Whetting our appetite before Baselworld 2016 is Harry Wiston’s new 36mm moon phase model, which combines the beautify of mother of pear with a sophisticated moon phase complication. A fine combination indeed, but the watch falls short in just one category.
Serving up a pre-Baselworld highlight, we have received word of Harry Winston’s latest addition to its Premier Collection: the Premier Moon Phase 36mm.
At first impression, the Premier Moon Phase 36mm is everything we expect form the jewelry and watchmaking house. The impressive, three-dimensional look of the dial is achieved thanks to the use of different artistic techniques, including carefully selected mother-of-pearl, contrasting colors, and expertly placed design accents. And the result is mesmerizing: an impressive moon that appears to travel across the horizon, before finding its way behind a white mother-of-pearl design at the end of the lunar cycle.
Helping the effect are two shades of mother-of-pearl on the dial. The first is pure white, alluding to daylight, while the second is pearl blue, evoking the deep blue of the evening sky. The contrasting colors help guide the eye across the dial –which is without a doubt the heart of the timepiece - where the moon phase is brilliantly displayed.
The remaining detail is equally impressive. Gold cabochons minute markers bring the dial to life, while the brand’s usual emerald-shaped logo can be found at the 12 o’clock position. On the opposite side of the dial we have 18 brilliant-cut diamonds, while 12 brilliant-cut diamonds line the perimeter and serve as hour markers. Combined, the timepiece boasts 2.58 carats of diamonds, which are complemented nicely by the 36mm 18K rose gold case and white alligator strap.
Harry Winston is known for producing watches that are equal parts haute joaillerie and haute horlogerie. And the new Premier Moon Phase 36mm certainly represents the former. But it falls a bit short on the horlogerie side, even by the brand’s own high standards.
The two previous additions to the Premier Collection, for example, were powered by the mechanical HW2008 caliber. But for this addition to the collection, the brand has decided to use the HW5201 quartz movement, which is nevertheless exclusive to Harry Winston. For a watch expected to retail somewhere in the USD 30,000 – 50,000 range, a mechanical movement is a fair expectation, especially when competitors like Patek Philippe offer similar models powered by mechanical movements.
I wouldn’t be all too surprised if, somewhere down the road, Harry Winston decides to issue a mechanical version of this beautiful timepiece as well.