There are a myriad of complications, but none as captivating as the tourbillon. The tourbillon is an extremely challenging complication to master. This Spring of 2009, Harry Winston will release a unique collection , the Histoire de Tourbillon, comprising of five distinct designs. Each design will be limited to just twenty timepieces, making this entire collection rare and highly desirable collectibles.
The Tourbillon was invented in 1795 by French watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, who hypothesized that gravity had an adverse effect on the workings of a pocket watch. Abraham Louis Breguet placed the escapement and balance wheel in a cage in order to counteract the effects of gravity.
Harry Winston has utilized innovative materials as well as increasingly sophisticated mechanisms in the Histoire de Tourbillon 1 Collection.
The 48mm case is crafted from white gold and Zalium. Zalium is an ultra-light alloy made from zirconium and allium lily. The material has a low density, high thermal resistance, high durability and is extremely resilient. Zalium originated from the aerospace industry; however the term Zalium is a trademark first used by Harry Winston in its Project Z series of watches.
Each timepiece features two 25º inclined single-axis Tourbillons with rabid 36 second rotations.
Harry Winston accepts the hypothesis that the Tourbillon does counter the effects of gravity and thus uses increasingly sophisticated techniques to increase the efficiency of the Tourbillon. The high rotation speed of the Tourbillon reduces the exposure of the regulator to natural gravity. The speed of the rotations of the Tourbillon is achieved by the incredibly light weight components. 88 components in the system only weigh .46 grams.
The angles of the Tourbillons as well as their rapid rotations and synchronicity, achieve an hypnotic allusion that the Tourbillons are moving towards the Sapphire Crystal.Hours and minutes are displayed on the front rotating disc and on the back of the timepiece with seconds for more precise timekeeping. This Harry Winston timepiece is a testament to its ongoing commitment to watchmaking excellence. The timepiece is a mechanical self-winding movement.