Watches: Harry Winston Avenue Dual Time Automatic (+ live pics)
By Thierry Ané on March 30, 2015
As always, our trip to Basel for the world’s biggest watch exhibition has been utterly exhausting! Running through the hallways of this gigantic “Messe” to be on time for each appointment while carrying tons of leaflets, USB flash drives and chocolate boxes should appear on the list of the most demanding disciplines of the Olympic Games next to the Marathon…
Just like last year, and despite my resolutions to keep you informed in real time of the latest novelties, tiredness got the better of me after just a few days and I decided to use my nights to sleep like normal people instead of offering you hasty reports of my discoveries.
Back in my comfortable office in London, I now have a clearer mind and a little more perspective to discuss my firm favourites with our very own pictures and videos. I do hope the upcoming articles will help you form a better idea on this year’s watch production and decide which models should join your personal collection.
All in all, I can’t say that I have been blown away by the new creations as many brands only introduced dial variations of their existing models or extremely conventional models with a commonplace classical design. Despite the general caution caused by the uncertain economic context, a few brands dared to venture off the beaten tracks to unveil what I consider to be the highlights of this year’s vintage.
With their new “Avenue Collection” for men (among other stunning introductions), Harry Winston proved they deservedly belong to this category, managing to impress through the use of innovative materials, refined movements, and sophisticated designs. It thus seemed only natural to start my Basel reports with these impressive timekeepers…
Let me start with the first striking feature of these new “Avenue Dual Time Automatic”: their brand new Avenue case! With sizeable proportions, this rectangular 53.80 mm long and 35.80 mm wide frame picks up some signature design codes of the existing “Avenue” timepieces like the trademark central arch that embraces the hand-sewn alligator strap. All the lines have been entirely rethought, however, to provide a much more masculine and contemporary look. A clever use of polished and satin-brushed finishing enhances the elegant chamfered lines of the case picked up by the gorgeous facetted lugs. The gently curved case back accommodates the contours of the wrist and the unusual position of the crown further enhances the originality of the timepiece.
The design team rightfully believed that such a refined case deserved to be crafted in luxurious yet unusual materials. The first model thus comes in Zalium while the second version makes use of the Swatch Group’s Sedna Gold. Generally dedicated to the “Project Z” collection, “Zalium” is an ultra-light alloy developed by and exclusive to Harry Winston. Not only does it offer a magnificent hue, it also provides an excellent resistance to scratches and tarnishing. First used by Omega, the “Sedna Gold” is an 18-karat gold alloy with a high proportion of palladium instead of silver to obtain an unsurpassed deepness of rose gold colour and unchanging lasting lustre.
The automatic HW3502 calibre that animates these “Avenue Dual Time Automatic” is also an impressive piece of Fine Watchmaking. Developed by Blancpain and exclusive to Harry Winston, this 32.00 x 5.20 mm movement with superlative Haute Horlogerie finishing presents refreshing and carefully orchestrated displays for the highly coveted dual time complication.
Indeed, the left-hand side of the dial is dedicated to the local time while the right-hand side provides all the information for the local time. To further enhance the separation between these two time zones, the decorations, types of display and levels on the dial are different.
The main time is offset on the right and provided by two facetted skeleton hands under a smoked sapphire crystal together with a circled date window and a day-night indicator. The apparent date disc and inner workings of the calibre bring an extremely technical look to this timepiece. The use of metallised vertical stripes on the sapphire to hide half of the day-night disc is extremely clever and a great aesthetic addition as it prolongs the rectangular shape of the case. The applied Harry Winston logo and guilloché background remind us of the Haute Horlogerie pedigree of this timepiece.
The local time is provided on the left on a different level, much closer to the sapphire crystal. For this second time zone, the watchmakers opted for a retrograde display with a nice twist. Indeed, a red hand moves gradually from 0 to 12 o’clock in three different apertures to indicate the time before returning to its initial position in a retrograde movement and start over. A little window at the centre of the dial also indicates the current hour and can be used to set the watch more easily.
Executed in black shades, the dial of the Avenue Dual Time Automatic Zalium is matched by the black colour of its alligator strap. The Avenue Dual Time Automatic Sedna Gold features a white-coloured dial and is mounted on matte brown alligator leather. Both models are secured by a pin buckle. The Avenue Dual Time Automatic Zalium will retail for CHF 22,000 and the price tag of the Avenue Dual Time Automatic Sedna Gold is CHF 38,000.
Whatever your preference, these two timepieces combine everything one could hope for in Fine Watchmaking: bold and unique designs, cutting-edge materials, innovative and reliable movements! They demonstrate once again that Harry Winston is very much a fine watchmaker as it is a high-end jeweller.
For more information please visit the Harry Winston web site.