August 10, 2018
The Harry Winston Project Z12 is a concentric, modern timepiece, featuring a highly architectural design and a new complication that highlights the mechanical, playful spirit of the watch. This sporty, groundbreaking timepiece displays retrograde hours and minutes in a unique layout: central, concentric and subtly asymmetric. In keeping with the tradition established fourteen years ago by Harry Winston, the timepiece is housed in a case made of ZaliumTM, the brand’s exclusive, comfortable and high-performance alloy. Style and substance come together in Project Z12, adding an altogether unexpected dimension to the watch. The unique and offbeat Project Z approach offers up a powerful watch that conveys a real message: breaking with the conventions of time and space.
The layout and nature of the complications forge the identity of each Project Z timepiece. For the past fourteen years, the line has stayed true to a highly mechanical fine watchmaking spirit that features radically modern accents. Over the years, the creations of Project Z have relied on the off-centering of indicators, asymmetrical elements, and imbalanced effects that achieve stability through the strength of the design. In contrast, Project Z12 relies on concentric levels of indicators and practically perfect symmetry. Yet there is far more at play than meets the eye. While its hands lie in the center under a large, openwork blue bridge, they are clearly moving. And not just moving...jumping. The two hands move over a 140-degree field and when each reaches the end of its rotation, it jumps back. In total, this retrograde choreography occurs 26 times a day, right in the middle of overlapping circles.
Leaps and Bounds
The Project Z12 watch stands out from usual retrograde displays. Its hands create an almost perfect illusion in which the hands appear to trace a perfect 360° circular trajectory. This impression is strengthened by the hour, minute, and date circles, as well as the other intermediate layers. Yet, Project Z timepieces possess a spirit that is entirely unique. The specific allure consists of an interplay between classic elements and appearances—striving to exceed and reinvent both. Thus, despite its symmetry and concentricity, Project Z12 features a display with the same off- centered touch that has always given Project Z timepieces their signature dynamism. This appeal is also supported by the specific presentation of the date displayed on a disc located on the edge of the dial. This sapphire disc is fixed and punctuated by transfers bearing numbers between 1 and 31. Luminescent material moves beneath its surface to illuminate the date.
The protruding element of Project Z12 is the large, arched bridge that straddles the central axis of the dial. Following in the footsteps of Project Z10 and Z11, it is built like a steel beam, made of transversal reinforcements that provide Project Z12 with strong construction and design. Evoking the unyielding structures of Manhattan’s great bridges, the timepiece recalls Harry Winston’s New York City heritage. At the center of this bridge is the Harry Winston emerald, its signature hallmark and a recurrent design featured on its timepieces. Likewise, the ZaliumTM bridge is marked by the three arches surrounding the crown. This iconic motif is an ode to the entrance of Harry Winston’s historic Fifth Avenue Flagship Salon.
This powerful arched bridge naturally adds height to Project Z12’s movement. To give it the space it needed without upsetting the finely designed proportions of Project Z timepieces, Harry Winston chose to keep the format of the ZaliumTM case. Like Project Z11, it maintains a 42.2 mm diameter and the thickness has only been added through the use of a domed sapphire crystal.
The bridge, decorated in blue, lays out the color theme of Project Z12. The color blue also stands out on the calfskin strap featuring a print reminiscent of a denim weave. Blue can also be found on the rim surrounding the hour and minute circle, as well as the matching hour markers, offering the best window into the misleading symmetry of Project Z12.
Behind the scenes of the highly characteristic displays lies a brand-new movement, developed exclusively for Project Z12. The HW3306 automatic-winding caliber boasts a power reserve of up to 72 hours. In accordance with Harry Winston’s high standards, it is fitted with a silicon balance spring and wound by the brand’s signature white gold openwork rotor. The finishing touches all adhere to the highest quality fine watchmaking standards. The movement animates the bi-retrograde display and gives Project Z12 its unique character. Combined with Project Z design codes, it results in a watch that is the only one of its kind in terms of appearance, complication and spirit. This exclusive creation is available in a limited-edition of 300, all featuring ZaliumTM.