Robb Design Portfolio: Do the Locomotion

  • Photograph by Stefan Vos
    Photograph by Stefan Vos
  • Photograph by Stefan Vos
    Photograph by Stefan Vos
  • Photograph by Stefan Vos
  • Photograph by Stefan Vos
<< Back to Robb Report, October 2007
  • 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, 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."

From Around the Web...
Here is a sneak peek of five of the dozen minute repeaters that will be demonstrated on August 30…
Within the 18-karat-gold case is a dial depicting the schooner America sailing to victory in 1851…
2016 is a big year for the manufacture as it expands global reach and watchmaking capabilities…
Photo by Chris Loomis
Watchmaking all but died in the U.S. after WWII, but Geoffrey Roth is helping to bring it back…
The watchmaker’s collection of minute repeaters is the largest shown together in the United States…
Diamonds and mother-of-pearl find protection in stainless steel for this latest release…
A definite dazzler, the timepiece touts 677 diamonds along with a movement by Franck Muller…
Photo by Lisa Charles Watson, Styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
Arnold & Son’s UTTE Skeleton watch is an elegantly thin tourbillon…
Six timepieces with displays that are redefining timekeeping…
Watchmaking’s long history with motorsports has been honored by several Swiss brands…