The introduction of Harry Winston’s Opus timepieces are always awaited with great enthusiasm at Baselworld and this year’s Opus has puzzled those passionate about high complications like never before.
Opus 12 rebels the conformist rules of watch making, creating a most improbable mechanical concept. This exceptional timepiece intentionally throws out the perception of time by portraying its inspiration from the Copernican revolution, in which the earth rotates around the sun and around itself. Time does not read via a pair of hands situated in the center of the dial, instead the peripheral drive of 12 pairs of hands are going from the circumference to the center. The hands, pointed towards the interior draw concentration to the center of time. A nostalgic hand, harmonized with the main minutes hand, advances along a five-minute sector. At the end of its travel it racees back to its initial position while the long five-minutes hand pivots and sets itself still.
In the majority watches the evolution of time is unnoticeable. Opus 12, on the other hand, goes into action in an extraordinary way, its hands alter the guard every five minutes. At each change of the hour, the movement executes an elaborate drill exercise by the consecutive rotation of the hands. Below the retrograde indication, a floating small seconds hand adjust on a translucent ring passes above a power-reserve indicator.
The winding of the movement withdraws from principle. The crown must be turned in the counterclockwise direction to concurrently wind up the two barrels, one providing energy to the movement and the other to the animation. In order for the crown to be available, it has been placed in the center of the case band, necessitating a transmission wheel that reverses the winding direction.
Opus 12 also breaks the rules in regards to adornment and finish, intentionally discarding the chamfering used in conventional watch making.
The styling remains authentic to the heritage of the House of Harry Winston. The emblematic arches bring to mind the neoclassical vault which governs the famous image of the Harry Winston Salon in New York and the openwork hands, the Manhattan skyscrapers. The Opus 12, which reinterprets time, is a real modernization in watch making.
Photos: Harry Winston for PuristSPro