My first stop during Day 1 of BaselWorld 2013 was at Harry Winston. All I can say is – wow. When I arrived at the booth, I asked the Harry Winston team to show me the best of the best, and they did not disappoint. Here’s your look at what I saw:
The first watch they showed me was the flagship Harry Winston Opus XIII. This model has fifty-nine minute hands, eleven rotating triangles for the hours, and a sliding trapdoor, which performs a magic show in which minutes and hours appear or vanish instantly, while it tells the time. The fifty-nine minute hands pivot on a ring of as many steel shafts, each held between two ruby bearings, bringing the total number of jewels to 242. According to Harry Winston, no other timepiece ever made has as many functional jewels.
The next piece, which will retail for an astonishing $750,000, was the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 4. For me personally this was my favorite piece from the collection. As per our press kit, there is an oscillator, or a circular balance, which swings back and forth a specific number of times per second, while the rest of the watch counts the number of beats per second of the oscillator at its heart – as long as the beat never changes, the watch will be accurate, giving 100% perfect precision. The heart of the watch is a single oscillator, contained within three concentric cages, each of which rotates not at a different speed, but also a different angle.
The last piece they showed me was the Harry Winston Ocean Tourbillon Jumping Hour. This watch marks the first time a combination of two sophisticated complications are in a single timepiece, as this is new for the Ocean collection. The design of the watch is different, as instead of the movement being located in the back of the watch, it is suspended from two gleaming, hand chamfered steel bridges which seem to hold it free in space, making it appear to move with no apparent mechanical connection to the rest of the timepiece.
I was very impressed with the pieces from Harry Winston – while a lot of people think of it as a diamond brand, I am loving their sophisticated timepieces. With their recent acquisition by the Swatch Group, I only see things moving forward better.
Photos by Seth Semilof.