Watchismo Times | category: Opus Series


Watchismo Times

THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

The Opus 10 by Jean-François Mojon for Harry Winston Rare Timepieces

The Opus series has lost some of its "oomph" with the lackluster #10. More avant guard than garde. Sadly leaving people like me vanting more. Either way, thanks to Ian Skellern of Underthedial for his images and video of the latest Harry Winston Rare Timepieces Opus X.

"This simplified model of the Opus 10 mechanism only demonstrates the minutes and GMT functions. It does not include the complexity of the hours and seconds".

The Shape of Time

Inspired by planetary movements and the space-time continuum, Opus X captures the shape and dimensionality of time through the synchronous rotation of circular motions. Replacing a traditional fixed dial and watch hands, time is displayed as system of rotating indicators mounted on a revolving frame. Presenting a new technical challenge, as the frame completes a full rotation, the dials of each indicator turn in the opposite direction, ensuring orientation remains constant in any position.

Recalling the celestial mechanics of the solar system, the hand-wound mechanical movement functions as a planetary gear train, consisting of solar wheel, satellite wheels, and frame. The indicators for hours, minutes, seconds, and secondary timezone, are set on the individual satellite wheels, which orbit around the central, solar wheel. Each indicator is set at a slight incline, allowing the dials to follow the curvature of the case, while ensuring fluidity in rotation. The frame is driven separately to complete a full rotation in 24-hours.

Creating coherency throughout the design, the 72-hour power reserve operates as special planetary gear train, in which the diameter of the satellite wheel equals the radius of the crown wheel resulting in a linear indication. Balance regulation and chamfered bridges enhance the stability and functionality of the power reserve. A transparent backing shows the geometric precision and beautiful finishing of the movement.

Technical Specifications

Name: Opus X
Reference: 500/MMJFMWL.K
Movement: Mechanical movement with manual winding
Functions: Display of time by modules for hours, minutes and seconds mounted on a platform
Continuous movement of the platform rotates in twenty-four hours
Twenty-four hour second time zone indicated in the periphery
Linear power reserve indicator on the case back
Case: 46 mm white gold
Strap: Black alligator
Buckle: White gold
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Water resistance: 30 meters
Limited edition: 100 pieces
Collection: Opus

For more photos-->LINK

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THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare Timepieces

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare Timepieces

2009 Harry Winston Opus 9

In Opus 9, diamonds are not merely a decorative element, but the functional element of time telling. Teamed up for the 9th Opi is master watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederecht and haute designer Eric Giroud.

Replacing the traditional watch hands and cyclical dial, time is displayed by two parallel diamond chains, for hours and minutes.

Sleek and scintillating, each chain is adorned with 33 baguette-cut diamonds, Harry Winston’s signature shape.

Vivid mandarin garnets are strategically positioned to indicate the hours and minutes.

Meticulously calibrated, each stone is perfectly set into the links, to ensure movement, while maintaining their brilliance. The chains are designed to maximize mobility while minimizing friction.

Recalling Harry Winston’s iconic, invisible settings, the gemstones appear as floating lines of light, seamless unfolding across the dial.

Limited edition of 100 pieces

Harry Winston presentation today at Baselworld
Photography and report by Ian Skellern for Horomundi

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesHistory of the Opus Series 1-8

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesFirst presentation of the dial

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesPresentation of the sketches and renderings

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesThe exposed diamond time chain

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesOpus 9 on the wrist

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesFirst public viewing for the watch

THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare Timepieces
THE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesThe Opus 9 Box

  • Movement: Automatic self-winding using a chain system.
  • Functions: Linear display of hours and minutes.
  • Power Reserve: 72 Hours
  • Case: White Gold
  • Dimensions: 56mm x 48mm x 20mm
  • Dial: Baguette diamond chain indicating the hours on left, the minutes on the right. The indicator is a Garnet.
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters (3ATM)
  • Carat Weight: 66 baguette diamonds, total carats: 2.148 cts. 6 Garnet, total carats: 0.222 cts.
Related Stories:


Harry Winston Website

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Raising The Bars - OPUS 8 Mechanical Digital by Harry Winston Rare Timepieces & Frédéric Garinaud

In this world of mechanical pissing contests, the Opus 8 from Harry Winston Rare Timepieces streamed out very far at Baselworld.

