Opus 7 blends timekeeping and art

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 May, 2007, 12:00am

Six years ago Harry Winston unveiled the first watch in a series that has become an annual occasion. The Opus range is backed by a concept to create 'exceptional' timepieces in collaboration with some of Switzerland's most gifted and independent horologists.

Each year the brand partners with one watchmaker and the results are unveiled at the Basel fair.

Harry Winston president Hamdi Chatti said the Opus range was not only about high-end watchmaking, but about the philosophy behind time: 'Be it from a romantic, a technical or a spiritual aspect'.

This year Harry Winston partnered with Andreas Strehler to create the Opus 7 and the finished product proved to be one of most challenging Opus watches to date, Mr Chatti said.

The Opus 7 strips complicated timepieces down to the bare minimum, to the point where the watch becomes more a piece of art rather than a vehicle to tell the time. The open work on the dial is based around a butterfly shaped bridge which spans the lower half of the dial. The bridge is crafted from one piece of rhodium-plated white gold and is 'suspended' above the gear train, and forms the basis around which everything else works. The finished product demonstrates a timepiece that is about pure function rather than design.

'We believe in romantic watches; pieces of art,' Mr Chatti said. 'With this watch, if you ask you can have the time. But you can spend hours looking at it appreciating the art. This is a new way to display time. It opens up new territories to tell the time.'

Mr Strehler said anyone could tell the time using a mobile phone or computer, but the Opus7 presented a new idea of time: 'It is high mechanics, not technology. A watch should be a function for the heart.'