Thursday, April 23, 2009

Talk to me Harry Winston. Tell me all about it.

Recognize the title from Marylin Monroe's "Diamonds are a girls best friend."? Although the Harry Winston Opus 9 Watch is not a girl's watch, on the contrary it is quite masculine, never the less Harry Winston has chosen a diamond conveyor belt comprised of 33 baguette cut diamonds (Harry Winston's signature cut) and a single vivacious garnet to tell the time. The Opus 9 Timepiece puts its diamonds (and garnet) to work rather than letting them merely sit pretty. ( I am in no way downplaying the aesthetic role diamonds play in a timepiece, but it is quite refreshing to see the diamonds actively taking part in the role of telling the time)
The time display is easy to read, as the garnet indicates the hour on the first chain and the minutes on the second chain. The chains are meticulously crafted from brass to ensure the utmost mobility and the least friction. The brass is unnoticeable and the gems seem to glide on thin air making their way along the conveyor belt.
A strong automatic movement pulls the chain via a rack and pinion mechanism. This mechanism creates the lateral drive required to convert rational time into linear time and to propel the continual gliding movement. Although the conveyor belt is not a new concept, a conveyor belt comprising of diamonds is, and so meticulous planning is needed to account for the combined weight of the gems, the friction and gravitational pull, as well as the weight of each individual stone crucial for the ultimate balance of the watch. The large 18k white gold watch case (56mm tall by 48mm wide, and 20mm thick) is sculptured drawing instant attention to the diamond chain and at the same time enhancing the movement. The case is crafted in white gold with a structural bridge required for technical stability as well as providing a aesthetic appeal to the watch face. The bridge creates a lynch pin lock that secures the mobile components of the watch and thereby providing added stability and shock resistance.
The timepiece is completely encased in Sapphire crystal so that the glittering chain can be viewed from all angles. The strap is black alligator leather further enhancing its elegant appearance .
The Opus 9 is a commendable addition to The Opus Series. A series Harry Winston launched in 2001 committed to restructure the display of time in innovative, trend setting and creative ways. Mechanical Marvels really. Harry Winston is achieving this feat by partnering the industries most respected independent watch makers and designers, masters in the art and science of watch making. The Opus 9 is the result of the collaboration between Harry Winston and long time designer and watch maker, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht ,winner of the Grand Prix 2007 Best Watch Maker Designer, and designer Eric Girourd who has a background in architecture. The Opus 9 is the first time that these two remarkably talented individuals have joined forces and designed a luxury timepiece.
In the Opus tradition all three partners -Harry Winston, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and Eric Giroud- are engraved on the bottom of the case. Only 100 pieces of this remarkable and ground breaking timepiece are available. The price tag is $180,000. A price encompassing innovation, exclusivity, remarkable craftsmanship, a handsome timepiece and diamonds at work.

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