Dragging, sliding, and now, toboggan-shaped: the creative hours of the DeWitt Manufacture are
showcased on a new model, the highly original and playful Academia Slide. Directly inspired by
Jérôme De Witt's passion for cars, it bears witness to the creative vitality of what remains one of the
very last manufactures in Geneva to be 100% independent and family-run.
Observation, inspiration, a new timepiece: continuing its creative journey, the DeWitt manufacture presents an
original, unusual, playful new creation: the Academia Slide.
Its story began with Jérôme De Witt's desire to display the time differently. While the manufacture has fully
demonstrated its skill with traditional high-end timepieces, the Academia collection also lends itself to
particularly bold creative exercises. The Slide is the latest illustration of this approach. Made entirely from
titanium, this 49 mm piece was originally inspired by children's toboggans. It presents a progressive, effortless
slide from top to bottom thanks to an intuitive use of gravity.
The Academia Slide applies this basic physical principle to watchmaking in a ground-breaking way. Every hour is
inscribed on a brass plate that slides along a track, guiding it to a horizontal position. It is this horizontal display
alone that shows the current hour. Next, the two central hands indicate the minutes and seconds.
This simple, intuitive design is also highly energy efficient. The hour plates slide in a natural, fluid manner. They
are all interconnected: as soon as an hour arrives at the flat position, its plate begins its return to a vertical
position and the next plate begins its descent. This continuous progression of the hours, which never freeze even
for a second, symbolises the elusive, ephemeral nature of time.
The unusual star-shaped dial is a direct result of Jérôme DeWitt's passion for mechanics. The creative soul of the
manufacture and passionate collector of historic automotive developments was inspired here by the legendary
rotary engines central to vintage cars and aeroplanes from the early 20th century.
These engines ran extremely smoothly thanks to their considerable inertia, a property that is fully exploited in
the Academia Slide. They were also more compact and lightweight than other systems. Again, the Academia Slide
takes full advantage of this, offering a simpler (and therefore more reliable) watch construction of just 276
components, scarcely more than a traditional three-hand manufacture movement.