Harry Winston Midnight Monochrome Automatic

The Harry Winston Midnight Monochrome Automatic features a sparse inventory of functions, deferentially allowing the unusual ‘slate-like’ dial to beguile onlookers with its profound beauty.

This detailed review of the Harry Winston Midnight Monochrome Automatic includes live images, specification details and pricing.

Image of Harry Winston Midnight Monochrome Automatic

The name Harry Winston will forever be associated with diamonds. The company has always been known for its prowess at mastering the almost ethereal quality of precious gems. However, the maison is also very accomplished at crafting timepieces of the finest order.

Over the years, Harry Winston timepieces have included the overtly feminine, the notably avant-garde and the classically elegant. It is this latter genre which is the focus of my attention in this instance and more specifically the Midnight Monochrome Automatic.

As the name alludes there is a sparing use of colour with this watch but what is lacking with spectral variety is made up for with fascinatingly varied textures.

The dial

The dial is formed of a slate-like material, imbued with an array of layers, referred as foliation by geologists. However, this is not genuine slate but a ‘metallic slate dial impression’. The faux slate looks incredibly realistic and certainly fooled my non-geologist eyes.

Image of Harry Winston Midnight Monochrome Automatic

The dial furniture is minimal. Nothing is intended to detract from the absolute beauty of the slate-like dial epidermis. The indexes are ‘embossed’ and glisten with a diamond-like brilliance. The hour and minute hands are leaf shaped, save for the portions near the fulcrum of the dial which resemble small fin-like sections.

There is a distinct lack of functions; a date aperture is positioned at 6 o’clock and that completes the inventory. There is an absence of a small seconds display, a detail some horophiles may lament over. However, I think the decision to omit a small seconds display is vindicated as the result provides a vast, uncluttered surface to display time and showcase the dial canvas to spellbinding effect.

The case

The bezel is slender and features three claws adjacent the crown. This asymmetrical detail sidesteps symmetry, a quality I usually prize, and delivers a wonderful idiosyncratic design element which, in this instance, I find most becoming.

Image of Harry Winston Midnight Monochrome Automatic

Measuring 42mm in diameter, the 18-carat white gold case has a softly spoken nature, appearing to deferentially sit adjacent the show-stopping slate-like dial. The size should prove universally appealing, especially considering the relatively shallow depth of 9mm.

The reverse of the case is equipped with a pane of sapphire crystal according sight of the GP3300 calibre.

The movement

The Harry Winston Midnight Monochrome Automatic is equipped with the Girard-Perregaux GP3300 calibre. This tried and tested self-winding movement is beautiful. The oscillating mass is open-worked and has been personalised to Harry Winston. The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and the main plate is circular grained. The circular graining is beautifully executed with each pearl perfectly formed.

Image of Harry Winston Midnight Monochrome Automatic

The frequency of the balance is 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 191 components, including 27 jewels. Twin barrels collaborate to deliver a power reserve of 45 hours.

Closing remarks

I adore the slate-like dial of this watch. It has a natural appearance and charmingly shines ever so slightly in artificial light. The restricted number of functions allows the dial surface to exhibit its beauty to maximum effect.

The case assumes a subservient role to the dial, allowing its neighbouring component to take all the limelight. Nevertheless, the case is beautifully formed. It has superb proportions, delivering universal appeal. I especially like the three claws on the bezel adjacent 3 o’clock which deliver a dose of unconventional charm to the aesthetic appearance of the watch.

The movement, the Calibre GP3300, needs little explanation, its reputation is legendary and is a horological stalwart revered by legions of purists around the globe.

However, I have to return to the gorgeous and magnificent slate-like dial which is pattered with the most endearing foliation, it is wonderful. In nature the layers of slate are not always as fortuitously formed, but with the ingenious creation process embraced by Harry Winston, each dial is blessed with felicitous foliation.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Harry Winston Midnight Monochrome Automatic
  • Ref: MIDAHD42WW003
  • 18-carat white gold; diameter 42 mm; height 9 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and case back.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; date.
  • Movement: Calibre GP3300; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz), 27 jewels; power reserve 45 hours; 191 components
  • Strap: Hand-sewn black alligator leather strap presented with a 18-carat white gold pin buckle.
  • Price: £16,900.00 (RRP as at 8.1.2017)

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