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Opus 9 – “Sculpture”

Eric Giroud and Jean-Marc WiederrechtBy 2009, Harry WinstonOpus 9 watch company had already released eight brilliant wrist watches, known as Opus watches. But Hamdi Chatti, the CEO of Harry Winston Rare Timepieces, didn't want to stop at what had been accomplished. In 2009, the company unveiled its new masterpiece, Opus 9 men's wrist watch, developed by Harry Winston in the collaboration with two independent watchmakers. They say, four eyes see more than two. This it the first model, designed by two craftsmen, invited from different companies. One of them was responsible for the watch movement, and the other developed the watch design. They are Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, a watchmaker, and Eric Giroud, an architect. Both of professionals have been working with “The King of Diamonds” before and they are the “insiders” for this watch company. For the first time Jean-Marc Wiederrecht took part in Harry Winston watch development in 1989. It was Excenter Perpetual Calendar watch with retrograde movement and off-centered dial. Later this model has become Harry Winston's flagship watch. In addition, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht cooperated with Van Cleef & Arpels, the Swiss watch company, developing the legendary romantic Pont des Amoureux watches. Jean-Marc Wiederrecht is the holder of Geneva Grand-Prix as the Best Watchmaker of 2007. His co-worker Eric Giroud is also a very talented and famous craftsman, a professional architect, who has added a special zest to the unbelievable watch design. Earlier Eric Giroud has been collaborating with Harry Winston too. For example, the precise Tourbillon Glissiere wrist watch is the result of his meticulous work. It's worth mentioning, that today Eric Giroud is the right-hand man of the head of Max Büsser & Friends watch company, founded by Maximillian Büsser, the ex-CEO of Harry Winston Rare Timepieces. For Harry Winston, Maximillian Büsser is a real legend, as it was him who initiated and accomplished the triumphant Opus project.
Thus, two virtuosos, two world-famous figures of watchmaking industry gathered within Harry Winston jewellery and watch house to create something special, something, that would make millions of fans hold breathing. Let us take a look at this masterpiece. It is widely known, that Harry Winston differs from other watch companies in no other than the use of diamonds. The authors of Opus 9 took this fact into consideration and gave a new role to the precious stones. Now diamonds are not just picturesque elements but they tell the time. No doubt, being sharp-witted, Eric Giroud omitted the hackneyed hands, and their role was taken by two parallel chains of diamonds: hour and minute chains (Frederic Piguet Caliber 1150). All 66 diamonds, composing these chains, are of the best quality, they are baguette-cut diamonds, which are the most beautiful and complicated. Six of these gems are orange garnets, serving as the hour and minute pointers. The brass chains make “hands” as active as it's possible, minimizing the friction. Eric Giroud and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht didn't forget about famous invisible cutting by Harry Winston. That's why it seems, that diamonds blend with each other and float above the dial. The brass chains are driven by the automatic movement, which convert rotational motion to translational motion. This rack-and-pinion mechanism generates extension vibrations, required for the uninterrupted and smooth work of the watch movement. From the first sight it seems that the movement is rather plain, but actually to make the chains of diamonds move, the ideal and balanced precision is required. Undoubtedly, such chains were used in the watchmaking industry earlier, but in this case the additional weight of diamonds makes the process of development more complicated. The basis of the movement is a bridge, that serves as the reliableOpus 9 bearing of the movement as well as the aesthetic element, giving Opus 9 an inimitable beauty. Besides, this bridge raises the shock resistance of the watch. One can observe the beauty of the watch movement through the sapphire crystal at any angle. Thus, the current hour is shown on the diamond chain on the left, and the current minute is seen on the chain on the right. For the gem-setting the masters used 66 diamonds, 2.148 carat in total, and 6 garnets, 0.222 carat in total. The power reserve of Opus 9 is about 72 hours. The Opus 9 movement, developed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, is housed in 18K white gold case, constructed by the talented designer Eric Giroud. The case is rather massive – 56 mm x 48 mm x 20 mm. The water resistance is up to 30 meters. Harry Winston admirers, who are fortunate to replenish their collections with Opus 9 watch, can wear these peculiar wrist watch with the help of black strap, produced from crocodile leather, with 18K white gold buckle. Very few collectors are fortunate to buy Harry Winston Opus 9 watch, as this model has been released in the limited edition of 100 timepieces only.
The authors of the legendary “diamond” Opus 9 say, that they have been inspired by a jelly fish. It's rather strange, but according to Eric Giroud and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, the smooth motion of diamond chains reminds of jelly fish, floating in the sea. The precious stones, used in this watch, were chosen to excite strong feelings and emotions. Opus 9 were characterized by its creators as “a perfect sculpture”, it is one more link in the watchmaking revolution, that is executed by Harry Winston watch company. No doubt, this revolution has already become a special attribute of all the watches from Opus collection.


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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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