With Americans especially, the Harry Winston Opus 14 is controversial. It isn’t something that people tend to expect, or even feel like they want from a brand like Harry Winston. The unspoken desire from so many consumers looking to purchase or find passion in European luxury goods is for those goods to very much look European. Here we have a thoroughly European luxury watch meant to look American inspired by jukeboxes, record players, and “diner America.” This is not only something which isn’t particularly European, but is also something not typically associated with luxury. So, Harry Winston’s bold move in giving the Harry Winston Opus 14 this avant-garde theme comes with risk, but also reward in the sense that it is truly special at this price segment.
Europeans and Asians seem to easily connect with the Harry Winston Opus 14 and its concept. Even the presentation box that comes with the watch is meant to look like a jukebox. This is a fully complete theme which is only missing actual music to go with it. If you want to describe the various features and elements a collectible limited edition luxury watch is meant to have (interesting theme, big launch party, unique movement, distinct design, cool packaging) the Harry Winston Opus 14 has them all.
Inside the roughly 55mm-wide 18k white gold case (about 22mm thick) is a massively complex movement produced from 1,066 pieces. Known as the Harry Winston caliber HW4601, the manually-would movement has 65 hours of power reserve and uses a silicon escapement. I am actually extremely curious as to the accuracy performance over time. The lovely-looking movement is visible through the rear of the case, and the sound it makes when the “record” discs are changing is neat.
I am the type of person who likes to consider each watch – no matter the price – as daily wear. When a timepiece does not make for a good daily wear (often because of size or fragility), then it goes into the realm of pure collector items. This means I use a different standard to measure its appeal because, by nature, it will be something that isn’t worn all the time and is quite literally meant to be as different as possible. Harry Winston delivers on this promise almost too well as the Harry Winston Opus 14 is so distinctly themed that many watch critics can’t appreciate it for what it is. Of course, not everyone is going to find the Harry Winston Opus 14 gorgeous. Very few of the Opus watches were “beautiful” by traditional standards. What is impressive is the completion and coherence of the concept, as well as the follow-through when it comes to merging form and function together. The Harry Winston Opus 14 with its jukebox complication is something unique, different, and so focused in its theme that enough collectors are going to jump on it. Harry Winston will produce just 50 pieces of the Harry Winston Opus 14 watch in 18k white gold and the price is 428,000 Swiss Francs. opus.harrywinston.com