Linear or cyclical? While Opus IX gave a dazzling demonstration of the sheer elegance of hours and minutes displayed, in all simplicity, in linear fashion, Opus X and its planetary gear train transports aficionados into a circular dimension of time as hours, minutes and seconds orbit like planets on satellite wheels.
Jean-François Mojon describes his work as “movement within movement.” Visible through a sapphire crystal, three independent rotating indicators are mounted on a frame which makes a complete revolution in 24 hours. These indicators, displaying hours, minutes and seconds, keep the same orientation, irrespective of the frame’s position, to ensure complete legibility of the time. To achieve this, each indicator rotates in the opposite direction to the frame, thereby avoiding the inconvenience of having to read 12 o’clock and 60 minutes upside down. As an additional complexity, Jean-François Mojon has added a second 24-hour time zone around the edge of the platform. In a final flourish, the indicators are set at an 8° incline to follow the curvature of the sapphire crystal and case. This Opus X is positioned at CHF 210,000 for a limited edition of 100.
Opus X stands out not only for the mechanical complexity of its 472 components combined. The unexpected – for an Opus – sobriety of its design is equally surprising. Harry Winston is marking the tenth year of its Opus saga with a perfectly classic, round case in white gold. The exception to the rule.
The economic situation of the past 18 months, added to the determination to position the brand at the forefront of Fine Watchmaking, no doubt influenced this choice. At the end of the day, what could be better than an Opus worn every day? Frédéric de Narp, the recently-appointed President and CEO of Harry Winston, Inc., said as much when presenting the 2010 collections at Baselworld. The brand will reinforce its positioning as a major player in the luxury and watch segments. Still under-developed in Asia and Europe, Harry Winston has significant growth potential, as testified by the project to open a Harry Winston store in Shanghai. The North American market is also sending out more than encouraging signals. “After the shock that hit Wall Street, we’re seeing a strong recovery in Harry Winston jewellery right now. Orders have never been so focused on exceptional one-off pieces.” As a symbol of cyclical time, Opus X takes on added signification.