I’ll admit, I don’t know all that much about the independent Geneva-based watch brand DeWitt. While I am familiar with some of their watches from the past 10 years or so that they’ve been around, notably the “Academia Tourbillon Différentiel” and the more concept-oriented WX-1, it’s not a brand I’ve paid much attention to- and wrongfully so.

A piece that recently caught my eye was the all-new Twenty-8-Eight Full Moon, released just a few months ago during SIHH/Geneva Watch Week or whatever you want to call that week. If you’ve been following The Horophile for some time now, you’ll know that I have a thing for moon phase complications and I must say, this one is probably the most positively unusual one I’ve reviewed to date.


The Twenty-8-Eight collection gets its name from the date that the first piece of the line was conceived, which was the 28th of August. The date however holds another more historical significance for the brand’s founder Jérôme DeWitt, as the 28th of Floréal in the Republican calendar marks the date Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed “Emperor of the French”, who Jérôme just so happens to be a direct descendant of. But more on that in my upcoming interview with Mr Dewitt.

On paper at least, The Twenty-8-Eight Full Moon is a simple, two-hands watch with a fairly conventional moon phase complication. In reality however, the Full Moon is anything but traditional. DeWitt have a developed a habit of exposing certain parts of movements through otherwise solid dials, like the rementoir and fusée chain on some of their other pieces. In the Full Moon however, DeWitt have gone one step further and completely removed more than half of the dial, revealing the moon phase mechanism’s gears and levers.


There’s something operatic about the way the dial is split in two halves at an odd angle. The portion on the right side between 57 and 21 minutes is done in Goldfluss or goldstone, an artificial glass “mineral” infused with copper and fired in a method that dates back to the 12th century in Venice; resulting in a subtle glitter that reminds of a clear, star-filled night sky. I’ve always thought that aventurine of Goldfluss makes for a stellar (no pun intended) dial choice for astronomical complications, yet too much of it can be somewhat feminine. On the Twenty-8-Eight Full Moon, there’s just enough of it to make the dial visually striking without taking away from the technical look of an open dial.


The left side of the dial reveals the moon phase complication module, with the plate done in a vertical satin-brushed silver tone. You can also admire the kind of hand finishing that goes it into the movement from the beveled and polished edges of the moon phase mechanism’s groove as well as the satin-finished levers and wheels and their circular perlage decoration under the moving parts. The moon phase disk is finished in the same Goldfluss as the dial, with the moons done in white mother-of-pearl. The more ornate right side bears applied Roman and Arabic numerals, while the left side has them in black paint for the minute markers near the edge of the open dial. To read the moon phase, an applied polished rose gold appliqué with a round aperture appears to float over the moon disk, bridging the two distinct parts of the dial.




The case measures 43mm wide and is done in polished Grade 5 Titanium, with the brand’s signature imperial columns adorning the sides. The case back is solid but in case you’re wondering what’s inside, it’s a modified ETA (not sure if it’s a 7750 or 2892) with an in-house developed and manufactured module for the moon phase. Speaking of the movement, I was informed that DeWitt have produced an in-house base movement, which will slowly but surely start appearing in pieces likes the Twenty-8-Eight Full Moon soon.



At around 21’000 CHF, I find the DeWitt Twenty-8-Eight Full Moon to be a unique offering in a world of mostly traditionally styled moon phase complications. It’s got that distinct DeWitt look that is neither classical nor avant-garde, with enough going on to keep you staring back at it from under your shirt cuff day and night. And while the two-face look of the dial might not be for everyone, it’s one of those watches that have to be seen in the metal to be fully appreciated. I’ll tell you, after trying it on for a few minutes, it was a heartbreaking experience having to take it off my wrist and hand it back.



More information on www.dewitt.ch