Harry Winston : Premier Precious Butterfly, glowing like the sun

Premier Precious Butterfly Automatic 36mm

Case : 18K rose gold (or white, depending on the model), 57 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 2.32 carats), sapphire caseback, water-resistant to 30m Diameter : 36mm Movement : mechanical self-winding (Caliber HW2008, 72h power reserve), flat silicon balance-spring, circular Côtes de Genève motif, circular graining and rhodium plating Functions : hours, minutes Dial : butterfly wing marquetry Strap : beige (or black, brown or burgundy according to the model) satin-finish strap, 18K rose (or white) gold pin buckle set with 17 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.15cts)

A House such as Harry Winston radiates excellence and authenticity in everything it has been undertaking since 1932, blazing its own unique trail in the history of High Jewelry and Haute Horlogerie – from sparkling diamonds on the red carpet to the saga of the Opus models in the world of fine watchmaking collectors and artistic crafts applied to watchmaking. Standout innovative creativity has always been the inspirational guiding force behind the work accomplished by the development teams, as was the case when introducing the art of plumasserie on the surprising models of the Premier collection featuring dials adorned with bird feathers.

Driven by the same avant-garde spirit, Harry Winston has developed an entirely original technique for harvesting the natural pigments from butterfly wings and applying them to a metal dial plate. Three years of research have culminated in this exceptional result, creating exceptional tableaux the size of a watch dial while reflecting the infinite beauty of nature. Just as with feathers, the poetic paradox of this complex technique lies in transposing the ephemeral into eternity while preserving its intrinsic qualities. The extreme fragility of butterfly wings flutters away once immortalized on the dial after the ultra-meticulous harvesting of tiny scales filled with extraordinary pigments from the “Agrias Claudina Lugens” variety. The spectacular iridescence and the intensity of the colors are maintained, while the light playing across the watch as it changes direction on the wrist creates a distinct sense of movement. While the pigment colors thus appear to be modified, they are in fact stabilized and do not deteriorate. Each model is thus as unique as butterfly wings themselves, even though each of the four models is distinguished by a dedicated motif from a butterfly species (“Adelpha Lara” and “Chrysiridia Madagascariensis” being the other two). Reflecting the inimitable refinement of Harry Winston, the satin straps match the dial colors.

Beneath the kaleidoscopic dial, the theme of motion continues with a self-winding Manufacture movement whose precision is enhanced by a silicon balance-spring such as very few brands are capable of producing. The decoration visible through the sapphire crystal caseback is more traditional than on the front of the Premier Precious Butterfly and includes circular Côtes de Genève, circular graining and rhodium plating. Rarity now has a face… and wings.

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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