03/07/16 05:50AM
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Having said that, you probably cannot be expected to wear the DeWitt WX-1 too often. It is frankly too big to even fit under a shirt sleeve, and you'd be mortified to ding it. On the same note, it is interesting that DeWitt probably spent the least amount of effort on the aspect of this watch that tells the time. The clock portion of the watch sticks out like a node from the mothership. Unlike traditional watches that use hands, the WX-1 has three two rotating discs. Line them up with the small arrow at the top of the dial, and you have the time. First appearance tells me that the discs are some manner of compass or instrument too complicated for my cognition. Closer inspection however reveals numbers commonly found on a watch face, this must surely be where I tell the time, and it is. This isn't DeWitt trying to confuse anyone, but rather to ensure the effect of the watch is not last. The vision of a grand complications, whose read out of information has been as beautifully conceived as the body that holds it.

I flashback in my mind to the moment I was handed the watch. It was contained in a cardboard box carefully wrapped in "luxury watch grade" plastic saran wrap. I handled it with great care knowing what it was, but feeling unworthy of fully appreciating all that it represented and the craftsmanship gifted by DeWitt into its design. You'll notice how big the watch is, a beast by any accord, but this is no wild animal. It was remarkably light and solid feeling. The materials in the 191 gram weighing watch range from an aluminum-lithium alloy (among other types of aluminum), grade 5 titanium, gold, steel, sapphire crystal and rubber. Despite the many moving parts and moving case, it did not rattle, and seemed to be make from a single block with two straps attached to it. I immediately noticed the larger than life deployment shaped as a large DeWitt logo. There was something all too appropriate about it. No matter how strange the watch was in comparison to everything else out there, it felt comfortable in its own skin. As though it enjoyed an unstated sense of refinement. I continued to ponder the innate appeal the WX-1 held.

The shape of the case has little to do with traditional watches. The look differs based on the position you place it in. From one angle it looks like an early science fiction space craft, from another angle it looks like a fancy fire hydrant. These associations are a good thing in my opinion. Too abstract a shape and the eye is dissuaded from its fashion, searching for meaning. It is a benefit to any design when a mere glance alludes to shapes of familiar things; my compliments to a truly organic schematic, with varied origins.

It was not until I was able to remove the plastic wrap that I began to see what this watch could do. The entire case pulls open to reveal a view of the movement. A complex flying tourbillon with a 21 power reserve due to the five barrels. The tourbillon movement is placed in a vertical position near a small porthole on the side of the case, for constant viewing. Aside from viewing the columns of gears inside the case, you have a view of a dedicated power reserve indicator, which is a necessary element when you only need to wind the watch once or twice a month.

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As an unexpected modern twist, DeWitt provides a USB powered watch winder for the WX-1. I have to say that I was amazed to hear this. Why? Well first of all watch companies are notoriously slated in the past. I mean we are talking the dedicated production of mechanical watches, that from a pure efficiency standpoint more or less seceded from being practical once the quartz watch movement proved to be infinitely cheaper and more accurate. Ah, but the mechanical watch is so much more sexy. Why do we prefer a fine vintage wine, when Pabst Blue Ribbon beer will do the trick? It is because mechanical watches are seeped in tradition, romance, and the most important element of all to a coveting collector; they are extremely difficult to design and manufacture. So when DeWitt coupled the WX-1 with a USB charger, I was impressed and intrigued. The USB charging unit functions like a little stand for the watch. You deploy the dedicated winding stem from the watch with a small lever (the winding stem is located in the side porthole next to the tourbillon window). Once the stem is extended, it connects with the charger that turns it intermittently. It's amusing that you can connect this triumph of mechanical nostalgia to a computer for power purposes. I find this fact charming, and perhaps highly telling of watch the luxury watch industry is all about; producing creations of art and excess that must still conform to lifestyle and practical considerations.


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