effect reminds us of Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographic style, exceptionally powerful and evocative. The hours and minutes hands are refined little sculptures of angel wings, whereas the seconds hand, thin and elegant, is topped with a little flame. On the lower left part of the dial, a small DeWitt logo gently floats across the sky.
The Golden Afternoon is a purely feminine 39 mm timepiece housing an automatic calibre with 42 hours power reserve. A classical feature of most DeWitt watches, the imperial columns were redesigned for the Golden Afternoon collection and illustrate feminine finesse. They can also be seen as twelve little doors opening up onto a beautiful garden, just as the many doors that Alice faced down in the Rabbit hole.
The bezel is decorated with 84 brilliant-cut diamonds (~ 1.02 Cts) regularly positioned by groups of seven between each column. The delicate central wristband “attaches” are set with another 48 brilliant-cut diamonds (~ 0.34 Cts). As for the crown, it was also redesigned into softer shapes and is decorated with a blue sapphire or a ruby cabochon. A golden pin buckle, polished and with a fine engraving of the DeWitt logo provides additional finesse to the finishing.
Models: DeWitt Golden Afternoon Collection
Rose Gold & Chocolate Mother Of Pearl (Ref: Nl.LS.53.L002): A very joyful and colourful combination of tonalities, with chocolate mother of pearl sky, salmon and white mother of pearl flowers. Fresh colours and pure feminity with 146 brilliant-cut diamonds for a total of ~ 1,404 carats.
White Gold & White Mother Of Pearl (Ref: Nl.LS.48.L003): A very bright and clean face, full of purity and innocence on which salmon and white mother of pearl flowers compose a balanced floral arrangement. 146 brilliant-cut diamonds for a total of ~ 1,404 carats.
White Gold & Black Mother Of Pearl (Ref: Nl.MS.48.L004): This slightly more mature combination of tonalities presents a very interesting contrast of white gold and black mother of pearl. It reminds us of Rossetti’s “Day dream” (1880) painting, a celebration of controlled female sensuality, blending beauty and mystery. The woman depicted is not a passive beauty, but a powerful beauty, full of intensity. The flowers on the dial are of black and salmon mother of pearl.This version of the Golden Afternoon is additionally set with four rubies on the dial and 152 brilliant-cut diamonds on the side of the case (~ 0.81 Cts). The crown is also finely decorated with 24 brilliant-cut diamonds of three different diameters (~ 0.07 Cts). This declination therefore displays a total 322 diamonds (~ 2,34 Cts).
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 42 hours
Rotor: DeWitt’s design
Vibrations: 28’800 A/h
Balance: 3-armed, made in Glucydur
Escapement: 510 angle of lift
Jewelling: 21 jewels
Soft setting (rose gold): NL.LS.53.L002 (ETA 2892)
Soft setting (white gold): NL.LS.48.L003 (ETA 2892)
Medium setting (white gold): NL.MS.48.L004 (ETA 2892)
Full setting (white gold): NL.FS.48.L001 (ETA 2892)
Round-shaped, adorned with slender feminine imperial columns on the flanks
Material: 18-carat white or rose gold
Diameter: 39 mm
Total thickness: 9,28 mm
Crown: 18-carat white or rose gold polished crown adorned with a blue sapphire or a ruby cabochon
Case back: Engraved and secured with screws
Water-resistance: 30 meters
Mother of pearl background sky with mother of pearl flowers of different sizes and tonalities pouring out of the centre and dispatched across the dial.
Hours and Minutes: refined little sculptures in the shape of angel wings.
Seconds: thin and elegant and topped with a small flame.
Alligator leather or satin in different colour tonalities
Buckle: 18-carat white or rose gold pin buckle, polished and engraved with the DeWitt logo.
It was in the mid-XIXth century Victorian England, a group of English painters, poets and critics, known as the Pre-Raphaelites, formed a brotherhood celebrating woman, romanticism and symbolic nature. Dissatisfied with what was taught and exhibited at the Royal Academy, they wanted to return to a more direct and honest artistic expression, with abundant details, intense colours and complex compositions.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti was one of the driving forces behind this circle of artists and wished to reinforce the links between romantic poetry and art. Rossetti’s emphasis was on brilliance of colour and the women he portrayed often symbolized the creative power of Nature. ‘The Daydream’ (1880) is a celebration of controlled female sensuality, blending feminine beauty and mystery. The woman is not a passive beauty, but a powerful beauty, full of intensity.
Another artist that was greatly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites was Julia Margaret Cameron, rightly recognised as one of the most influential figures from the early days of portrait photography and that became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time. In her photography, Cameron strove to capture beauty and had the amazing gift of always ‘arresting’ the personalities of her subjects, achieving to depict their emotional state in her photos.
She rapidly developed her unique style of photographic portraiture, slightly out of focus and deliberately gauzy, in order to emphasise the emotional dimension of her subjects in an often highly allegorical way. The gentle melancholy of her portraits is irresistible, and for many remains unsurpassed even to this day in the world of photography. Her associations with artists from the Pre-Raphaelite school brought her to meet Charles Dodgson, another passionate photographer of the time and better known under the name of Lewis Carroll. Dodgson had often used Alice Liddell (the inspiration for his Alice stories) as a child portrait subject for his photographs.
Later, Cameron also recognised in Alice the perfect Pre-Raphaelite model and used her in her photographic allegory of Alethea, the Greek goddess of truth. Julia Margaret Cameron had a truly artistic approach to photography in which she followed her own instincts, freed from all Victorian rules and conventions.