Histoire de Tourbillon is one of the most technical watch series by Harry Winston, and it may continue even beyond this piece, number 6 in the series. The other Harry Winston series that intrigues watch-lovers all over the world, Opus, will possibly see the latest Opus 14 launched before the end of the year (as announced at Baselworld 2015), in a fully-functional version, but for this we’ll have to wait and see. To return to Histoire de Tourbillon 6, this reflects the Swatch Group’s ownership of Harry Winston, because the watch inherits one of the complications that has become a trademark of another Swatch Group brand, Blancpain, namely the karrusel. This piece has two tourbillon-type regulators, a tri-axial tourbillon and a karrusel, each with its own movement, dial, power reserve indicator, and characteristic colour, yellow/orange and blue respectively. Everything about it expresses the piece’s bulging complexity: just by way of example, the watch has 90 jewels.
Multi-lobed case, complex dial
The case is massive, 55 mm x 49 mm considering the edges of the bezel, 64 mm width from one crown to another, and 21.8 mm thick. The brand says that it is a comfortable fit thanks to the ergonomic lugs, and its relatively low weight, achieved by using titanium for mainplate and bridges. The case is in a white gold-palladium alloy with a matt brushed silvery sheen, contrasting with the black NAC-coated dial and movement. It has a sapphire caseback and a water resistance of 30 metres.
The tri-axial tourbillon is at bottom left, and it is supremely complicated, with 141 components and a total weight of 1.85 grams. Its inner cage carrying the balance wheel (which runs at 3 Hertz, 21,600 vph) performs one revolution every 45 seconds, inside a second cage that rotates around the vertical axis in 75 seconds, in turn inside a third, spherical cage that revolves once in 300 seconds, 5 minutes. This slowest-moving cage has an orange indicator that can be read off the seconds scale on the case around the sapphire crystal dome. This tourbillon is the regulator for the top left hour and minute display, with hands in the same yellow as the seconds indicator. Hands are coated with orange-glowing SuperLuminova.
The karrusel (or carrousel), basically another type of tourbillon regulator, is at top right, with a revolution time of 30 seconds. It is made from 100 components and weighs a total of 0.697 grams. It is linked to the second time display at top right, with blue hands and hour markings, and it is totally independent of the other time display (the reason for the two crowns), so that it can be used to display a second time zone, adjusting it using the right-hand crown. It can also be used as a chronograph measuring hours and minutes, with a blue ceramic pusher at 2 o’clock that blocks the balance, resets the hands to zero, and starts the movement. The karussel movement can also simply be left switched off. Its balance runs at 3 Hertz, 21,600 vph.
The patented HW4701 movement is manually-wound, and powered by two sets of fast-rotating twin barrels that provide regular torque, helping to improve accuracy. It has a total of 683 components, as can be expected: this thing is like two complication watches in one. The other dial indications are the 80-hour power reserve indicator (hand with yellow coating) for the tourbillon movement, and another power reserve indicator (hand with blue coating) for the karrusel movement (70 hours reserve), for which there is also a movement operating indicator in the form of a small disc with a blue dot.
What seems to be a pusher on the caseband below the crown on the left-hand side of the watch is probably just a crown protector.
The Histoire de Tourbillon 6 is a limited edition of 20, reference HCOMTT55WW001. It will be available from October 2015, price on request.