In advance of Baselworld 2013, luxury watchmaker Harry Winston has unveiled a limited-edition new Histoire de Tourbillon 4. This new timepiece, of which only 20 will be produced, is a celebration of the simple, efficient economy that inspired the creation of the first tourbillon watches. The oscillator swings back and forth, while the watch counts the number of beats per second from that mechanical heart – as long as the beat never changes, the watch will be accurate.
The manufacture has described the Histoire de Tourbillon 4 as Harry Winston’s exploration of how the tourbillon, brilliant in its simplicity, might evolve. The newest edition to the brand’s iconic Histoire de Tourbillon collection, this tri-axial timepiece is built around a single oscillator, contained within three concentric cages, each of which rotates not only at a different speed, but at different angles. The innermost cage, which encloses the oscillator and escapement, rotates once every 45 seconds. The intermediate cage, which encloses the first, rotates once every 75 seconds. And the third, outermost cage rotates at a stately speed of one revolution every 300 seconds –all together ensuring that at no moment will gravity be able to disturb the steady heartbeat of the oscillator.
The oscillator itself, comprised of a balance wheel and a delicate balance spring of the variable inertia type, is controlled by means of 18k gold timing screws in the rim, thereby avoiding the potentially disturbing influence of a conventional regulator. To allow the balance spring to “breathe” as perfectly concentrically as possible, it was made with a Phillips curve. The plates and the bridges are made of titanium, in dynamic contrast to the hand-applied chamfering of the main plate and bridges.
From the 47mm x 21.7mm case of 18k polished white gold, the wearer can glimpse the 345-component multi-level HW4501 caliber movement from an open grid dial via a domed sapphire crystals and intricately interlocked mechanisms. A hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with 18k white gold double-ardillon buckle completes the look.
The Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 4 is reference HCOMDT47WZ001. Photos courtesy Harry Winston.