Outstanding Harry Winston Opus Collection sold @ Christie's Hong Kong

Outstanding Harry Winston Opus Collection sold @ Christie's Hong Kong

There is no doubt that in 100 years from now, the historians of watchmaking will consider the Harry Winston Opus series, as the most emblematic watch collection from the beginning of the 2000's.
No brand can pride itself on having brought together so many geniuses in watchmaking, in such a short period, within the same collection. If a brand like Patek used the services of some prestigious names for a long time, these watchmakers were never brought to the forefront and had to follow the strict orders of Patek.

The Harry Winston approach is completely different, because it is all about capturing the best of an era, by promoting young watchmaking talents, while giving them the freedom to explore their creativity. Thus, the Opus XII, one of the most awaited pieces of the last Baselworld, drew the attention on the brilliant Emmanuel Bouchet, unknown by the public until then.

Today, one of the highlights of the Christie's auction of May 30, 2012, in Hong-Kong, is the liquidation of a whole collection of Opus. Apart from the most recent and not yet delivered pieces, the unfortunate collector owned all the Opus sold until now!

Hence, one can see 8 Opus:

The Opus One, produced in collaboration with François Paul Journe, is a classical automatic chronometer.
This watch is particularly emblematic from multiple standpoints. First of all, it initiated this series' concept, in collaboration with one of the driving forces behind the revival of the watchmaking from the 90's.
It also revisits the design of Harry Winston watches almost down to the millimeter; it is in some ways the most conventional Opus, a transitional piece actually. Last but not least, the classic chronometer one of the Holy Grails in watchmaking.

The Opus 1 from the watchonista's Opus homepage.


Then comes the Opus II, created with Antoine Prezusio; it is one of the most classic Opus, because of its complications: "mysterious" winding system, quantum perpetual and tourbillon, skeletonized overall.

The Opus 2 From the Watchonista's Opus homepage.

Final bid on the May 30 of 2012 @ Christie's Hong Kong: 111.318$


Vianney Halter, who created the Opus III, is one of the seven watchmakers who created the new watchmaking throughout the 90's. Accordingly, he got involved in the Opus project.
Furthermore, he designed one of the most remarkable and most complicated watches in the Opus series.
It features 6 apertures, to be read vertically: so, there are 3x2 indications, the hour, the date and the minute.
The display relies on a complex discs system; it is impressive, absolutely groundbreaking and has never been reproduced, neither in the watchmaking industry in general, nor at Vianney Halter specifically.

The Opus 3 From the Watchonista's Opus homepage.

Final bid on the May 30 of 2012 @ Christie's Hong Kong: 173448$


The Opus IV, allowed Christophe Claret, a subcontractor, to demonstrate the range of his know-how to the public.
Like the Opus One, the classic look of this watch conceals a great mechanical complexity.
The lugs rotate, and allow for two totally different faces. Paradoxically, as time passed, the two faces of the watch took on a different connotation than what was initially planned by Harry Winston. The skeletonized face, which features the tourbillon and the minute-repeater with its cathedral sounding gongs, has almost become a classic in the field of fine watchmaking, as this kind of design is now so common.
Whereas the large Moon phase is far more offbeat, with its style oscillating between the codes of the 80's and those of some small independent brands.

The Opus 4 From the Watchonista's Opus homepage.

Like the Opus III, the Opus V features a totally original and never reissued complication. A piece also created by one of the seven watchmakers from the 90's.
This watch, crafted by Felix Baumgartner, features a new system of three-armed satellites (a concept more or less revisited in the Ur-202 & 203 "Hammerhead")
But here, the device is particularly impressive: every hour, when the minute-hand reaches 60, it abruptly drops back to zero (the hand is not connected to the revolving satellite). While you are busy observing the free fall of the "minute-hand", the next satellite rotates to indicate the hour and aligns itself with the hand. The impressive case is also particularly well designed, at the crossroads of several styles, such as sports and independent watchmaking, crossbred with Harry Winston codes.

The Opus 5 From the Watchonista's Opus homepage.

Final bid on the May 30 of 2012 @ Christie's Hong Kong: 204.514$


The Opus VI is the explosion of Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey's talents; the watch features the famous 30° tilted tourbillon, on a beautiful blued background.
It is indisputably one of the most gorgeous pieces, a magical work. It is also the beginning of the partnership between Harry Winston and Greubel Forsey, which we discovered through the "Histoire de Tourbillon" collection.

The Opus 6 From the Watchonista's Opus homepage.

Final bid on the May 30 of 2012 @ Christie's Hong Kong: 375373$



Andreas Strehler's Opus VII is a very poetic work: the time does not flow. To read the hour, the minutes or the power reserve indicator, one just has to push the button.

The Opus 7 From the Watchonista's Opus homepage.

Final bid on the May 30 of 2012 @ Christie's Hong Kong: 119.084$


Finally, the Opus IX: it is the partnership between both the talents of Eric Giroud, as a designer and of Jean-Marc Wiederretch, as a watchmaker; the outcome is one of the most original pieces in recent years. The hour and the minutes are displayed by two conveyor belts made out of diamonds and garnets. The belts are driven by two wheels and their patented "elastic teeth". It is once again a complication and a design absolutely unique in the current watchmaking industry. For once, it is a collaboration of two Swiss in the design as well as the mechanism; it is not common in this series, where many French and Germans got involved. The Agenhor slow winding system fits perfectly with the curvaceous design by Giroud, a piece of modern "Swissness" on the wrist.

The Opus 9 From the Watchonista's Opus homepage.

Final bid on the May 30 of 2012 @ Christie's Hong Kong: 119.084$