This year, Harry Winston is launching a new watch from its project Z sub-series which is characterized by the use of ultra-light and resistant Zalium alloy that is exclusive to the brand. The eighth model in the series named Project Z8 is distinguished by the presence of a dual time feature where home time is represented via retrograde scale that can be adjusted in both directions. Other functions which are supported on the typical three-dimensional face of the watch and enabled with its automatic mechanical movement include: a day/night indicator for the second time zone, a pointer type date display and a Shuriken indication that shows whether the movement is operational. The latest Zalium encased timepiece is restricted to 300 copies and costs $20,300.
Zallium Alloy, Developed by Harry Winston’s Son
The Project Z collection, a part of the larger Ocean series by Harry Winston, is now celebrating a decade of existence. Its main characteristic is the presence of cases made of high-tech Zalium alloy which has qualities that highly recommend it to be used in the construction of the case. It is very light and extraordinary resistant to both scratches and corrosion. Furthermore, it looks rather nice with its recognizable gun-metal gray lustre. There is one more thing regarding the origin of the alloy that gives it an additional doze of charm. Zalium was actually developed by Ronald Winston who is none other than the son of Harry Winston, the brand’s founder. While employed as an MIT researcher engaged on the development of jet and rocket engines, Ronald Winston came up with a new zirconium-based alloy with extraordinary properties. The alloy is harder than titanium and only a tad bit heavier than it. As titanium, this alloy is also hypo-allergenic which is why it is used for the construction of surgical tools. As for the name of the alloy, it stems from the combination of zirconium on which it is based and allium flower.
Three-Dimensional Dial with Lovely Finishes and Clearly Separated Indications
Harry Winston Project Z8 is not the first timekeeper from the series with a retrograde indication, nor with a dual time display, but it is the premier piece that combines these two features. All of the supported indications are clearly separated on its rather busy-looking and multi-leveled dial which is quite usual for the products of the brand. Its home time zone is off-centered and lays on the upper right side of the dial. It includes seven superimposed appliqués on a black galvanic chapter ring with circular finish as well as two blue and stumpy sword-shaped hands coated with SuperLuminova. The day/night indicator of the home time zone is inserted inside the local time scale and lies on the far right central section of the face. In concert, these displays make up for the top layer of the dial which is held in place with three bridges (of which two are hollowed in the middle). It should also be said that the central part of the local time display is skeletonized with the use of a cob-web pattern which received a micro-blasted finish for even more impressive appearance.
The second lowered layer of the dial is on the left side and it is used for a retrograde indication of home time zone. The black galvanic scale with a circular satin finish consists of five raised appliqués and red hour markers for the rest of the positions, while the time is shown with the use of a notably curved and three-dimensional hand made of anodized aluminum.
On the lowest level of the dial there is its pointer-type date indication with three visible numerals at the five o’clock, while a small portion of the date disc can also be partially seen standing parallel and inside the retrograde display of the home time zone. For the date disc, Harry Winston used a black galvanic ring with sand-blasted finishing. Even further inside, encircled by the date ring there is a central section with inverted radiating Clou de Paris hobnail motif. The only remaining indication present on the dial with diamond polished chamfered sections and a few visible blued screws is another trademark characteristic of the Project Z series. It is the Shuriken indication, set slightly lower than the center of the face. It revolves only to indicate that the movement is active.
A Blancpain-Based Modified Automatic Movement
Each of the displays of the asymmetric and three-dimensional face of project Z8 watch is enabled by its self-winding mechanical HW3502 caliber. The movement is modified from a Blancpain-produced base and it is the first one of the series of this kind. This is caused by the fact that Harry Winston is now owned by the Swatch Group which also stands behind Blancpain. Be that as it may, the movement will still be exclusive to Harry Winston from now on. As it has been mentioned, one of the most impressive features of the 281-component movement with 32 jewels is that its retrograde home time display can be adjusted in both directions, unlike the vast majority of similar movements by other manufacturers. The added clutch system of the feature which is operated by the crown thus makes this operation notably easier. HW3502 functions at the rate of 4 Hz and incorporates a flat balance spring made of silicon which features Phillips terminal curve and a Geneva-type stud. The finely embellished movement with the Harry Winston’s recognizable circular Geneva stripes motif includes a new skeltonized oscillating weight that fills its power reserve. Unfortunately, there is still no information about the scope of the power reserve of the flat movement with the height of 5.2 mm.
As for the construction of the housing, it should be said that the round Zalium case with a satin-brushed finish features the medium-sized width of 44.2 mm and the substantial height of 21.7 mm. Both sides of the case are protected with sapphire crystals, while its waterproofness measures to 100 meters. Harry Winston Ocean Collection Project Z8 is coupled with a black rubber strap embellished with Clou de Paris hobnail motif and it fastens with an ardillon-type buckle which is naturally made of Zalium.