Harry Winston’s Histoire de Tourbillon is a sophisticated collection of limited edition timepieces dedicated to the craftsmanship of one of the most revered and complex horological complications. Launched in 2009, each Histoire de Tourbillon underscores Harry Winston’s continued pursuit of excellence in innovation, by presenting the tourbillion in a series of spectacular new forms.
Building on the technical challenges introduced throughout the series – from Histoire de Tourbillon 1, which explores the movement and sculpture of the complication, to Histoire de Tourbillon 4, which seeks the next level of precision and performance – a powerful idea took shape: for the first time, the Histoire de Tourbillon 5 would fully reveal the exceptional mechanism behind the tourbillon.
To keep the focus firmly on the tri-axial tourbillon and its remarkable execution, watchmakers employed an unprecedented approach that could be called “watchmaking urbanism,” and led to the creation of a miniature mechanical metropolis. The movement and its various territories were reorganized on different levels like a mechanical landscape: a low-lying movement, bridges placed just below the surface, and the tri-axial towering over the scene from within its dome. The first stage, which involved open-working the movement in a ‘geographically’ minimalist style, served the sole purpose of whittling the mechanism down to its bare essentials. Next came the dimensional work – to ensure the mechanism remains prominently enthroned within the overarching sapphire crystal, the glass of the ‘porthole’ is fixed to a truncated base – a true tour de force in itself.
The spherical bridges beneath the Tourbillon are hollowed out to create passages beneath which the power reserve is cleverly fitted, all without any loss of function or coherence. The case, which must form a single entity with the movement, is finely worked like a monobloc sculpture. Defined by both sharp and declining angles, as well as two- or three dimensional volumes, this contemporary artwork is the result of in-depth conceptual thinking.
The hour and minute functions are symmetrically isolated on the display – an ambitious decision that generated a number of mechanical and architectural challenges. The counters had to fit within a narrow perimeter, while still remaining perfectly readable and yet smaller than the Tourbillon – the star of the show. Constant dialogue between all those involved in the development process made it possible to achieve the perfect, distinctsymmetry of this exceptional watch.
Achieving such harmonious proportions and dimensions is all part of the same carefully choreographed act. The thickness of the movement required crucial choices in selection ofthe materials. Apart from the three-dimensional bridges, which are crafted in maillechort, all the other bridges are titanium and the disks are produced by galvanic growth. Weight calculations were an important factor throughout the design. To counter-balance the extreme lightness of the tourbillon carriages, a gold bridge was created to maintain the subtle balance of the carriages. This helps to ensure that despite the prominence of the tourbillon, the timepiece remains wearable.
Further demonstrating its dedication to freedom and excellence in design, Histoire de Tourbillon 5 is the first in the series to be crafted in rose gold. This variation continues in the open-worked movement, which is black instead of the conventional grey. From its quest for perfect symmetry, to the careful balance between construction and volume, to its bold choice in color – the Histoire de Tourbillon 5 expresses the House’s creative instincts in design, and pushes the series to the next level of innovation.
Model: Histoire de Tourbillon 5
Limited edition 20 pieces
Mechanical, manual-winding, tri-axial tourbillon
Movement dimensions – Diameter: 40.40 mm & Height: 17.30 mm
Number of components
– Complete movement: 381 components
– Tourbillon: 143 components
– Tourbillon weight: 1.85 gr
– Number of jewels: 57
Power reserve: 50 hours
– Rapid rotating twin barrels in series (1 turn in 3.2 hours)
– One barrel equipped with a slipping spring to avoid excess tension
– Variable-inertia balance fitted with gold adjustment screws
– Frequency 21,600 vibrations/hour (3Hz)
-Phillips terminal curve
– Geneva-type stud
Main plate: Titanium, micro-blasted, hand-chamfered, PVD-treated
– Three-dimensional bridges in maillechort, micro-blasted and hand-chamfered, PVD-treated
– Titanium bridges, micro-blasted and hand-chamfered, PVDtreated
– Upper bridge of the intermediate carriage in gold, handchamfered and straight-grained
– Screws with mirror-polished heads, chamfered rims and slots
– Internal carriage containing the balance spring and the escapement pinion with 45-second rotation cycle
– Intermediate carriage with 75-second rotation cycle
– External carriage with 300-second rotation cycle
– Carriage pillars in titanium, circular satin finish
– 18K white gold tourbillon carriage bridge
– Titanium tourbillon bridges
Ex-centered hours at 2 o’clock, galvanic growth disk, red anodized sandblasted aluminum indicator
Ex-centered minutes at 4 o’clock, galvanic growth disk, red anodized sandblasted aluminum indicator
Seconds indication on the tri-axial tourbillon at 9 o’clock
Power reserve at 11 o’clock, red anodized aluminum indicator
Case and strap
Material: 18K rose gold, polished and micro-blasted; Polished bezel
Case dimensions – Diameter: 47 mm & Height: 21.7 mm
– 1 shaped sapphire crystal for the bridges
– 1 domed sapphire crystal for the tourbillon with lacquer-filled minute circle engraving
– Sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 3 bars
Crown: 18K rose gold and rubber
Strap: Hand-sewn black alligator leather
Buckle: 18K rose gold double ardillon buckle