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Hands-On: The Harry Winston Opus 14, A Jukebox For The Wrist

The venture would proceed to run for a very long time straight, with the watches launching at Baselworld, and in those 13 years a huge scope of various approaches to what you might call the creative introduction of time were conveyed. The venture was not without its white knuckle minutes. Making a formerly unknown high complication once per year, with a free watchmaker with whom the relationship isn’t always smooth, and where quite a few new, or at no other time made parts, might be required, is fraught with a wide range of evident hazards and time and again Harry Winston scarcely figured out how to have a solitary working model in Basel on the primary day of the show. One year, I can recall showing up for an early gathering and seeing the watch really being unpacked from the dispatch by (exceptionally) restless staff; it had shown up only 15 minutes before I did.

There wasn’t a lot of consoling information regarding the matter from Harry Winston and the overall agreement among enthusiasts was that unfortunate number thirteen would be the last Opus.

However, following thirteen years, Harry Winston was acquired by the Swatch Group and in the midst of a lot of sturm und drang in the gatherer world, the Opus project went on hiatus, with the last piece – Opus 13, by Ludovic Ballouard – being delivered in 2013. The number appeared to be an unfortunate one for the task, and though there were always challenges in the Opus watches – some of the time significant ones; Opus 3 broadly required ten years to develop from irritable model at launch, to working, deliverable watch – it actually felt like the finish of a period. There wasn’t a lot of consoling information regarding the matter from Harry Winston and the overall agreement among enthusiasts was that unfortunate number 13 would be the last Opus.

Baden-Baden, Germany: Host To The Opus XIV Launch

However, this year we at last got a first gander at the following Opus: Opus 14. My first experience with the watch was only a couple days prior, at the launch occasion in Baden-Baden. Baden-Baden is a spa town and resort; its mineral hot springs have been popular since Roman occasions, and for the launch, Harry Winston put it all out there to make way for the Opus 14 introduction. Visitors were carried to the occasion in an armada of huge American vintage vehicles from the 1950s (I haven’t seen that numerous tailfins since Finding Nemo) and the actual occasion occurred in the Kurhaus – a huge, neo-old style expanding on the edge of the Black Forest that houses a gambling club and occasion space, and which since 1824 has hosted everything from NATO meetings to chess competitions. Once inside, you went up a flight of neon red-lit steps and into a space set up like a 1950s cafe – or rather, a 1950s cafe set for a major spending Hollywood musical.

It was a hell of a development however the watch figured out how to become the overwhelming focus anyway. Creation 14 is huge: a 54.70 mm x 21.9 mm white-gold case, housing a development enlivened by a conventional, vinyl-took care of jukebox. At its center, this is a date watch with GMT – practically, pretty straightforward. The Opus watches, however, have always been more about how time is introduced rather than usefulness essentially, and in this regard, the Opus 14 is right in accordance with the former watches in the Opus series.

On the left hand side of the dial is a pile of four circles, in a sapphire precious stone tower – one for the time; one for the subsequent time region/GMT sign; one for the date; and one “esthetic” plate. There is a three position selector for the situation band, allowing you to choose, for the motivations behind putting the jukebox complication into action, either the date, GMT, or esthetic circle show.

When you change the chosen circle, the whole stack goes up or down so the chosen plate lies on the plane of the dial. The home time circle is always at the highest point of the stack, showing the current time, and the minutes are perused off a 60 moment retrograde curve, chosen in orange, running from about 3:00 to 7:00. The power hold for the jukebox complication is obvious at 6:00.

The fantasy of taking a gander at a jukebox is exceptionally articulated and it’s a great deal of pretty unadulterated enjoyable to watch it do its thing.

Once you’ve chosen which gathering stunt you want to see, you then actuate the jukebox, through a pusher at 4:00. This gets the jukebox rolling. Similarly as in a genuine jukebox, an arm voyaging horizontally pulls the circle you have chosen out of the stack, and places it on a platter. Each plate conveys teeth on its edge. When the circle is set up, the stuff train is actuated, and the plate turns so the right sign is shown; there is a window that movements alongside each plate as it arises, with a list portraying the date or time to be perused off. A second push on the pusher, and the circle gets back to its position in the stack. The whole activity requires eight seconds – around five seconds for the circle to arise, and three for it to restore; the speed of the arm that conveys the plate is constrained by an anchor controller which is indistinguishable from the one used to control brief repeater. The deception of taking a gander at a jukebox is extremely articulated and it’s a great deal of pretty unadulterated amusing to watch it do its thing.

The watchmakers who made the development are Franck Orny and Johnny Girardin, of Telos, a free complications improvement house, whose work likewise incorporates the Montblanc Metamorphosis. (Curiously, the Metamorphosis likewise includes the horizontal and vertical development of dial components, constrained by a controller taken from the moment repeater.) Orny and Girardin say that it unquestionably would have been conceivable to utilize a quiet radial controller, however the foundation humming of the anchor adds, they chose, to the experience of seeing the jukebox complication moving. When the two utilitarian plates are uncovered, they can be set with the two correctors for the subsequent time region and date, in the highest point of the case.

