Earlier this year Harry Winston unveiled the third installment of its Histoire de Tourbillion collection. Promising a visual feast for a highly select group of just 20 enthusiasts world-wide this spectacular timepiece houses not one, not two but three tourbillons in it its unique over-sized design. Surprisingly enough it is also remarkably easy to read the time, assuming you will ever be able to tear your eyes away from the mesmerizing dance of the tourbillons, of course!
All it takes is one look at the dial to realise just how complex the construction of new Histoire de Tourbillon 3 is, and yet everything seems to be in perfect harmony. On the left-hand side we find the breathtaking bi-axial double tourbillon mechanism. The inner tourbillon completes one full rotation every 40 seconds, whilst the outer takes 120 seconds to complete a full rotation, providing a delightfully captivating visual contrast. A little bit lower down and to the right we discover the third, separate tourbillon which completes one full revolution every 36 seconds.
Amazingly enough, as you can see in the video below, the overall effect is not overwhelming. Admittedly though I did sometimes feel like I didn’t know where to look as I didn’t want to miss anything!
Despite the incredible complexity of the movement, compromised of over 479 components, the time display is relatively simple. Hours and minutes are indicated via two circular satin-brushed discs contrasted against a black opaline surface at the top right-hand side of the case, and seconds are displayed on a small seconds disc on the bi-axial tourbillon.
Also of note is the cleverly designed power reserve indicator that uses a scale lined with 11 sapphires and 6 citrines to indicate current power remaining. With the loss of power, the sapphires transition from a dark to light color and when the power reserve is fully depleted the orange citrines indicate that the watch needs to be rewound. When fully wound the mechanism offers 50 hours of power, which is quite impressive when you consider how much energy must be required to power three tourbillons simultaneously.
Larger Than Life
At 65 mm wide and 45.9 mm high the case of the Histoire de Tourbillon 3 is most decidedly on the large side making it all but impractical to wear on a regular basis. Let’s face it though, that is not really the intention here. This is a piece for private collectors, designed to be brought out on special occasions and admired by envious friends and fellow collectors. That being said the case itself it still quite striking, comprised of over 70 parts in polished and satin-brushed 18k white gold, with Harry Winston’s own proprietary Zalium alloy metal case band.
As a final touch the Histoire de Tourbillon 3 is presented on a hand-sewn black alligator leather strap, with a double-pin buckle, made of polished 18K white gold. As we mentioned before there will be a limited production of just 20 pieces worldwide.
The Final Word
The Histoire de Tourbillon 3 by Harry Winston is a celebration of the tourbillon and quite a worthy one at that, in my humble opinion. Much like the mechanism itself, this new piece has been designed with the primary intention of delivering aesthetic enjoyment to the viewer; practicality is not a key consideration here and nor should it be. For lovers of timepieces as art this piece will most definitely resonate.
For more information please visit the official Harry Winston website: www.harrywinston.com