Jerome DeWitt is a charming man who knows how to create suspense, and how to create watches. We entered his elegant booth at Basel and were seated in comfortable chairs around a low table. As the presentation began, Mr. DeWitt produced what looked like a substantial watch on a small stand, covered with a cloth, and he set it on the table, still covered. He moved like a magician holding a bird just placed under a colorful silk. You know the bird is about to disappear, so you focus on it hoping to catch the trick. In this way I focused on the mystery watch under the cloth as other watches were presented. Eventually, the cover lifted…
… and fortunately the watch was still there. I’ve always said that everybody needs a sporty minute repeater tourbillon GMT. If you don’t have one yet, I have great news: it’s called the Antipode, and it finished a close second to Christophe Claret’s DualTow for my personal Holy Smokes! award at Basel 2009. Unlike Mr. DeWitt, I won’t keep you waiting for the magic. Press the Antipode’s lugs just so, and they detach from the case, allowing this watch with two dials to rotate on an axel fixed at 12 and 6. It’s a bit like a gigantic, round Reverso, only the entire case can spin. Upon completing the 180° flip, the lugs click back into place and your friends smile in amazement.
The tourbillon appears on the front of the timepiece in the traditional 6 o’clock position, below the local hour and minute indications and the minute repeater. On this side, the local time alarm is triggered by a pushpiece located at 9 o’clock on the case. Perform the flip and the second face features the GMT function along with the hour and minutes in the second time zone. The latter is set to time by means of a corrector positioned at 1 o’clock. The minute repeater mechanism may be activated at any time, whichever side is visible, and its chime will tell you the local time. Mr. DeWitt demonstrated, and the chime is loud and clear. The translucent dials provide a glimpse of the complex, fully-integrated movement below.
The Antipode will be produced in a limited series of 25 pieces. If you have to ask, it will be priced at SFr. 420,000. All DeWitt watches are assembled by a single watchmaker from start to finish.