Few watch manufacturers manage to merge old and new with the finesse of Harry Winston.
Its latest novelty, the Project Z15 is a perfect case in point.
As ever, with the Project Z initiative, the emphasis is on the word ‘case’. For what links all the Project Zs is Zalium, a lightweight, highly resilient material developed by and exclusive to Harry Winston. (The zirconium-based alloy is resistant to corrosion as well as being as light as a feather.)
In this latest iteration, the Zalium case provides a gray metallic frame to some serious watchmaking within.
Project Z15 is a celebration of the regulator clock, first developed in the early 18th century. The regulator clock is one for the real horological nuts out there, as it was originally built to monitor and adjust other timekeeping devices. A work of meta for metrologists, if you will.
One of the distinctive features of regulator clocks is the separation of minutes, hours and seconds – a utilitarian decision, which has visually theatrical ramifications.
The minutes are the true protagonists of regulators – marked here by a large central sweep hand – while the hours and seconds are relegated to smaller sub-dials.
Yet it’s the seconds hand that really steals the show in the Project Z15 – the retrograde setup means once the hand hits 30 seconds it then jumps back to its starting position. It’s eye-catching and charming in equal measure.
Over the bridge
If Harry Winston proves anything with the Project Z15, it’s that there are no accidents in high-end watch design.
The partially skeletonised movement has been arranged across different planes to add both volume and depth. The layout evokes the solid steel superstructures of skyscrapers and suspension bridges that characterised New York City in the early 20th century – the heyday of one Mr Harry Winston.
The openworked bridges traversing the dial mirror each another forming the shape of an octagon. This is no happenstance, either – but rather a nod to another recurrent theme at Harry Winston – emerald-cut gemstones. The octagonal emerald shape was such a hallmark of Mr Winston’s that it is incorporated in the Harry Winston logo.
The sapphire crystal case back offers a view of the Swiss automatic caliber HW3207. Fitted with 226 components and 34 jewels, the movement beats at 4Hz and offers a robust 65-hour power reserve.
And fans of the brand may also recognise the bold blue accent colour. Need a little help? It’s inspired by the Hope Diamond – all 45.52 carats of it – famously acquired by the American jeweller back in 1949.
Harry Winston Project Z15 is limited to 300 pieces. For more information, go to harrywinston.com