Inspired by early electronic LED watches of the 1970s (like the first Hamilton Pulsar), creator Frédéric Garinaud (of Renaud & Papi) & CSH developed the Opus 8 with a new twist on mechanical-digital watches. Time is shown by pulling the side-lever down which in turn activates mechanical pixels to rise up from the digitally segmented dial displaying the hour of the day, am/pm, and indication of minutes by rising five minute markers located in a vertical scale next to the primary display.

My attempts to describe this to you might be complicating matters from what might be best explained with images. I should also compare the functions to the contouring rods of the Pinpression toy (shown below) but instead of pressing the pins against your hand or face, the time is reflected by the precisely placed pegs of a music box-style mechanism.

Rumor has it that these were sold out before they being presented (from an edition of 50). Max Büsser's original vision (Opus 1-5) continues to have a lasting impression with this innovative series.

The minute scale and time-display lever (and logo)

What impresses me most of all has nothing to do with the watch itself but the story of how the Opus 8 was created by neither a watchmaker or a designer but instead a visionary with an absurd and genius idea...

Biography of Frédéric Garinaud;

Born in southwest France in 1971, for Frédéric Garinaud the road to watchmaking and Opus 8 had an interesting and unlikely origin. Neither watchmaker nor designer by trade, Garinaud got his start in the French naval academy where he specialized as an on-board mechanic. In 1999, Garinaud attended the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Lyon to formalize his graduate studies and began working as a development manager for special machinery in a galvanoplasty laboratory. In 2001, he joined Audemars Piguet (Renaud & Papi) as a technical office manager. In 2005, paving the way for his current role, Garinaud founded the watchmaking specialties unit - la Cellule des Spécialités Horlogères (CSH). Aiming to bridge ultramodern training with watchmaking tradition, the unit combines all of the trades involved in watchmaking -- from drawings to timing, to development and construction, and even micro-mechanical manufacture, decoration and product assembly. Garinaud wanted to bring to high-quality watchmaking some of the product developments that have enriched and advanced our consumer world, including: microelectronics, clothing design, ecology and innovative materials.

Five years ago, Frédéric Garinaud came up with an idea: To invent a hybrid timepiece that would bring together complicated mechanics and digital electronics. Around the same time, Garinaud first learned of the Opus concept developed by Harry Winston and began dreaming of an innovative piece to bring to the brand, which would come to be known as Opus 8.

Interested in developing his hybrid idea, Harry Winston met with Garinaud in early 2007 and presented him with a new challenge: Why not transform the hybrid display into a digital display? Garinaud immediately returned to his design table to create a prototype design.

Arriving at Basel 2007, armed with rolls of design drawings and his team from the Cellule des Spécialités Horlogères, the “Magician” revealed his latest tricks, presenting his preliminary plan for Opus 8. Though the brand was initially unconvinced, Garinaud continued to work his innovative magic 10 days later, he would receive an important and enthusiastic call. Harry Winston had accepted the plans. The Opus adventure had begun.

via Worldtempus

Large scale model of the inner mechanism function

Sideview of raised digit segments

Pegged disc beneath segmented dial

Close-up of disc

Thanks to Leo at Horomundi for the candids at HW

The circuit board style caseback

The Man behind the Opus 8, Frédéric Garinaud

The Pinpression

Not sure if Mr. Garinaud ever saw the Pinclock, but for about $100, you can have a similar pin-raising technology in a desk clock (above).


This Opus 8 project also reminds me of the remarkable mechanical mirrors of artist Daniel Rozin. The mirrors reflect the viewer with a wide array of wooden rods, tiles, metal balls and many other materials. See his amazing work in the videos below;

Rozin Peg Mirror Video->Link

Wooden Mechanical Mirror Video->Link

Weave Mirror Video->Link

Opus 8 Press Release;

Rooted in the Pop Art moment of the 1970s, Digital Art and Technology have revolutionized our way of life and continue to influence contemporary art and culture. Allowing artists to create works of extreme complexity, these same advances in digital technology have also transformed the art of modern watchmaking. Armed with the avant-garde and innovative spirit that defined this decade, Opus 8 represents a continuation of this technological and artistic (r)evolution...

