Simply Abu Dhabi XX

I t’s pretty common to expect new sequels to deteriorate in quality – just think about the Rocky films for example; but we’re not talking movies here, but the epitomical heights of haute horlogerie. The Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 6 is the most complicated timepiece the company has ever made and it comes in a whopping case measuring 55mm by 49mm by 21.80mm, and with an evenmore gargantuan price tag of $722,900. So what do you get for nearly three quarters of a million dollars? What any fine watchmaking connoisseur would expect – hyper complication and innovation. It’s an astounding machine that happens to tell the time. The watch unites two independent time indications: the first is regulated by a triaxial Tourbillon, and the second by a karussel, both of which have twin coaxial barrels. The left time indication is colour-coded with orange on a grey background and the right-hand dial that functions via the karussel is marked by blue hands on black. It would be possible to fill many pages with the ultra- technical complexity of this timepiece, but with the space we have here we can look at that most revered of complications, the tourbillon, which negates the gravitational effect and serves to average out positional errors by constantly rotating and repositioning the balance wheel. The tourbillon, which is stopped and set into motion again six times per second, comprises 141 components and weighs just 1.85g. The innermost carriage containing the balance wheel and escapement pinion has a 45-second rotation cycle, the intermediate carriage has a 75-second rotation cycle, and the outer carriage takes 300 seconds to make a full rotation. The effect of all this is simply hypnotic. The rare Karussel device positioned at 1 o’clock can be stopped and started at will via the case pushers, and acts as the regulator for the independent part movement. It also counteracts gravity and rotates on a single axis, and completes a full rotation in 30-seconds – twice the speed of your average tourbillon. This HW4701 manual manufacture movement packs in a massive 683 components, and beats each balance wheel at 3 Hz (21,600 vph). The power reserve is 80 hours for the tourbillon and 70 hours for the karussel. Both the karussel and the tourbillon operate in a similar manner and together ensure the utmost precision-rating qualities. The blue ceramic pusher at 2 o’clock also allows this jaw-dropping timepiece to function as a chronograph and the crown operates the dual-time display below the karussel. The asymmetrical case of the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 6 is in 18-carat white gold and just 20 pieces in this limited edition will be made. This is a prime piece for those who occupy the highest echelons of watch collecting. It is a legacy piece that is not likely to worn daily but is more of a spectacular invention to be presented and admired.