The fine jewelry boutique named for the owner Harry Winston has a history befitting and deserving of a Hollywood movie for the man himself with an expensive leading role budget. Although many feel arguably the best American jeweler and one of the top jewelers in the world has had a few mentions in motion pictures already. The song “Diamonds are a Girls best friend” from the movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” has his name mentioned. My personal favorite is the Sweeten the Deal story! Here it is:
In 1974 Winston bought a large parcel of diamonds worth $24,500,000 – at that time the largest individual sale of diamonds in history. Harry Oppenheimer, head of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd, arranged the transaction. When Winston asked Oppenheimer, “How about a little something to sweeten the deal?” Harry Oppenheimer pulled a 181 carats (36 g) rough diamond out of his pocket and rolled it across the table. Winston picked up the stone, smiled, and said simply, “Thanks.” It was cut into five gems, the largest being named the Deal Sweetener. Other gems cut from the crystal: An emerald cut of 24.67 carats, plus three pear shapes of 10.80, 4.19 and 1.45 carats, respectively. All were sold that same year.
The history of Harry Winston is fascinating and worth investigating America’s best known jeweler. But it’s time to talk about the company’s watch development creations. The jewelry watches the company designs are fabulous, but it was the Opus series that took many of us on a tremendous ride of true High Horology. Each Opus watch is created from a master watchmaker of the company’s choosing, and what a collaborative effort it became. I’m happy to talk about my favorite Opus to date, which ironically is their latest design Opus 12
Opus 12 defies the conventional rules of watchmaking, giving birth to the most improbable
mechanical concept. This exceptional timepiece deliberately overturns the perception of time by drawing its inspiration from the Copernican revolution.
In most watches the evolution of time is imperceptible. Opus 12, on the other hand, goes
into action in a remarkable way, its hands changing the guard every five minutes. At each
change of the hour, the movement executes a very elaborate drill exercise by the successive
rotation of the hands. Below the retrograde indication, a floating small seconds hand
graduated on a translucent ring passes above a power-reserve indicator.
Mechanical movement with manual winding.
607 parts, 80 jewels and 2 barrels, 24 hands
Power Reserve: 45 hours
Hour and 1/12th of an hour (five-minutes) displays via a rotating, double-hand system
Animation of the 12 hour hands at each change of hour
Animation of the minutes hands every five minutes
Retrograde five-minute display, power-reserve indicator and small seconds
Material: case in white gold