Harry Winston x Ludovic Ballouard ‘Opus XIII’

May 19, 2013

As you do every year, you were waiting for this one, and here it is: Harry Winston Opus XIII. And yes, it is as crazy as it looks. The Opus XIII has only one thing in common with any other watch and that is its balance and escapement; the rest of the mechanism is the brainchild of independent watchmaker Ludovic Ballouard. Honestly it is next to impossible to understand this watch just by looking at it (be sure to watch the video below to help you out).

Opus XIII once again defies the conventional rules of watchmaking. Fifty-nine pivoting minutes hands, eleven rotating triangles for the hours, and a sliding trapdoor perform a magic show where minutes and hours appear or vanish instantly — and, of course, tell the time. Harry Winston believes nothing in watchmaking is beyond human ingenuity, and Opus XIII invariably proves it right.

Instantaneous hours and minutes; Cumulative display of minutes via a peripheral, jumping retrograde system with fifty-nine hands; Successive display of hours via a peripheral, jumping system with eleven hands; Sliding shutter revealing the “HW” logo every twelve hours.

Minutes accumulate around a track, each five minutes in red, withdrawing in unison when they complete the circle of the hour. Silver triangles spring in turn from a faceted dome to show the hours, rotating back when their duty’s done. Every twelve hours, Harry Winston’s logo is revealed on the dial, only to vanish sixty minutes later.

The fifty-nine minutes hands pivot on a ring of as many steel shafts, each held between two ruby bearings, bringing the number of jewels in the timepiece to 242. No other timepiece ever made has as many functional jewels. The ruby ball bearings for the sliding shutter are so tiny that the package had to be opened in a non-static environment lest they fly off.

Beneath a smoked sapphire crystal you catch a glimpse of what looks like the fan of a jet engine. This is an extraordinary component, comprising fifty-nine jumper springs — one for each minutes hand — carved from a single piece of steel using LIGA technology (lithography, electroplating and molding).

Harry Winston Opus XIII in collaboration with Ludovic Ballouard is a Limited Edition of 130 Pieces sitting at 44.25mm x 13.6mm white gold case. More looks of this beautiful timepiece below.

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