Welcome to the third installment of the Historie de Tourbillon watch collection from Harry Winston. These pieces have always amused and entertained me. For instance, when they came out with the first Historie de Tourbillon watch here I compared it to Star Wars droids. This third piece is something altogether new but retains the conceptual focus on complex tourbillons and the visualization thereof.
For me the design of this watch looks like a combination of MB&F (HM2) and DeWitt. Each combing together with some Harry Winston in a sort of “wants to be, but isn’t quite Opus way.” Harry Winston got its claim to fame via the famed Opus collection that asked independent watch makers to create special limited edition series for the brand. While continuing the Opus collection Harry Winston has also furthered their own creative spirit with wild high-end pieces in other collections. They are cool, but they still look up to “Uncle Opus” for approval and inspiration.
The Historie de Tourbillon 3 has three tourbillons in this long rectangular case. Two of the tourbillons are within one another and a third one sits next to them. The double tourbillon is a bi-axial mechanism that has an inner tourbillon rotating each 40 seconds and an outer one rotating each 120 seconds. The third, separated tourbillon spins once each 36 seconds. Why these numbers? I am not sure but I am sure there is a good reason from a regulation standpoint. You see, the system is designed to have each of them work together to regulate the time. This produces an average rate with arguably is the most accurate. Arguably… I am just happy to see watches like this even work. Seeing each of the three tourbillons operate together must be a hell of a visual spectacle. I want one.
The case is 65mm wide and about 46mm tall. The imposing look should serve as a good frame for the complications. It is made up of over 70 parts and is in 18k white gold and Harry Winston’s own proprietary Zalium alloy metal. What does the Historie de Tourbillon watch do? Well it has two discs that show the time in hours and minutes, and the it has a power reserve indicator. If you are brave you can read the seconds via the several tourbillons.
The power reserve indicator is where the precious stones come in. The scale is lined with 11 sapphires and 6 citrines. When the orange of the citrines comes, it means that the 50 hour power reserve of the movement is coming to an end and you’ll need to wind the movement.
Black opaline is used for the dial behind the indicators. It should make for a very deep and beautiful look. Many people are going to be outstanded at how strange and unconventional the watch looks. No one has ever claimed that a Harry Winston Historie de Tourbillon watch was pretty. No, they are more “handsome” watches than anything else. They are cool like a rugged SUV or a really well made set of stereo speakers – if you are even the type to get into that sort of thing. Form over function types need not apply. The whole thing is horological design overkill, and sometimes that is just what the wealthy mind desires.
Harry Winston will produce just 20 pieces of this Historie de Tourbillon 3 timepiece. It is a crazy weird watch for crazy weird people – and I damn hope to ever run into one in the wild. This is what watch makers dream up when trying to de-invent the timepiece.
Tech specs from Harry Winston:
Name Histoire de Tourbillon 3 Reference 500/MMTWZL.K
Movement Mechanical hand-wound movement, 479 components
Type Double tourbillon (bi-axial): one carriage rotating every 40 seconds within a second carriage spinning in 120 seconds on a perpendicular axis
Tourbillon (mono-axial): rotating on a single axis every 36 seconds
Power reserve 50 hours
Decorations Hand-polished chamfers
Functions Hours and minutes
Material Polished and satin-brushed 18K white gold Satin-brushed caseband in Zalium®
Crystal 5 non-reflecting sapphire crystals
Crown 18K white gold and rubber with HW engraving
Size 65 x 45.9 mm
Water resistance 30 meters
Dial Black Opaline
Circular satin-brushed hours and minutes discs
Small seconds disc on the bi-axial tourbillon, Power reserve indicated by 11 sapphires and 6 citrines
Strap Hand-sewn black alligator leather
Type Double-pin buckle
Material Polished 18K white gold
Collection Histoire de Tourbillon