Jerôme De Witt
DEWITT FOUNDER - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
January 29, 2018
Jérôme de Witt the descendant of King Jerome of Westphalia, the brother of the Emperor Napoleon 1st has been the designer of the company’s unique destiny since 2003.
In 2005, DeWitt wins the Prize for Innovation at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève thanks to its favourite piece, the Academia Force Constante. Sales take off and the turnover reaches after a couple of years CHF 36 million.
However, in 2009, all independent brands are facing hard times. Consequently, the Haute Horlogerie undertakes some changes, particularly in the area of distribution.
Driven by his boundless passion for mechanics, his amazing imagination and through his exploration of mechanics from the big to the infinitely small, Jérôme de Witt, (who also restores vintage cars), continues to invent new horological creations collaborating with his engineers.
2012 though marks a new twist in the destiny of the company with the founder’s wife Viviane de Witt taking over the reins of the company and being appointed CEO. She skilfully gives new momentum to the micro Manufacture based on a full transparent approach. Viviane de Witt claims: “It is above all a human journey. I am constantly working on preserving the exceptional know-how of our Master watchmakers and dial makers, along with their priceless craftsmanship.”
After three years of difficult economic circumstances, DeWitt intends to go back to its roots. As of 2018, the brand will reduce its watch collections, cut down its references to one third and highlight its key models such as the very distinctive design of the famous imperial columns on the side of the watchcase.
In addition comes a new baseline “Mechanical Machine Inventions”, which takes inspiration from the brand’s DNA and its founder’s passion. DeWitt’s first participation to the SIHH in January 2018 will be the perfect launching ramp for the brand’s fresh start.
Interviewed by Alberic Virchaux