With pieces like the Opus Eleven being so popular it is easy to miss other new Harry Winston watches for 2011 that are interesting. The Midnight collection received a rather major over-haul (retro-haul) among a few models. The most interesting is the Harry Winston Midnight Big Date.
Functionally the Midnight Big Date is a simple watch. You have a nicely made Swiss automatic movement with an off-centered dial for the time and a rather prominent big date indicator located near 6 o'clock. However, given that simple layout the dial and case design come together artfully with an inspired display.
Available in 18k white or rose gold the case is 42mm wide - which I appreciate despite the "formal" nature of the design. In my opinion the best classy watches these days are ones that are both thin and wide. If you are a Harry Winston watch fan you'll recognize how this design is certainly "held back" in comparison to some of their more aggressive, avant garde designs. Harry Winston seems to have wanted to ride to elegant watch ride for a while so the 2011 Midnight collection pieces are all about that.
Aside from the size, what I really like about the case is the finishing as well as the deeps cuts in it that add shape and hearken to the larger and more sporty pieces in the collection. Even the "crown claw" gets service on the design of the watch. At 10mm thick, the case in my opinion could easily be considered a "thin watch."
Do you love the dial or does it do nothing for you? Personally the series of circles and textures are appealing. My favorite part? The symmetry. Harry Winston watches somethings abhor symmetry just for the sake of asymmetry. Though the new Midnight collection pieces are all symmetrical.
Compared to the Midnight Automatic (that I covered here), the Midnight Big Date has a lot going on. The dial is comprised of several overlapping zones that further create a few layer planes. It all seems to work together artfully, and even though the dial for the time is small, it is legible. How do you feel about those elongated space rock style hands? They look like icons from a Marvin the Martian cartoon.
Did you notice the diamond? Yup, there is one on there. I mean this IS a Harry Winston watch - so why not place a shiny stone on there is possible. Look at the top of the ring around the big date indicator and there is a single diamond placed there for your viewing enjoyment.
Inside the watch is a Swiss automatic movement that is viewable through the sapphire display back window. I like that it is an automatic and that it has about 70 hours of power reserve. While not something I would wear daily (I certainly don't dress well enough for that), I do quite like this new Midnight Big Date watch from Harry Winston. Price is about $30,000.