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Harry Winston Opus Eleven
Harry Winston’s Opus has become more than a collection of
outstanding timepieces. This blend of watchmaking dreams
come true tells a story of determination that has turned into
a cultural phenomenon, recreated annually by talented people
who know how to derive synergy from an equal commitment
to art and technology. For the past 10 years, Harry Winston
has called on the originality and skills of independent
watchmakers to realize its concept of superior watchmaking.
For Harry Winston, watches reflect a passionate belief that
you can – and must – go beyond the imaginable. Today, the
House of Harry Winston is proud to present its 11th Opus,
a watch that shatters watchmaking notions to bring you the
disintegration of time itself.
Brought to life in the hands of Denis Giguet, Opus Eleven
makes news with a technology and architecture that have
never been seen before. Ingenious mechanisms give the watch
a rare character – an explosive temperament that makes a sport
of time. In addition to its role as an instrument, Opus Eleven
creates an engineering puzzle that resolves itself on the hour. An
extremely complex case stages the show. The three overlapping
cylinders on three levels are configured to deconstruct time.
The main circle is the hour’s domain, flanked by two pavilions.
One shows the minutes on a jumping disk for the tens and a
running disk for the units. The other, slightly lower, displays
the regular beat of a big titanium balance-wheel.
Anarchy takes hold of the hours indication beneath the
sapphire-crystal dome every 60 minutes. The numeral of the
hour, assembled in the center of the circle, explodes into chaos
before instantly reassembling as the new hour. It then remains
still until the next disintegration. Instead of a hand, 24 placards
revolve and rotate on a complicated system of gears mounted
on an epicycloidal gear-train. Four satellites mounted on a
rotating platform, each with three pairs of placards, provide
a vertical transmission through a train of eight intermediate
wheels, three elliptical gears, a triangular wheel and six conical
The bevel gears are responsible for changing the axis of
rotation of the placards and positioning them according to an
elaborate drill manoeuvre. The triangular wheel and elliptic
gears are calculated to vary the gear ratio to absorb shocks and
prevent the placards colliding.
The tooth profiles of the triangular and elliptical gearing
have been obtained using sophisticated programs. These
are today so powerful that they can calculate and display
unconventional, and even extreme, gearing and analyse
different parameters such as backlash. Parts are manufactured
using photolithography, which produces micro-components
to a precision unobtainable by traditional machining methods.
The conical pinions for the bevel gears are just 1.2mm wide,
yet their teeth are exactly profiled and angled, thanks to a new
gear-cutting technique.
The path taken by the placards has been calculated tominimize
the space required for them to turn over. However, the shell of
sapphire crystal, also extremely difficult to manufacture, gives
ample room for the hourly animation. The transparent display
back of the gold case reveals a manually wound movement
in the style of the old pocket-watch movements with a big
balance-wheel. Consisting of 566 components, including
155 jewels, the mechanism is finished in the most traditional
manner of classic watchmaking, in sharp contrast to the crazy
display of the hour. One version of the watch is gem-set in the
contemporary style: a simple line of princess-cut diamonds
lights up the contour of the caseband.
The appointment has been fixed. The hour comes apart at its
end, leaving its particles to explode outwards and be turned
into new hours ad infinitum. Such complexity and ingenuity
makeOpus Eleven an important milestone inHarryWinston’s
exploration of time.
Limited edition of 111 watches.
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