An exceptional and advanced timepiece, Opus 8 utilizes hand-wound mechanical movements to create a modern, digital time display. Inspired by pin art games, which create 3D impressions of objects pressed against them, the numbers in the display will only appear “upon request,” activated by a bolt on the right hand side of the case. Nothing appears until the mechanism is wound.

A plate joins together small segments, both mobile and fixed. Just underneath is a disc driven by the movement, which turns independently in real time. When the mechanism is wound, the pieces adjust to display the time. As the plate descends, the small segments remain visible, “blocked” by the crystal, allowing the hour to be read for 5 seconds. Technically, all functions are related, enabling everything to be displayed on demand – the minute hand turns the hour that then turns the AM/PM function.

The dial’s microbead blasted coating is similar to that of a calculator, while the segments are made of black anthracite with polished sides. As innovative in materials, as in mechanics, the sides of the segments are crafted of amorphous carbon. A material more commonly known in Formula 1 racing, Garinaud’s team successfully adapted it to use for watch microparts. The specialized material has an extremely low friction coefficient and highly resistant coating. Wear, blockages and material discharge become almost non-existent.

In addition to a modern, sophisticated technique, Opus 8 features a strikingly original dial display. On the left is a four-digit hour display – two for the hour and two for the time of day (AM/PM). When it is 20h00, the watch will display 08PM. On the right is an innovative minute counter, with a layout and display from bottom to top. Set in 5 minute segments (precision being secondary), the 5 minute indicator is an arrow-shaped ring. The hour and minute numbers recalls the symmetrical hexagonal typography found in liquid crystal mechanics.

With its imposing rectangular dimensions – 43mm wide, 41mm long, 13 thick – Opus 8’s bold, graphic shape resembles a retro-style television set. The case front has a resolutely digital display with its 4mm-thick domed crystal blocking the segments . With the display winding bolt located on the right and the winding crown on left, the mechanism has a movement rotation of 180 °. The display of the hour is not possible during winding. In the middle, an opening allows us to admire the heart – the balance. The movement’s back is decorated like a printed circuit, with lines leading to the various time elements. At the top, the hours (H) and the minutes (M). On the left, the periods of the day (AM/PM), and on the right, the 48-hour power reserve indicator (PRI). At the bottom, two lines indicate the co-designers of the watch, Garinaud & CSH (Cellule de Spécialités Horlogères), and the serial number.


MOVEMENT: TYPE: Mechanical, elliptical, with mechanical digital display module, Manual winding
DISPLAY: Hours, minutes (every 5 minutes), AM/PM.
DISPLAY MODULE: 35.5 mm by 22.5 mm
FUNCTIONS: On the face: Digital display indicated by segments: Hour (AM/PM) and
minutes (every 5)
On the back: Digital display indicated by discs: Hour (AM/PM) and
minutes (every 5)
Power reserve also indicated on the back of the watch
CASE: MATERIAL: White gold
LENGTH: 33.5 mm
LEFT: Crown for setting the time and winding
RIGHT: Winding bolt for digital displays
DIAL: Display module: black anthracite segments with polished sides
Side of segments crafted from amorphous carbon
Hours, minutes and letters in digital form
CRYSTAL: Anti- reflective Sapphire, 4 mm

The Opus program was launched by Maximilian Büsser & Harry Winston in 2001, to encourage a new interest for unlimited freedom and innovation in technical watchmaking. Partnering with independent watchmakers, each year the Opus program develops rare timepieces never before seen or imagined within the industry.

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Papillon by Andreas Strehler

Watchmaker Andreas Strehler is introducing the Papillon, his independent follow-up to last years Opus 7 for Harry Winston.

Strehler's representative Curtis Thomson of Tempered Online described it for me;

"The Papillon functions differently than the Opus 7. The 7’s time was actuated via a button in the crow, with hours and minutes indicated on one disc – an ingenious system. The Papillon has two separate discs (an hours disc and a minutes disc), with each of the two mainspring barrels receiving a time disc. Normally this wouldn’t be possible, as the barrel turns too fast to indicate the hours and turns too slowly to indicate the minutes… normally. Andreas has developed a system to allow this to happen, with winding and time setting done with the crown. How? Some crazy ass gearing – that’s how ;-). The Papillon is artistic and technical – a super watch." The price is 140,000 CHF

“How to tell the time?” The “butterfly” bridge has two points – one towards the top and the second towards the bottom – which indicate the time (hours on top, minutes on bottom) as the respective discs travel past."

