Histoire de Tourbillon 9
November 02, 2018
For nine years, the exceptional qualities that characterize Harry Winston have been embodied in a singular tourbillon watch. Histoire de Tourbillon 9—the latest from a long lineage of timepieces—casts a new light on fine watchmaking innovation. Its triaxial tourbillon has been augmented with retrograde jumping hours and retrograde minutes.
Once again, the Histoire de Tourbillon collection pushes the boundaries of cinematic magic attained by a tourbillon. Histoire de Tourbillon 9 sees this complication perform a new ballet, choreographed by the pure expertise of Harry Winston. Nestling in a well of light, the triaxial tourbillon takes up every possible position on the sphere, in turn creating an infinite number of possible positions for the escapement. Hence time is measured with uniquely exquisite delicacy. It is rendered visible by two hands. Both the minute hand and the hour hand are retrograde, while the latter is jumping.
True to the highly mechanical and skeletonized style of Harry Winston’s grand complications, Histoire de Tourbillon 9 plays with volume, symmetry, and transparency, following principles of design that break with convention.
A well of light
With a diameter of 46.5 mm, Histoire de Tourbillon 9 is the most compact watch in the Histoire de Tourbillon series. With steeply curved lugs that follow the natural contours of the wrist, the Histoire de Tourbillon 9 is pleasantly comfortable to wear. Additionally, the case band - which is the opaque element - is relatively slim and features a high domed sapphire crystal known as a glass “box” that bulges over it. Histoire de Tourbillon 9 uses layers of transparency to create an artistic effect. The tourbillon holding the three carriages undertakes its rotation in a well of light measuring 20.5 mm in diameter. On the back side of the case, a second glass box sits against the wrist. It incorporates a dome, which melts into the thickness of the wrist and gives the tourbillon all the space it needs to freely complete its triaxial rotation.
Through an openwork dial, the hour and minute hands circle directly above the movement and point to two zones calibrated with Arabic numerals.
The power-reserve indicator at 8 o’clock displays a field and a two-part hand that share a distinctly three-dimensional nature.
On the bottom side is an entirely open worked and satin-finished barrel bridge. It structures the whole underside of the timepiece, further set off by a surface treatment that enhances the effect. The Histoire de Tourbillon 9’s two power- accumulating organs are daisy-chained beneath the barrel bridge.
However, the main element is still the triaxial tourbillon itself. The first carriage— the biggest—holds the other two, and takes 300 seconds to rotate on its axis. It encloses an intermediate carriage, which spins in 75 seconds. The third, and smallest, carriage directly holds the large variable-inertia balance wheel and completes its rotation in 45 seconds.
A spirit takes shape
An ambassador of Harry Winston’s watchmaking expertise, Histoire de Tourbillon 9 is the quintessential embodiment of the brand’s spirit. The power of this timepiece lies within the shape of the triaxial tourbillon’s external carriage.
Another aesthetic hallmark - the three arches that cover and encircle the crown on Histoire de Tourbillon 9 - was inspired by the entrance of Harry Winston’s iconic Fifth Avenue Salon in New York City.
A unique approach
While jumping hours have already been featured on several Harry Winston timepieces, the Histoire de Tourbillon 9 breaks from convention. The hand that indicates them moves from 0 to 12 in progressive steps, before jumping back to the start. The dragging minutes follow the same path and the same cadence.The HW4504 caliber was designed exclusively for Histoire de Tourbillon 9. This development guarantees an exceptional degree of exclusivity, since only 20 models of Histoire de Tourbillon 9 will be made - ten in 18-karat white gold and ten in 18- karat rose gold.
Contrasts and textures
On the white gold Histoire de Tourbillon 9, the dominant color is gray, while the rose gold version is predominantly black. The common denominator between these finishes is their extraordinarily superior level of quality. The beveling, which is carried out entirely by hand, highlights the sophisticated cut of the components.
An eye for detail
Three further elements that often take a backseat have been treated with particular care on this timepiece. The strap in black alligator leather is stitched with thread made of precious metal – 18-karat rose gold thread was used on the version with a rose gold case, while the stitching on the white gold model is done in platinum. The Ardillon buckle was also redesigned for the occasion. Its new lines recall the case, especially its three reworked arches.