Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S02 ep6 : Jerome DeWitt, DeWitt Watches, [Switzerland]
Interview with Jerome DeWitt
A direct descendant of Napoleon [Queen Elizabeth is his cousin]DeWitt has established itself in less than five years within the very selective circle of rare contemporary and innovative Haute Horlogerie Brands. The DeWitt spirit is driven by passion and creative boldness, perpetually oriented towards the unexplored mysteries of tomorrow's watchmaking art. Technological avant-garde and powerful designs blend in with an exclusive signature which sublimates the values of beauty, elitism and lasting quality.
JD: Does it, I try to share a dream so in any of the watch you will have something crazy. This one
for example it’s Captain Nemo watch and if you look on the watch you have the poles of cabins
like Captain Nemo and you have some screw and you have some matter, so that’s really a
JD: I always try to bring something on a watch, to bring some light to play with the colours, to play
with the light and to have something in life. You look at your time and for me it’s like if you
breathe you know you take you give back, you take you give back and all my watches you have a
small detail who brings life.
JD: My grand, grand uncle was Napoleon the First and my grandfather was King of Belgium, my
grand, grandfather was King of ___, Queen Elizabeth is, for example, one of my cousins. My
parents gave me information they told me how to behave, they taught me what’s taste and I was
living with pieces unique around me.
JD: When I was young I was complaining about this education because it’s always hard, and they
say you can’t, you can’t, you can’t, and I was upset about that so I took my case and I left home.
??: How old were you then?
JD: Eighteen. And when I left they say you will be disinherited. So I went and I start my life and
during many, many years I thought it was like something against me because I was not like the
others you know, I was looking sorry to say, a girl. And she was looking at me and say well it’s a
crown on the head it’s a ___ on the back and I never knew if people likes me for me, or for
something else okay. And I thought it’s interesting to see that and once my parents dies and at the
end they gave me something and inherited something and I had the collection from Napoleon
watch. His watch was the watch from his wife and son.
??: Didn’t they have Breguet watches?
JD: Yes of course, but plenty of watches were not signed at this period and Breguet watches of
course, when you is a ruler from a country or a king from a country you have to defend your
country so you have to defend the art, you have to defend the people working on the art in your
country and Napoleon of course fall in love with the watches and defend Breguet and he brought
the Breguet to a very high level.
JD: Today, all this past, all this education I had gave me the possibility to have a different
perception and this perception I put it on my watch and I thought I am giving some education on
my watch. I am giving my past in a certain way and I am sharing this need of quality this need of
details, this need of luxury, what’s luxury? For me luxury today it’s not classed as most expensive
thing, it’s to have the thing I like, who suits to my character was used to me.
JD: Basically it was very hard because no name and you can’t have the best without any name so
the way I start I start like with some pieces very classical piece or something like collectable for
instance and with this one I start and say well he wants to make some watch and afterward I say
okay but can’t keep this mine, you are a watchmaker but open your mind. So some say okay and
why not and I explain them and I always talk with them and I always say that what I have in mind
and they always say it’s impossible. Impossible is not a word, for me when I try this watch it’s a
Tourbillion with a regulation of the strength coming on. I thought it was possible and I found the
way to make it and I say you have to make it this way and they say it’s impossible and I just say
why, we haven’t done it before, that’s not an answer.
JD: Whatever period you like on arts if no one shift from R____ would still sit on R___ and sit
okay so we have to shift. Remember the story when modern art arrived in 1880 it was impossible
to make an exhibition they have the painters have been refused from the exhibition because they
were too out of the concept because they decide it’s an academy and as far as you put an academy
if you have knowledge but you don’t have creativity and sometimes you must overpass yourself to
know how far you can go.
JD: I start in 2003, three person. 2005, four and half years later we are 100 okay means from
January to December we pass from 30 people to 100 and I didn’t know how to put them together,
to find a union here, so with a project I put them on a project and I say, we have to produce that,
everyone says it’s impossible. But at the end when everyone was working it’s a teamwork and
when they saw the product coming out, now it’s a union, we have a team.
JD: I’ll be very honest, today with my age I can stop working I think I stopped when I was 45, so I
can continue to do nothing but the problem is that if I am doing nothing if I stop everything will
stop and let’s say it’s not going to be the same life but if I keep going, challenging and if I keep
people challenging, you have a fantastic atmosphere inside of the company you look everyone is
smiling and it’s a period where everyone is fighting it’s so strong, it’s so powerful, not because we
are not looking for the same thing, I write, I say, is it done, okay it’s good, now we try to sell and
we will propose, we will share our watch and we will discuss about what we have done, but it’s an
objective, it’s to share with people. Our objective is not how much money we want, because it’s no
interest, if I am going to create something, to design something with a budget of course I will be
out of the budget.
JD: You have to hear, to listen, you have to look, but you must accept that you are not the best.
Someone can be better, someone can give you an idea and you must be very simple because if I
start being a Royal, it’s awful you know. Yes, I can come and say hey I’m a Royal, okay I will sit
certainly on a gold seat, but alone okay, no fun, no life.
JD: Some king died or something like that we are all together, on private rooms and so on so we
know each other, on the path see we’re coming and say hello, how are you doing, what about the
roof on your castle and so and so, and now they are coming to me and say you are still producing
watches, I went to this country and I saw you and everything so they thinks it’s too fast, it’s
impossible you know, it’s not something they rely on because it’s so different from their life.
JD: The past for me is an experience it’s a knowledge. They are the roots, that’s why you have the
knowledge coming from, experience. But the future must be different it’s in front of you and they
are always speaking about the past, about the fact that grandfather, grandmother, okay you open a
book you know. That’s no interest for me.
JD: I had an apartment in New York and I took Jean Michel V___ to redesign it and he post me
something and I change everything and I say I disagree with this one and this one. And we were
friends so I say okay, I design it, I give it to you and you make the correction you know and at the
end we create something absolutely incredible.
JD: If you look you will see the name De Witt and afterward you have Pascone d’exception means
something if you have no patience you can’t. No interest, no interest.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Jerome DeWitt, DeWitt Watches, Switzerland