Watching The Passage of Time

At this year's Basel World, Swiss watchmaker Andreas Strehler will be presenting his latest masterpiece, the Papillon, for the first time. This watch, with its unusual time display, is fascinating at first sight and it inspires not only timepiece connoisseurs.

The Creation

The unusual movement design was first employed in 2007. That was when renowned watch manufacturer, Harry Winston, asked Andreas Strehler if he would like to develop the legendary OPUS 7. Andreas Strehler, who had previously already collaborated with Chronoswiss, H.Moser&Cie and Maurice Lacroix, took up the challenge. He set himself the aim of designing a watch movement that would be captivating in its technical brilliance. But it still had to be easy to tell the time with it. At this stage he probably did not suppose that telling the time was actually to become a particular pleasure.

This concept is repeated in his latest work, the Papillon, but with Andreas Strehler's unmistakable signature and new technical refinements. The design and virtuoso technical sophistication of the watch movement puts everything that came before it into the shade, turning the watch into a coveted collector's item.

Mysterious Time Display

Spring barrels normally turn too slowly for the display of minutes and too fast for the hours. But in the Papillon the timing works differently. Its spring barrels are not firmly tied into the sequence of the movement. As a result the time display can be adjusted by means of the hand setting. In addition, two giant gear wheels with 192 and 175 teeth remove the need for a third wheel. This reduction in the number of wheels and the double spring barrel arrangement result in energy savings which extend the life of the watch enormously.

Fascinating Design

Along with the technical advantages, the unusual design is also astounding. The first thing you notice when looking at the movement is the shape of a butterfly, which seems to arise naturally from the arrangement of the bridges, hence too the watch’s name, Papillon.
Thanks to the special arrangement of the gear wheels, it has been possible to design the watch in an open way, offering the user the special experience of being able to watch the passage of time. The movement assumes the function of design. The consistently applied flowing forms endow the watch with elegance, and are reminiscent of the famous technical masterpieces of the Art Nouveau era.

Expressive Yet Quiet

Constructing a beautiful watch takes time. And it takes patience and endurance to achieve the longed-for perfection. Andreas Strehler combines these virtues most impressively. Anyone who can call a watch by Andreas Strehler his own also possesses the certainty of having discovered something special and unique. The exclusivity, the outstanding engineering and the deliberate understatement of the Papillon do not need to be shouted from the rooftops. The watch speaks for itself, emphasising the unconventional character of the wearer.

Made in Switzerland

Andreas Strehler is the owner of Uhrteil AG in Sirnach, where with a team of twelve experts, watchmakers, technicians and precision mechanics, he pursues his passion. The team not only develops and produces all the movements for the innovative mechanisms itself, but also the machines and computer software needed to make them. Andreas Strehler is convinced that opportunities in the field of "haute horlogerie" are still far from being exhausted. We will just have to wait and see what the visionary comes up with next.

Strehler Opus 7 Video-->Link

Andreas Strehler's Tempered page-->Link

All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link

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Horolographer Harry Tan & The Opus V

Horolographer Harry Tan & The Opus V

Harry Tan of Watching Horology has just posted a gallery of his really impressive Opus V photos here-->LINK
(watch provided by Bernard Cheong)

Related Posts;
Urwerk Hammerhead
Martin Frei of Urwerk
The Birth of Modern Horological Art
History of the Wandering Hour
Opus 7 Video
Opus 7 by Andreas Strehler
Opus 6 by Gruebel Forsey
Opus Time Bandit
Horological Machine #2
Independent Watchmakers
Haute Horology

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The Opus 10 by Jean-François Mojon for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesTHE OPUS 9 REVEALED TODAY AT BASELWORLD! Jean-Marc Wiederecht & Eric Giroud for Harry Winston Rare TimepiecesRaising The Bars - OPUS 8 Mechanical Digital by Harry Winston Rare Timepieces & Frédéric GarinaudPapillon by Andreas StrehlerHorolographer Harry Tan & The Opus V

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