The Academia collection from Manufacture DeWitt has long been distinguished by its clever melding of classically elegant design elements with modern, sporty ones. The most recent example can be found in this week’s Watch to Watch, the DeWitt Academia Chronostream II.
The DeWitt Academia Chronostream II represents the next generation of the original Chronostream model, which incorporated in the center of its dial, between two chronograph subdials, an appliqué pattern inspired by the radiator grilles of vintage racing cars (a hobby of brand founder — and descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte — Jerôme De Witt). The new watch dispenses with the grille motif in favor of a more streamlined, legible bi-compax look for the dial.
More legible, however, does not mean unsophisticated in its level of detail: the dial features a clous de Paris pattern in its center, both satin-finished and polished surface areas, rose-gold toned indices and subdial borders that match the color of the case. The openworked, double-edged-sword-shaped hands are another DeWitt Academia hallmark. The central chronograph seconds hand, as well as the two subdial hands (30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock) are in blue, echoing the color of the tachymeter scale on the edge of the dial.
The case (42.5 mm in diameter, 14.2 mm thick) also signifies a sporty streamlining of a DeWitt design element, namely the “Imperial Columns” grooved pattern — a stylistic nod to the De Witt family’s aristocratic lineage — on the sides, executed more discreetly here than in earlier DeWitt Academia watches. The use of black rubber, along with 18k rose gold, in the caseband, is another decidedly contemporary touch. It features polished, satin-finished and bevelled surfaces and, between the two chrono pushers, a large crown whose engraved DeWitt “W” emblem and use of the Imperal Columns motif on the sides testifies to DeWitt’s attention to detail.
The chronograph movement in the Academia Chronostream II is the self-winding Caliber DW6005, with 27 jewels, a frequency of 28,800 vph, and a power reserve of 48 hours. The watch is offered on a dark brown alligator leather strap and fastens by means of a triple-folding clasp made of polished 18k rose gold and bearing the DeWitt “W” signature.