This year, Swiss luxury watch maker DeWitt enhances its Academia line of iconic Tourbillon masterpieces with a new member: The Academia Tourbillon Impérial, a mechanical, manually-wound highly complicated masterpiece featuring a Tourbillon, a Split-Seconds Chronograph (“rattrapante”), a Moon Phase and a Date. The balance wheel, made of Glucydur, beats at a rhythm of 21’600 A./h (3Hz) and the escapement is of Swiss anchor type.
The Chronograph with “rattrapante” function mechanism consists of two superimposed chronograph hands that can simultaneously perform an unlimited number of timing and split-timing operations. This exceptional mechanism is equipped with a two column wheel system which ensures reliable and accurate control of the two chronograph functions. The first column wheel is activated when the chronograph is turned on; the second column wheel is activated when pressing the “rattrapante” push-piece located on the crown. The suspension of time is enabled through a large yet very stylish a clamp in the shape of crab claws which embraces the “rattrapante” wheel as it patiently waits for the signal to squeeze it tight. The clamp is activated by pressing on the push-piece located on the crown.
The finishing and decoration of the black gold movement is a true work of art on which the rose gold of the balance and of the wheels beautifully stands out. The rear bridge of the Tourbillon is to be observed carefully as it features a special engraving in the shape of a Lotus flower. A divine symbol in many Asian traditions, the Lotus represents elegance, delicacy, perfection and purity. The Lotus flower decoration intentionally exhibits softly curved lines which confers it a unique Art Nouveau touch. The intricacies and complexity of the movement therefore open up onto a graceful flower which floats above the rest of the movement in a serene meditation.
The dial of the Academia Tourbillon Impérial is where all the different dimensions of time come to life in a wonderful ballet. In the upper part of the dial, the main attraction is obviously at 11 o’clock, where a window opens up onto the Tourbillon mechanism gently floating in circles. The Tourbillon bridge is decorated with a beautiful sapphire in its centre. The window itself is finely decorated with a couple of sun beams that give to the beating heart an additional radiating effect. In the background, a Côtes de Genève decoration in a chocolate-brown tonality offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Running across the centre of the dial from 3 to 9 o’clock is an 18K rose gold applique with two Arc de Triomphe-like arches embracing the watches’ sub-dials. A white mother-of-pearl 30 minutes chronograph counter at 3 o’clock and a white mother-of-pearl 60 seconds counter at 9 o’clock. All numerals are in dark chocolate-brown and are printed manually within DeWitt’s fully integrated dial-making unit.
Last but not least, the calendar and the moon-phase indication positioned at 6 o’clock. The calendar is also hand-printed on a white mother-of-pearl disk whereas the moon and the stars are finely painted in yellow on a dark blue sky.
Model: Academia Tourbillon Impérial
Mechanical manually wound movement integrating a Tourbillon, a split-seconds chronograph, a moon phase and a date; Concepto 8521
Special finishing: Movement tinted in black gold; wheels and balance in 5N rose gold; sunray pattern on the tourbillon sapphire crystal; Lotus engraving on the tourbillon bridge.
Power reserve: 50 hours
Vibrations: 21’600 A/h
Balance: Variable-inertia 3-arm Glucydur balance
Spiral: Nivarox hairspring with flat terminal curve sequenced at 3 Hz.
Escapement: Swiss anchor escapement with 86° angle of lift
Jewelling: 29 jewels
Total height: 9,55 mm
Number of components : 342
Hours, minutes, small seconds, split-seconds chronograph, moon phase, date
Round-shaped case, adorned with DeWitt’s imperial columns on the flanks and on the bezel, polished and matt finishing
Material: 18-carat rose gold
Diameter: 44 mm
Total thickness: 14.85 mm
Crown: DeWitt design 18-carat rose gold polished crown featuring the “W” signature
Pushers: 18-carat rose gold
Case back: Sapphire crystal, secured with screws
Distance between lugs: 21 mm
Water-resistance: 30 meters
Chocolate-brown dial with DeWitt ”Côtes de Genève” pattern; counters in natural mother-of-pearl tinted in white; 5N rose gold appliques and circles.
Hours and minutes: open-worked hands in the shape of two-edged swords
Seconds: small rose gold edged hand
Split-seconds: two thin and elegant hands
Matt brown alligator leather
Buckle : 18-carat rose gold triple-blade folding clasp, “W” engraved
Limited Edition: 20 pieces