What’s the betting this windscreen wiper-inspired configuration was inspired during a rainy Genevan traffic jam?
DeWitt’s latest skeletonized marvel has many features worthy of note. You could start with the neatly balanced design, the 100hrs+ power reserve or the pleasing contrast between the satin-brushed movement against the highly polished case.
But the fact is once you’ve seen the Academia Skeleton running it’s unlikely you’ll be able to talk of little other than the windscreen wiper-inspired dual retrograde seconds configuration.
Dominating the dial, between the six and eight o’clock positions, are two concentric 30-second tracks, covering an arc of something approaching 180 degrees.
A single second hand tracks the first 30 seconds from left-to-right along the lower scale then, when it reaches the end of the scale, the hand extends to meet the upper scale and continues back in the other direction to track the closing 30 seconds of the minute. Upon reaching the end of the minute the hand resets into the lower position and starts all over again, offering a highly animated bit of horological theatre.
The whole process is achieved using two separate sets of gears that can be seen beneath the hand, one for each direction, which instantaneously disengage and engage to achieve both the change of direction and length of the hand. It’s a neat trick but one certainly worth the effort.
To be one of the first people in the country to see the Academia Skeleton in person, visit SalonQP (3-5 November) at London’s Saatchi Gallery, where it makes its UK debut.