On the day of the official Opus presentation, Monochrome had an appointment with Harry Winston to view their watches and viewed the latest Opus interpretation. Each year, Harry Winston releases an Opus creation, giving the world a unique horological creation. The tradition of an Opus began with Max Busser, who at the time worked for Harry Winston, and continues by showcasing the talent of notable watchmakers.
Ludovic Ballouard designed the Opus XIII, and you can see his touches with the switching indicators, reminiscent of his Upside Down (see here) and the Half Time (see here). The year’s Opus is Magnus, giving us a watch dial devoid of rotation, which paradoxically provides the illusion of circular movement.
Instead of rotation, the watch has jumping hands. The hands present themselves in various ways. The minute counters, surrounding the dial, pop up and down. As the minutes advance, the counters create a wave of movement, which upon completion at 12 o’clock fall in domino fashion to begin again. I am reminded of cheering fans in the stadium doing “the wave”. The video at the end of the article perfectly shows this, and the beauty and complexity of the movement. When you break the overall telling of seconds down into its constitutive parts, the need for 242 jewels to accommodate the myriad of individual counters is self-evident.
Moving from the minutes and including the hours, the total number of hands adds up to 70 (59 minutes and 11 hours). Like a tortoise sticking its head in and out, the hour counters snap from underneath the center’s smokey sapphire pinnacle. Because 12 o’clock is missing a hand, the Harry Winston logo marks the hour, visible at the center of the dial in a window atop the geometric pinnacle. Watching the watch in action, it is like viewing an impressionist’s painting, revealing a whole through the aggregate of its disparate parts.