Sometimes an Haute Complication isn’t the sum of its different complication, but rather consists out of how the complication itself has been brought to life. That is for sure the case with the eight edition of Harry Winston’s Histoire de Tourbillon.
The brand created the Histoire de Tourbillon collection to explore, and exceed, the boundaries of this complication. For this version, Harry Winston fitted it with two bi-axial tourbillons. Each of them is made up out of 117 parts, yet weighs only 0.76 grams. Both have an outer cage which makes a full rotation every 75 seconds at a 30-degree inclined axis, and within a second cage makes a full rotation in 45 seconds. Both work independently from each other, but a spherical differential brings them together, by coming to an average of both bi-axil tourbillons and pass this on to the rest of the movement, obtaining the most precise time.
For the tourbillons to operate at an optimum, it is very important that they get enough and constant, power fed. Two rapidly rotating coaxial superposed barrels take care of this. Of the three springs, one is a slipping spring, protecting the movement from overwinding. The power reserve of the watch, a healthy 55 hours, is displayed by a grooved scroll, located at the bottom of the dial. It fits nicely in with the cone design of hour and minutes, which are positioned on right side of the detailed dial. This also gives the Histoire de Tourbillon 8 an even more technical look compared to its predecessor, the No. 7.
The vast majority of the movement is made from titanium. Although not the easiest to work with, especially not given the complex movement of the watch, it offers various advantages. Not only is it light-weight, but also very rigid and non-magnetic. Important characteristics when you are making a watch aimed at precision. The finish is up to Haute Horlogerie standards, which includes hand-bevelling of the edges of each component.
The Histoire de Tourbillon is by no means a small watch with a diameter of 51mm. However, Harry Winston does not do this to make a big impression, but rather to give room to the watch’s movement, which is 43.5 mm in diameter. The case itself is made out of 18K white gold. It is limited to 20 pieces total, of which ten are anthracite with blue accents, while the other ten are visually a bit bolder with red accents, playing into the personal preferences of the twenty lucky individuals who will be able to enjoy one of these unique tourbillons’s on a daily basis.