August 16, 2015
For years I’ve struggled to find interest in DeWitt’s watches, but this new Chronostream II caught my eye. It is part of the DeWitt Academia collection, which is original in its design and one of six families in the brand. The Academia pieces span a range of complications and often feature a sculpted bezel in the form of 24 “imperial columns” that is an integral element of the brand’s elitist identity. Purely on the basis of dial design (which is done in-house), the Chronostream II is a significant improvement over the Academia I, in my view. Whereas the original Chronostream model was distinguished by its central applique, inspired by the instruments and radiator grills of vintage racing cars, while this new-generation version offers a very high degree of legibility and precision in terms of its displays.
The open-worked hours and minutes hands, crafted in 18-carat rose gold, are in the form of double-edged swords, while the seconds and chronograph hands are highlighted in a traditional blue tone. They sweep over a “Clou de Paris” patterned inner dial and rose gold appliques including the logo. A column-like pattern can also be observed in the shape of the white tachymeter ring with blue numbering. It is a well-balanced and intricate dial, with great depth and detail — made in-house at manufacture DeWitt, I would add (as is the automatic mechanical caliber inside).
The rose gold case has a lot of intricate details as well. The imperial columns, “a tribute to the historic heritage of the DeWitt family”, are still present, but are displayed this time side of the case and inlaid with black rubber — much more discreet than on previous Academia models which present the columns on a top bezel. The chrono pushers and crown are appropriately styled, and there is nice detailing and variance of finishing on the lugs.
In sum total, it all comes together very nicely for me. This 42.5mm beauty retails for Swiss Francs 38,500 / Euro 36,000 / US$ 47,200.