1.) Who is Mr. de Witt?
Mr. Jérôme de Witt is a passionate person and an entrepreneur. He admires all objects crafted by men. His vision of luxury is that an item gets nicer with time. Mr de Witt is someone who could take people together and make them create something. Same idea with objects, for instance, when he created the Constant Force with bicycle chains, he took things out of their context and added them into the watch industry.
2.) Why would he undertake production of a line of watches with this degree of complication?
Mr. de Witt likes challenges and for him, nothing is impossible! Since the very beginning, only 7 years ago, DeWitt immediately distinguished itself by adopting its own, unique approach to building watches and movements. The brand is committed to perpetuate ancestral watchmaking traditions, as it is currently one of the only remaining brands to continue exercising the refined art of guilloché engraving on historical 18th and 19th century rose engines. On the other hand, DeWitt is obviously also equipped with ultra-modern machinery and the latest technologies in order to explore micromechanical solutions to practically any technical challenges.
3.) Does DeWitt make their own watches?
Yes, we do – Mr. de Witt sums up the “raison d’être” of his manufacture by accentuating one key concept: freedom, the guiding light of the company’s progress, and creativity since its foundation in 2003. He said : “I can see a kind of freedom in integrating the entire process. We can make our own decisions on a daily basis, and if necessary there is nothing to stop us changing direction.” This powerful driving force has distinguished our young company’s development with several major innovations that will leave it’s mark in watchmaking history.
4.) What makes the watches so unique? Why would someone purchase a DeWitt watch over another top brand such as Breguet or Patek?
Our brand identity is directly inspired by Mr. de Witt himself, whose perception of contemporary watchmaking is daringly different and unconventional.
We are an audacious brand and audacity simply means being effortlessly bold, brave and innovative, yet never arrogant or aloof. The subtlety lies in the fact that DeWitt is not trying to be audacious, it is simply in its DNA, in the way the company breathes and works every day.
5.) What is the vision the company has for the future? What type of watches will you continue to make?
We have plenty of new projects – especially with our movements. Our aim is to master that technology. DeWitt is all about craftsmanship. With no assembly chain, each watchmaker has to build a watch from A to Z. With three patents over the last five years, the latest of which unveiled at BaselWorld 2010, DeWitt is in the ranks of the most avant-garde and elitist companies in terms of their conceptual and creative approach. We would like to keep this innovative approach focus on quality and on the attention to every detail.
6.) How many watchmakers do you have? How long would it take one of them to make the Antipode watch, for example?
We have 35 watchmakers dispatched in two different workshops: the first one, named “Petite Complication”, goes from the Second Retrograde to the Perpetual Calendar and the second one, the “Grande Complication”, from the Minute Repeater to the Antipode. It takes approximately 1 1/2 months to produce an Antipode
7.) Will you ever make all of your own movements in house?
We launched during BaselWorld 2010 our new calibre, the DW 8014, which is the first complicated regulator movement integrating a Tourbillon entirely developed and produced in-house. We also introduced a patented and extremely ingenious Automatic Sequential Winding (A.S.W.) device, driven by a peripheral oscillating rotor. Our aim is to pursue our strategy and to become 100% independent.
8.) How do DeWitt watches hold their value at auction, or in the secondary market?
From the initial studies we have done amongst others on several internet forums and blogs, DeWitt watches hold their values well above average. This is a strategic topic for the brand and we are working on several projects to guarantee a high value for our timepiece on the secondary market.
9.) What is your growth strategy for Montres DeWitt – both in terms of the industry and geographically?
We have plenty of new projects – especially with our movements. Our aim is to master that technology. Indeed, as an example, we will launch the TWENTY-8-EIGHT REGULATOR A.S.W at the end of the year. The combination of the Twenty-8-Eight case with an Art Déco design dial is home to the already famous calibre DW 8014, that was a sensation when first revealed at Baselworld 2010. This new automatic Tourbillon is the second complicated movement integrating a Tourbillon entirely developed and produced by the DeWitt Manufacture.
Although the markets remain very challenging for a small brand like ours, we have achieved great strides in 2010, with the opening of not less than 6 Dewitt Boutiques or shop-in-shop in Asia, and the complete re-deployment of the North American market. We will continue our expansion step-by-step in 2011 onwards, not only in by pursuing to build up our main markets that are Asia and the US, but also to strengthen our position in areas like Central Asia, South America or India.
10.) What are your main priorities at DeWitt?
We would like to keep this particular “DeWitt personality” made of passion, dedication and curiosity that each person working for the brand has adopted. We will focus strongly on Research & Development, give the utmost respect of quality and make sure to surprise you with audacious designs.
1.) Who is Mr. de Witt?