As in an amazing sonnerie, there are two separate fountainhead barrels; one powers the timekeeping gear train, and the other powers the jukebox complication. There is enough power hold in the fountainhead for the jukebox to power 5 cycles, and you can really see the power save drop as you run the jukebox. The crown winds the origin for the stuff train one way, and the heart for the jukebox in the other. One last technical note: the “esthetic” circle in the watch shown at the launch occasion conveys a star (a gesture to the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, and the long standing association of Harry Winston with Hollywood excitement) with the mark of Harry Winston, yet customers will be able to request customization – we envision Harry Winston might be rather progressive in what to put on the plate, given the extraordinariness, cost, and significance to Harry Winston of the Opus arrangement of watches, and Opus 14 in particular.

Press gathering, Franck Orny and Johnny Girardin of Telos; CEOs Nayla Hayek and Marc Hayek

Obviously, this is a really mechanically brilliant watch, however such “superwatches” are frequently exceptionally hazardous mechanically, and this time around, said CEO Nayla Hayek, joined by Blancpain CEO Marc Hayek, it was vital to Harry Winston that they convey, at launch, a homologated (that is, appropriately tried and affirmed) wristwatch. The development was tried through Blancpain’s inner lab, and the testing cycle incorporated around 4,500 reiterations of the jukebox activity. As it were, the watch is practically equivalent to brief repeater in a greater number of ways than one; the two versatile utilitarian plates for the subsequent time region and for the date show information “on interest” and similarly as with a repeater, that information is put away in the inside condition of the stuff train and possibly showed when the jukebox is enacted. To keep up unwavering quality and genuine deliverability in future Opus watches – and, say Nayla and Marc Hayek, there totally will be future Opus watches – Harry Winston will not be endeavoring to fulfill a yearly creation time constraint, and will likewise not show the new Opus watches at Baselworld. Marc Hayek commented at the post-occasion public interview that their evaluation is that a 18 month improvement cycle is much more practical (though still exceptionally requesting) and that they would very much want for each Opus launch to not have to happen during the madhouse atmosphere of Baselworld, which I think bodes well – however much we all delighted in, and looked forward, to each new Opus unmistakably at any rate at times, attempting to adhere to an in a general sense unreasonable cutoff time was unsafe, and in any event now and again a recipe for disappointment.

If you are such an individual that falsehoods awake at night longing for vintage Calatravas, this is clearly not such a watch, cost notwithstanding. 

Ultimately obviously, the Opus 14 is tied in with making a significant encounter; the mechanics are great as hell, however does the watch do what it decides to do: work as a piece of super high end mechanical creativity? A great deal of the underlying response to the watch was somewhat negative – the focuses protested are the ones you might expect; that it is too huge, that it is too garish, that it needs nuance and refinement, etc. While I comprehend the complaints and somewhat share them fair and square of individual taste, I likewise think that past a specific point, you have to see this watch and know whether or not it was truly made with you as a top priority. In the event that you are such an individual that untruths awake at night longing for vintage Calatravas, this is clearly not such a watch, cost notwithstanding. Protesting a watch this way – and it shares a ton of the size, and general approach to horological workmanship, showed in the past Opuses, so it’s not as though it’s some kind of corruption of the first goals of the undertaking – because it’s not thin or unobtrusive is feeling the loss of the point.

You should have a problem with, say, a Lamborghini Aventador in light of the fact that it makes a horrendous showing of hauling your trailer, or to Pop craftsman Roy Lichtenstein since his esthetics are not those of Leonardo Da Vinci. It doesn’t help, coincidentally, that a great deal of us shaped our initial introductions via online media. When the watch  launched at the occasion, it was uncovered in a vitrine, with a great deal of lighting that made it shimmer like a white phosphorus flare face to face, however made for pretty awful outcomes with iPhone photography. Indeed, even the press photos distort the watch in specific regards; the shading scheme in the genuine watch, for example, is much less harsh, with a slightly blurred, rather charming sunbleached street sign quality; the three-dimensionality of the watch doesn’t come across well by any means; and obviously, the whole effect of seeing Opus XIV moving – the whole purpose of the watch – is missing. This isn’t a watch I’d at any point own – I’m excessively poor, for a certain something, and it’s simply not me for another. In any case, I appreciate it for having the strength of its feelings, and in case you’re such an individual who adores the tailfins on a ’59 El Dorado and recalls the side of the road signage the esthetics of this watch draw on – and on the off chance that you have CHF 428,000 to consume – it very well may be for you.

The Harry Winston Opus 14 is a restricted version of 50 pieces, worldwide. White gold case, 54.70 mm x 21.90 mm. Development, licensed type HW4601, 46.70 mm x 17 mm, 1066 components, running at 4 hertz in 124 jewels. Two heart barrels; 68 hour save for the timekeeping train; x5 enactment patterns of the jukebox complication. Silicon balance spring, GMT and date circles, with “esthetic” plate; quick correctors for date and GMT; three position selector for the jukebox. Value, CHF 428,000. Refresh your memory of past struggles and triumphs in the Opus arrangement, and check out Harry Winston’s own introduction of Opus XIV, right here.