Harry Winston Opus XIII turns watchmaking inside out
By C.C. Weiss
May 1, 2013
The average watch uses a simple formula of rotating inner hour and minute hands pointing at fixed numerical designations. The Harry Winston Opus XIII, the result of a collaboration with renowned watchmaker Ludovic Ballouard, turns that simple formula on its ear, using an outer ring of 59 moving minutes and 11 moving hours.
Each of the 59 hands rotate 40 degrees to go from the "off" to the "on" position, displaying the minutes in the hour. Once a new hour is reached, the 59 hands retreat in unison. The faceted dome in the watch center conceals 11 hour hands that rotate 180 degrees, pointing to the appropriate hour designation.
Every hour, an outer hour ring moves forward, simultaneously rotating the new hour out and pulling the old hour back beneath the faceted dome in the center. No hour hand is visible at noon or midnight; instead, an "HW" logo becomes visible in the very center of the watch.
The Geneva-made Opus XIII is a manual-winding watch with a 35-hour power reserve. It contains 364 components and 242 jewels. For instance, each pivoting minute hand is held in place by a steel shaft, which in turn is held in place by two ruby bearings. The watch casing is 18K white gold and the band is black alligator leather.
The back of the case houses a sapphire-crystal window that provides a peek at the intricate inner workings of the watch. The watch is water-resistant to 98 feet (30 m) – not that it looks like the best choice for timing your swim.
Only 130 examples of the limited edition watch will be built. Harry Winston doesn't list a price, but we'll take a guess that it'll cost a few extra figures over the Swatch you can find at Macy's (Swatch actually acquired Harry Winston earlier this year).
You can get closer to the Opus XIII's unique take on time display in the video below.