Watches: Harry Winston Midnight Feathers Automatic 42mm

By Thierry Ané on January 7, 2015

When a prestigious Maison like Harry Winston decides to adorn their most iconic timepieces and turn them into exceptional masterpieces, one expects a demonstration of their unique expertise in the art of gem-setting. In this respect, the renowned Jeweller does not disappoint and creations like the Premier Glacier prove their immense technical and aesthetic skills in this domain.

But the House of Harry Winston also knows how to surprise and venture into more specialised artistic crafts to offer the most discerning collectors fascinating creations with a supplement of soul. In 2013, they managed to bring together Fine Watchmaking with the ancient art of “plumasserie”, or feather artistry, that counts among the rare and almost extinct Métiers d’Art only supported by Haute Couture.

The “Premier Feathers” collection transformed Harry Winston’s most celebrated ladies’ model, the “Premier”, into a canvas for an abstract work-of-art made of delicate feathers carefully selected, shaped, and then placed under a magnifying glass. Using Guinea Fowl and Pheasant, Guinea Fowl, or Pheasant and Peacock feathers in breathtaking marquetry motifs, the artisans delivered a splendid celebration of the beauty and sophistication of nature!

Later in 2013, Harry Winston even created a Limited Edition Geneva with the same aesthetic success and I must admit that, as a true aficionado of Métiers d’Art timepieces, I was a bit jealous that these wonderful creations were only dedicated to women… Luckily, Harry Winston does not think that feathers are not manly enough to adorn a man’s wristwatch and in preparation of Baselworld 2015, they unveil the sensational Midnight Feathers Automatic 42mm!

The recipe (if I can use this word here) is the same: take Harry Winston’s most iconic and timeless model for men, namely the “Midnight” timepiece with its round case simply enhanced by the three arches on the bezel just in front of the crown, and dress it in feathers. It seems simple enough on the paper but since many men may not consider feathers to be the manlier material, it remains difficult to prove them wrong.

In my opinion, the Maison succeeded admirably! Carefully selecting domestic goose feather in black and every shade of brown, the artisans created a stunning pattern reminiscent of the rarest wood essences one would find on the most precious cigar humidifiers, the dashboard of luxury cars, the deck of super-yachts, or the furniture of private jets. The harmony is absolutely perfect with the magnificent dark brown alligator strap and the warm hue of the rose gold case…

One would even forget to flip this stunning creation over to admire the self-winding HW2008 calibre through the sapphire crystal placed on the back. This would be a shame, though, as it clearly proves the Haute Horlogerie pedigree of this exceptional model. A solid 18-karat white gold rotor bearing the brand’s logo has been hollowed out to allow a better view of the movement and its superlative finishing: circular graining, bevelled and polished edges and parabolic “Côtes de Genève” decorations on the bridges.

I believe that even the most demanding connoisseurs will appreciate the beauty of this Midnight Feathers Automatic 42mm and I do hope that there will be more creations of this type unveiled during the fair next March. After all, with four “Premier Feathers” and just one “Midnight Feathers”, I am still a bit jealous…

For more information please visit the Harry Winston web site.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: