A collection of rare timepieces launched in 2009, Histoire de Tourbillon embodies Harry Winston’s visionary spirit and determination to explore new dimensions. The collection combines technical sophistication and fine design in a daring and distinctive manner, expressing an original vision of horological history and asserting a new signature style. This year, for its second edition, the House of Harry Winston is paying tribute to the undisputed star of complications with an exclusive new timepiece issued in a 20-piece limited series. Featuring an ingenious construction that makes light of established conventions and includes a bi-axial flying tourbillon, Histoire de Tourbillon 2 offers its very own interpretation of time measurement. An avant-garde interpretation in which technology serves design and confirms the pioneering spirit of Harry Winston.
In tune with the inimitable Harry Winston style, Histoire de Tourbillon 2 transforms creative freedom into a full-fledged vocation. The brand’s signature excentered look is expressed in a resolutely atypical manner that pushes the boundaries of conception and design. From the tourbillon coupled with running seconds at 9 o’clock, to the hours with day/night indication at 2 o’clock and the minutes at 6 o’clock, all the displays are isolated in independent offset subdials. Each has its own field of expression in a case that is cleverly partitioned to form several different levels. Eight sapphire crystals (five on the dial side of which three for the time indications, and three on the case-back) punctuate the case like windows to a futuristic world in which technology forges the passing of time. The strength and intensity emanating from the watch are reinforced by a monumental white gold structure measuring 48.5 mm in diameter.
Powered by a mechanical hand-wound movement exclusively developed for Harry Winston, Histoire de Tourbillon 2 showcases the supreme complication in a setting worthy of its stature. The intricate structure of the amazing bi-axial flying tourbillon immediately catches the eye. Embodying a daunting conceptual challenge characterized by the absence of an upper bridge, the tourbillon is held on the side of the movement only, so that its point of fixation remains invisible. Suspended in mid-air, it radiates the hypnotic magic of a perfectly controlled balancing game: as if released from the mechanism driving it, it appears to be floating in complete freedom. Hovering over the watch protected by its sapphire crystal dome, this watchmaking feat plays its role within a spacious and spectacular stage-setting. Designers have worked with perspective, height and sloping angles in creating the stunning tourbillon carriage with its fascinating sense of depth.
The technical complexity does not stop there: the bi-axial flying tourbillon combines two concentric carriages and gains added precision by enabling the regulating organ to perform multidimensional rotations. The striking visual effect is created by an outer carriage completing one full turn in 120 seconds and housing an internal carriage – holding the balance, balance-spring and escapement – that revolves in just 40 seconds. The circular-grained, polished and shotpeened finishes, hand-crafted in keeping with the noblest fine watchmaking traditions, highlight the tourbillon components in an extraordinary contrast between light and dark shades. Moreover, behind the stunning vision of this aerial ballet lies excellent rating precision, enhanced not only by the constant shifting of positions, but also by the lightness and resistance of the external titanium carriage.
Distinguished by a three-level bezel, in itself an outstanding accomplishment in terms of guaranteeing water resistance, the case meticulously compartmentalizes the various timekeeping indications. While the tourbillon plays the starring role, the hours and minutes appear in their respective subdials at 2 and 6 o’clock and feature a bold, ultra-contemporary design. Underscored by a beveled inner bezel ring, they are swept over by orange-accented hands standing out clearly against the opaline black dial background. Further enhancing readability, the day/night indications can be told apart by their color: orange for day, and blue for night. Finally, two additional dial apertures set the finishing touch to the decidedly masculine aesthetic of this model with a straight-line guilloché motif. Superlative design meets cutting-edge technology in this supremely elegant model radiating perfect visual equilibrium despite the excentered displays.
Designed for devotees of contemporary Haute Horlogerie that is firmly anchored in the 21st century and geared towards innovation, Histoire de Tourbillon 2 asserts a unique style: that of a precious work of art to be experienced on a daily basis; and that of a high-tech instrument that does not merely measure time, but actually lives it with vibrant energy and confidence.
Movement – Mechanical hand-wound movement. Bi-axial flying tourbillon. Flying external carriage in titanium: full rotation in 120 seconds. Internal carriage: inclined at a 10-degree angle, full rotation in 40 seconds. Circular-grained, polished and shotpeened hand-finished decorations. 95 components. Power Reserve – 50 hours.
Functions – Excentered hour display at 2 o’clock. Excentered disk-type minutes display at 6 o’clock. Disk-type seconds display at 9 o’clock on the tourbillon. Orange indications for day and blue for night at 2 o’clock.
Case – 48.5 mm. Polished white gold, satin finished and shotpeened.
Dial – Opaline black. Straight-line guilloché motif at 12 and 4 o’clock.
Glass – 5 sapphire crystals on the dial side of which three for the time indication. 3 sapphire crystals on the case-back.
Water resistance – 30 meters (3 ATM).
Strap – Matt black alligator leather.
Source: Harry Winston