A New York based producer of fine jewelry and high-end Swiss watches, Harry Winston, has a nice annual tradition that involves collaboration with a master watchmaker and the launch of a special watch. The timepieces that are made this way are presented as a part of the Opus collection which has so far produced 12 remarkable timepieces. Unveiled this spring, the latest of collaborative timekeepers, made together with Emanuel Bouchet, is named Opus 12 and it features a pocketful of originality and yet unseen manner of displaying time. It is a true paragon of mechanical ingenuity, with a highly complex beating heart. Cleverly disguised in a classic round case that might give an impression of an ordinary timepiece, the watch includes a mechanism that can turn each of its hour markers into hour or minute hands.
Both hour and minute hands are blue and a pair of them is concealed below each of the 12 hour markers (hour hands are slightly shorter). Every five minutes the hands change guard and emerge over the respective hour markers (as it can be seen on the video), giving this timepiece a new and completely original quality. For telling the exact time, the wearer uses a retrograde five minute display and a small seconds counter with a floating hand that circles around a transparent ring. Besides, the skeleton dial of this highly complex timepiece is likewise supplied with a power reserve indication that shows how much of its 45 hour lasting storage is left. With 24 hour minute and hour hands, and additional ones for the five minute periods, small seonds and power storage indication, the total number of hands used on the watch measures up to impressive 27.
Harry Winston Opus 12 timepiece was created in collaboration with the French watchmaker, Emmanuel Bouchet, known in the industry as an expert, especially for making minute repeater complications. Bouchet comes from the family with strong connections to horology. After graduating in Montreu in 1984 where he trained to be a watchmaker and a repairer, Bouchet’s first job in the field was in the jewelry store ran by his father Leon whom he replaced four years after he joined. During the stint, Emanuel Bouchet earned the Master watchmaker title and was involved in selling and repairing wristwatches, and in some instances restoring vintage clocks for some of the best known French museums. After two decades in the family workshop, Bouchet started a new chapter in his career in Switzerland where he collaborated with a lot of high-end brands and further improved his skills of making some of the most challenging complications in horology, such as aforementioned minute repeaters, tourbillons, perpetual calendars and ultra-thin movements. Finally, in 2008, Bouchet co-founded Centagora, the Swiss firm that offers its expertise to the high-end watchmaking brands.
A Hand-Wound Mechanical Caliber with 607 Parts
The timepiece that was created by Harry Winston and Bouchet required the creation of a highly intricate movement. With 607 components, 80 jewels, two barrels and 24 hour and minute hands (an hour and a minute hand under each of the 12 markers), the hand-wound mechanical caliber of Opus 12 watch is truly a masterpiece of fine micro-mechanics. It also includes a fair amount of decorations: the mainplate and its upper bridges are shot-peened and NAC-coated, whereas the shot-peened lower bridges are graced with circular Cotes de Geneve pattern and with nickel palladium coating.
Harry Winston Opus 12 watch is fitted into a round 18K white gold housing with polished finish and it features the width of 46 mm. Naturally, its face is guarded with a glare-proof sapphire which is once again utilized on the transparent case-back. Its attachment is a black hand-sewn alligator leather strap which fastens with a folding buckle. Due to its construction, the latest timekeeper from the Opus collection is water proof to 30 meters. The watch is made in the limited edition consisting of 120 pieces, while its price is roughly $260,000.