Like the recently introduced Zenith Christophe Colomb (I truly hope to someday write a hands-on review about this beautiful artifact), the new Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon No. 2 limited edition (ref. HCOMDT48WW001) watch is more of a collector’s item, than a time measuring device. And it is not just that the wristwatch is way too big and complicated to put it on a wrist or that its many sub-dials make it hard to actually use the watch: it is the combination of an intricate hand-made mechanism and an overwhelmingly complex dial that make this oversized monster a true piece of art that, I am sure, will find its place in a museum sooner or later.
This is the second model in the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon series that was first revealed almost two years ago and it, too, features an extravagant exterior design that is centered (not visually, but rather narratively if you don’t mind the word) around the tourbillon complication.
Like the version No. 1, the No. 2 is presented in a huge white gold case the size of Texas and twice more expensive. Unlike many of oversized timekeepers that were delivered during the recent five or so years during the “supersizing battle”, this particular timekeeper is large not because the jewelry brand wanted to sell you as much gold as possible, but because the mechanism that is housed inside the case is so complex and big.
Crafted by hands of skilled artisans, the mechanism is probably a lot more expensive than the case and, probably, that is the reason why Harry Winston decided to limit the whole run to a total of 20 pieces. That and the prohibitive MSRP of approximately $635,000 USD that makes the number of potential customers terrifyingly low. It probably took the brand’s execs a lot of courage to actually give the series a go-ahead.
Yes, the watch is big and all this real estate is claimed by a complicated bi-axial flying tourbillon movement.
The hand-wound caliber that was designed by a third party sports two concentric tourbillon carriages that enable the oversized module to perform multidimensional rotations.
As you can see, the watch features not one, but three off-centered sub-dials (a tourbillon carriage at 9 o’clock, an hour sub-dial with Day/Night indication between 2 and 3 o’clock, and a minutes sub-dial at 6 o’clock,) each covered with its own sapphire crystal.
Two more crystals are installed to cover two cut-outs on the face providing a good view at the straight-line guilloche pattern.
It is not shown on the photos, but there are three more crystals on the watch’s case back, probably, done simply for
teh lulz the fun of it.
Photos: Harry Winston
Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon No. 2 manual-wound limited edition watch (ref. HCOMDT48WW001) specification
Price: $635,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Manual (hand-wound,) in-house, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, bi-axial flying tourbillon
Power reserve: 50 hours
Case material: White gold
Bezel material: White gold
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 48.50 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Dial: Black, asymmetric
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Matt black alligator leather
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire