Mechanical Magic from Harry Winston

By P. Joseph

Amongst the high profile launches at the recent BaselWorld event in Switzerland was a new addition to luxury jeweller Harry Winston’s iconic Opus collection.

Designed by the eminent French watch engineer Denis Giguet, the Opus XI boasts a truly innovative mechanical structure that creates the impression of an exploding puzzle.

The stunning time piece displays only the hour and minutes. Every 60 minutes, the numeral of the hour explodes before instantly reassembling as the new hour.

Instead of a hand, 24 placards revolve and rotate on a complicated system of gears mounted on an epicycloidal gear-train.

Four satellites mounted on a rotating platform, each with three pairs of placards, provide a vertical transmission through a train of eight intermediate wheels, three elliptical gears, a triangular wheel, and six conical pinions.

The watch’s white gold case features an open back to see the manually wound movement, consisting of 566 components, including 155 jewels.

The Opus XI is limited to 111 units - with 100 in white gold ($230,000) and 11 with diamonds ($289,000).

By P. Joseph