Robb Design Portfolio: Do the Locomotion

  • Laurie Kahle

The tourbillon mechanism was invented more than 200 years ago to diminish gravity’s effect on a

watch’s precision. But instead of diffusing gravity’s force, Harry Winston’s

Tourbillon Glissiere, which features a flying tourbillon and linear power

reserve indicator, harnesses it. Evoking the wheels and pistons of a steam

locomotive, the Glissiere’s two platinum blocks glide back and forth across

ultrasmooth rails to engage a ratcheted winding system. To reduce the shock

created by the blocks’ striking action, the watch’s designers added rubber to

the interior of the case—a seemingly simple solution that required six months of

trial and error to perfect. While solving that problem, Hamdi Chatti, executive

vice president of production for Harry Winston Rare Timepieces (800.988.4110,

www­.harrywinston.com), who spent two years developing the watch with

complication specialist Christophe Claret, also had to change the mind-set of

master watchmakers trained to work with only circular forms. "Any time we

encountered a problem with the linear concept, they came back to me and said,

‘We should make it round,’ " explains Chatti. "Round exists already, but no one

had done this before."

Read Next Article >>
Photo by Didier Gourdon
The new watch has a tourbillon hidden by an automaton…
The watch’s case is a mere 8.24 mm thick…
Photo by Vincent Wulveryck/Cartier
Jeweler Cartier innovative work combined Roman, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese elements with...
On assuming his new position, Lambert lost little time in the development of new watches...
In 2008, the British inventor, electronics tycoon, and philanthropist John C. Taylor unveiled the...
The company’s signature mixture of technical and aesthetic watchmaking is on display in the Bovet...
Photo by Lisa Charles Watson, styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
One Swiss company is employing a similar but improved design for a mechanical watch...
Many of the world’s top watchmakers unveiled new timepieces at Geneva’s Salon International de la...
The new watch has a skeletonized dial that reveals its unconventional movement…
The unique watch features a hologram of a gold bust of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius…