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Opus 3 – “Way to Express One's Art”

Vianney HalterFor Harry Winston, theOpus 3 jewelry and watch company, 2003 became the year of realization of the next great project. The third Opus was developed in the collaboration with the Swiss watchmaker of genius – Vianney Halter. This Opus exceeds the “allowed” limits of watchmaking: the unusual dial, unique design. This great result was achieved with the help of famous watchmaker Vianney Halter, a romantic by nature and the expert in the antique watches, who had been invited by Harry Winston company. Vianney Halter is also a fan of marine chronographs, and the style of his Opus III can be characterized as “retro fantasy”. This timepiece reminds us of the watches from Jules Verne's novels. For example, such a watch can be preferred by Captain Nemo. Vianney Halter is one of the best modern watchmakers, who are working with the nonconformist and futuristic style.  Vianney Halter cooperated with such famous Swiss watch companies as Frank Muller, Breguet, Audemars Piguet and others. Halter confesses, that when he was young, he was fascinated by Harry Winston's story, and he couldn't even imagine, that some day he would work together with the legend of the jeweler's art and watchmaking. The watchmakers were trying to create a timepiece, that had not been seen before. And I should say, they have succeeded in it. Vianney Halter has been involved in the restoration of old watches for many years, and since 2000, he has been the honorable member of the Academy of Independent Watchmakers (A.H.C.I.). The valuable experience, obtained by the watchmaker, helped him to launch his own watch company, known as Vianney Halter. The company has carried the watchmaker forward. When looking to cooperate with  such a talented person as Vianney Halter, Maximillian Büsser, the CEO of Harry Winston  Rare Timepiece, knew, that this collaboration would not result in the release of an ordinary classical men's wrist watch. He was right. Opus 3 is an original timepiece, that presents the time in six openings. The absence of usual hands boggles everybody's minds, and the heart of this watch consists of two mechanisms, located on the bottom plate of the case. Opus 3, like the previous two models, was released in the limited edition of 55 items. 25 timepieces are made of 18K rose gold, the other 25 – of platinum, and the rest five Opuses are encrusted with diamonds according to the best traditions of Harry Winston company. The watch features the unusual case with the chamfered corners, that the authors call “container”. The watch case, that consists of two parts (36 mm x 36 mm), features six convex sapphire crystals, looking like the portholes of submarine, treated with anti-reflective coating, the horizontal winding crown and the transparent case-back. It is interesting, that while developing the watch case, the watchmakers have contemplated 30 variants of it. The movement of Opus 3, made of German silver and developed by inimitable Vianney Halter, consists of 250 parts. The frequency is 21,600 vph, the power reserve is 40 hours. It's worth mentioning, that the escapement system is traditionally constructed, but two units have been developed specially for this wrist watch. The first unit “divides” the time into spaces, the second one shows the information. The first unit consists of twin barrels, going trains, escapement and balance, the second one is responsible for the complicated work of 10 co-axial and partially superimposed disks with the Arabic numerals. Opus 3 watch mechanismThe hours, read in theOpus 3 watch mechanism upper openings, are of blue colour, the minutes (indicated in the lower openings) are of black colour, and the date, displayed in the center windows, is of red colour. All tens and units, that make up a numeral, are moving separately and unevenly, as a result, we can observe the so-called “jumping hour”. The distinctive feature of this Opus is the countdown of the final four seconds before the minute jumps. The horizontal toothed winding crown is also of a great interest, the part of it is rotating inside the watch case. To wind the watch, you should shift the crown up or down in 4 setting positions: date – the 4th notch, hour – the 3rd notch, minute – the 2nd notch and winding – the 1st notch. All the numerals are Arabic. The men's wrist watch Opus 3 is water resistant up to 300 meters. The strap with the handmade stitching is produced from the leather and has a folding buckle. One cannot but agree with the fact, that, though this watch is not full of different complications, it is still complicated, because it exceeds the limits of the traditional horology. This is a masterpiece, that can either show the time or reveal the unrealistic features of modern art. It is not an exaggeration, that Opus 3 reminds of a time machine – the incredible mechanism, created by the “crazy” scientist. Thanks to this watch Vianney Halter has managed to take a great step forward in the sphere of watchmaking. This is a masterpiece, full of contradictions and facts, that are hard to believe. In one of the interviews Vianney Halter said, that while working on such an unusual watch design, he was inspired by the traditional digital display, for example the display of calculating machine, and by the shape of a strange star ship. The great watchmaker characterizes his creation by the following words: “Opus 3 is a way to express one's art”.


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Harry Winston watches  at BaselWorld 2012 (Basel, March 2012)
Harry Winston watches at BaselWorld 2012 (Basel, March 2012)

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