The name Harry Winston is synonymous with diamonds. However, the Harry Winston Midnight Automatic in rose gold is a horological gem with a profound beauty that is difficult to ignore.
The name has magic. What woman does not love precious jewels? No name has closer ties with exquisite offerings than Harry Winston. Marilyn huskily added his name to Tiffany’s and Cartier and pleaded “Talk to me Harry Winston” as she extolled the virtues of those particular girls’ friends, diamonds.
The catalogue of stones, diamonds in particular which he possessed is incredible but for me it was not just the size of the stones he acquired and their history but the fact that he continously sought excellence. The Arcots diamonds were recut so that their clarity and brilliance was increased.
There is a dedication to beauty.
He sought to create peerless perfection.
He died in 1978 but the name lives on and when Harry Winston introduced its fine timepiece collections in 1989 perfection could be anticipated.
Viewing the Harry Winston collections there are challenging designs such as the Histoire de Tourbillon family, incredible in their imagination, but there is also matchless beauty and delicate refinement in the Midnight Collection.
Consider the Harry Winston Midnight Automatic. This has the charisma of the perfect solitaire.
Although the company is synonymous with New York and international, Harry Winston established their watch making base as might be anticipated in the heartland of haute horology, Geneva and this watch bears that hallmark.
The Harry Winston Midnight Automatic in rose gold is flawless, refined and exquisite.
The dial has a delicate blush which echoes the rose gold of the case.
It has a sunray satin brushed finish which catches the light and shimmers. It is a sheen which bathes the face in warmth. It is champagne.
The slender, delicate hands are graceful, sword-shaped, beautifully bevelled, and point to elegant hour markers, simple black batons with a dot at the apex so that each appears like a lower case letter “i”, the point mark assigning emphasis to the location. The 3, 6 and 9 positions differ. Double gold batons contrast with the black ones but form a connection with the hands. At 12 o’clock a discreet lozenge bearing the letters “HW”, the maker’s insignia, substitutes for double batons. All is subtle, understated, no ostentation. Even the Swiss legend is placed, unassuming, between the 5 o’clock and 6 o’clock marker, not “Swiss Made” or “Made in Switzerland” but simply “Swiss” in tiny letters.
The Harry Winston name occupying the upper portion of the dial is restrained. In unadorned upper case it is modestly sized and below the centre is displayed the information “Automatique”.
The date is depicted at 6 o’clock in a modest rectangle.
All is harmony. Nothing is out of place, too dominant. All comes together to appeal visually and aesthetically to eye and soul.
Smooth, perfectly sculpted in rose gold the gleaming bezel presents a perfect surround to the dial. It is 42 mm. in diameter but slim, appropriate for day wear but providing an elegant accessory for the evening.
The lugs are elegantly sculpted and three squares surmount the bezel at 3 o’clock where the simple knurled crown rests, traditionally placed. Winston Arches are exemplified on lugs and crown, a Harry Winston design aesthetic.
Happily the watch has a sapphire case back which affords further opportunity for admiration.
A white gold variant is available, however, I favour the warmth of the rose gold.
Mechanical with automatic winding, the Swiss self-winding movement has a power reserve of 45 hours.
As might be anticipated the finish is of highest quality with Côtes de Genève on the bridges and perlage on the plates. The rotor is in 18 ct. gold and partly skeletonised.
To complete the offering a brown alligator strap tones perfectly with the rose gold and is finished with a rose gold buckle although a deployant fastening is available for those who would prefer one.
This watch has so much appeal. It has that faultless quality found in a precious gem. It is worthy to bear Harry Winston’s name.
Model: Harry Winston Midnight Automatic in rose gold
Case: 18-carat rose gold; diameter 42.00 mm; height 8.2 mm ; water resistant 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire glass to front and back.
Functions: Hours; minutes; date.
Movement: Calibre GP3300-03/H1, self-winding; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 27 jewels; power reserve 45 hours.
Strap: Brown alligator leather with rose gold buckle.
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.