The Harry Winston Glissiere Tourbillon watch is one of the most incredible examples of haute horlogerie to emerge in a long time. Fascinating on many levels at once – horologically, aesthetically, and conceptually – the Glissiere Tourbillon pushes the boundaries of truly exceptional artistic watchmaking. Far more than just a watch, even a fine one, the Glissiere embodies a philosophy of the exceptional, something that experienced connoisseurs have come to associate with Harry Winston Rare Timepieces.
One of the reasons which has made Harry Winston a reference point in creative haute horlogerie, is their ability to reach out to the most distinguished horological genius in the world. We’ve seen the fruits of this in the remarkable Opus series, which utilized many of the greatest independent watchmakers, including Francois-Paul Journe, Andreas Strehler, Robert Greubel, Vianney Halter, and Felix Baumgartner of Urwerk. When Harry Winston sought to create the Glissiere Tourbillon, they turned to none other than complication master Christophe Claret, a virtual magician in the realm of extremely innovative tourbillon and repeater mechanisms; having collaborated with Claret for the stunningly beautiful Opus IV watch, Harry Winston again reached out to this prodigy to create a tourbillon wristwatch which is unlike any other.
As much a frame as a case, the 18K gold form of the Glissiere Tourbillon allows you a full view of the groundbreaking mechanism. Taking the watch into your hand, the first thing that floors you, even before the tourbillon itself, is the remarkable rectangular platinum sliding elements, which glide back and forth at each slight movement with unimpeachable precision upon their bearing system of two polished rods – these weights actually serve as the self-winding system for the watch! Next, the eye is invariably captivated by the interplay between the winding barrel and gear train that are on the left side, and the beautifully constructed flying tourbillon on the right (which is even mounted on a diamond). Unlike conventional tourbillons, which rotate continuously, the Glissiere’s cage revolves in a system of precise 6-degree steps, emphasizing the mechanics to the greatest extent possible. The elements are united beautifully by the finely beveled bridge whose shape includes the HW initials. Taking all of these fascinating elements in at once, it becomes easy to see the way in which the mechanism of a locomotive steam engine inspired Harry Winston and Christophe Claret in the realization of this extraordinary watch.
Turning the Tourbillon Glissiere over will reveal yet other surprises. Two fan shaped platinum weights move up and down, acting on the winding ratchets by a system of pinions. These supplement the winding energy of the sliding weights on the dial side, allowing efficient winding of the watch on the wrist. Approximately 4 hours of activity will suffice to wind the watch to its power reserve, of approximately 100 hours. The status of the reserve is cleverly indicated by an equally unique indicator, which is linear, and travels along its scale, beneath the lower platinum weight on the dial-side. Two openings at the upper and lower position of the case (dial side) facilitate a unique angle to admire the complex inner workings of the Glissiere movement, of which each sublime detail is finished according to the highest standards of haute de gamme.
P.S. Needless to say, this remarkable Harry Winston watch will be produced in extremely small numbers, and is destined for only a handful of fortunate collectors.