Harry Winston is not just the ‘Jeweler to the Stars’ and creator of ‘Jewels That Tell Time.’ Every year it also collaborates with an independent watchmaker to design, research and develop innovative timepieces. The Opus collection demonstrates Harry Winston’s commitment to haute horology and passion of working with the best independent watchmakers today. Here is our countdown of Opus’ top Swiss mechanical watches to date. The next Opus – Opus 12 – will be presented on 8 March 2012 at Baselworld.
Opus 11 – with Denis Giguet
Denis Giguet drew inspirations from fish in the ocean. When faced with danger or attack, the fish swims in different directions, but as soon as the threat goes away, it comes together again and swim in one single direction. This inspired Giguet's radical time display concept for the Opus 11, where every plate carries a piece of the puzzle. When the barrels power the 560-piece movement, the hour display is literally put together piece by piece. The minute display is shown in an additional case attached to the watch's main case at the 1 o'clock position. This is a limited edition of 100 pieces.
Opus X - with Jean-François Mojon
The extreme 3-dimensional time display on the Opus X - developed with independent watchmaker Jean-François Mojon, on board Harry Winston's 10th year commitment to haute horology - is thanks to a system of rotating indicators mounted on a revolving frame. Each indicator follows the curvature of the case while rotating fluidly. This planetary mechanical movement with manual winding guarantees an impressive power reserve of 72 hours.
Opus 9 - with Jean-Marc Wiederrecht & Eric Giroud
Opus 9 is powered by an automatic self-winding movement with a chain system. While the idea of using a chain system is not new, displaying the time with a baguette diamond-set chain certainly is. A rack and pinion mechanism propels the gliding movement, which displays the time with two parallel diamond chains, on which mandarin garnets indicate the hour and minute. The bridge in the centre of the watch works like a spine that absorbs shock and provides stability. This is a true living work of watchmaking art that combines Harry Winston's know-how in gemstone setting and the genius of independent watchmakers Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and Eric Giroud.
Opus 8 - with Frédéric Garinaud & CSH
Frédéric Garinaud & CSH and Harry Winston created a revolutionary watch that wears like a mini television set on your wrist and reads like nothing else upi have ever seen. The face of the Opus 8 is a digital display of the hour and 5-minute intervals by segments. The disc display of the time and power reserve are both on the back. Black, white and red, the Pop Art inspired dials add a fun touch to the display-on-demand mechanism.
Opus 7 - with Andreas Strehler
Opus 7 features Art Nouveau inspired bridges that look like butterflies in the open-heart movement. With every push of the crown, the hour, minute and power reserve can be displayed one after another. This simple mechanism is anything but. With every push of the crown, the disk turns to bring the number to the 10 o'clock position where an indicator is located. The movement maintains its precision up until the very last second of the 60-hour power reserve.
Opus 6 - with Greubel Forsey
Developed with the power watchmaking duo Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, Opus 6 features a double tourbillon that tilts at a 30-degree angle, with three separate time displays for the hour, minute and seconds. To let you fully admire the double tourbillon, the gear trains have been concealed, the bridge screwed to the movement mainplate and the balance wheel moving freely above it. This unique movement is housed inside Harry Winston's specially designed watch case.
Opus 5 - with Felix Baumgartner
Opus 5 revolutionizes the way time is shown on a complicated watch, with the world's first satellite hour display using three small blocks, each with four numbers, arranged like satellites on a 3-dimensional rotating system. On the back of the watch, there is an innovative service indicator, reminding you of the watch's periodic maintenance.
Opus 4 – with Christophe Claret
Opus 4 is essentially two watches in one movement, with a tourbillon and minute repeater on one side, a large moon phase and date display on the other side of the reversible case. The Chrisophe Claret workshops painstakingly developed a cathedral gong in the round 44-mm-diameter case, annoucing the hours, quarters and minutes with a beautiful sound. To change sides, just pull the lugs apart and swivel the case on its arches. Opus 4 is a limited edition of 18 watches, plus two jewellery references.
Opus 3 – with Vianney Halter
Visionnary watchmaker Vianney Halter developed the radical Opus 3, with the first ever manually wound, mechanical movement with a full digital display, where each jumping hour, minute, second and date is shown in separate ‘portholes.’ The displays are adjustable thanks to an innovative horizontal winding crown, which controls a total of 10 discs for the jumping display function.
Opus 2 – with Antoine Preziuso
Antoine Preziuso created the 11-piece limited series of Opus 2 Tourbillon with Perpetual Calendar. The intricate one-minute tourbillon is located in the 12 o’clock position where you can admire the exposed bridges. Harry Winston’s patented retrograde perpetual calendar is seen on the case back through a fond secret – a solid platinum 950PT cover. Harry Winston put the final touches on this complicated watch with beautiful handmade details.
Opus 1 – with F.P. Journe
The first Opus collection in collaboration with the master watchmaker François-Paul Journe produced the resonance chronometer, tourbillon and five-day automatic, with each reference equipped with dials in six different colours.
The resonance chronometer is equipped with a twin-movement resonance system, which consists of two going-trains, two escapements and two independent balances. Each of them vibrates, giving off energy, and absorbs energy from one another. Shocks are compensated between the balances, resulting in unprecedented precision in this mechanical movement.
François-Paul Journe pays tribute to one of the greatest horological inventions in the 18th century, the tourbillon, by going a step further in its mechanical precision. Besides a tourbillon that turns the whole balance and escapement on their axis once a minute, the Opus 1 Tourbillon Chronometer is also equipped with an 18-carat gold constant-force remontoir and a 4-armed balance, both of which provide greater stability.
F.P. Journe created an automatic movement which not only maintains the watch’s precision for five days without it being worn, but also indicates 120 hours of power reserve with a large date, hours, minutes and small seconds display. It is the perfect balance between sustained power and stability, complemented by Harry Winston’s beautiful finishings.