Harry Winston: The Ocean Collection Turns 25

by Shaun Lee

In just 25 years, Harry Winston’s Ocean collection has become a beloved icon in watchmaking. More than just a milestone, however, the occasion also marks a new chapter for the line.

Harry Winston’s Ocean collection celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Although ostensibly positioned as the brand’s “sporty” line, it has grown into its own over the years to become far more than a sports watch. Today, the Ocean is a testament to Harry Winston’s dual-identity as both jeweller and watchmaker, with a fully-fledged collection of timepieces for both men and women. Signatures such as the bi-retrograde display serve as its calling card, while staples from the tourbillon to the moon phase display charm and captivate.

A Modern Signature

The concept of the luxury sports watch is a familiar one, and various brands have offered their takes on it for over half a century. Amidst the myriad creations that have been proposed, Harry Winston’s Ocean stands out as a category unto itself.

Much of this is thanks to the line’s unique blend of glamour and audacity. These have given the Ocean collection an elusive quality that makes it the perfect companion from the boardroom to the yacht. Indeed, few watches can claim to have such versatility, or the ability to add a touch of excitement to the everyday with a blend of luxury and sportiness. For many female watch lovers, the Ocean’s ability to effortlessly complement their jewellery is another important reason why the line is so well-loved.

One of the Ocean’s strongest traits is its ability to dress up or down effortlessly

Ocean Project Z15

Beyond its charming attitude, the Ocean collection also wows with a strong, unified aesthetic code, thanks to elements such as the three arches that surround the crown, which reference the entryway of Harry Winston’s flagship boutique in New York. This consistent design language, coupled with the line’s popularity, have elevated the Ocean to become a modern icon.

Finally, there’s the technical side of things. Here, the Ocean collection serves as a platform for Harry Winston to showcase its watchmaking savoir faire, usually through complications of varying complexities. Meanwhile, the Project Z sub-line takes things up several notches with a range of timepieces featuring avant-garde designs and complications with an architectural slant. Consider Project Z the laboratory where Harry Winston’s boldest watches are developed. Moreover, they come cased exclusively in zalium, a light and extremely robust alloy that’s proprietary to Harry Winston.

A New Aesthetic

Of course, one would expect the Ocean collection’s 25th anniversary to be celebrated with suitable pomp. In this regard, the house of Harry Winston has more than delivered with the unveiling of its latest creation: the Ocean Date Moon Phase Automatic 42mm. The timepiece exudes the same sporty yet glamorous air that’s made the Ocean collection such a popular one, while using an entirely new dial layout to take things a step further – both creatively and technically.

The Ocean Date Moon Phase Automatic 42mm

A glance through the Ocean collection will reveal a design language centred on symmetry, with bi-retrograde indicators often prominently featured. The Ocean Date Moon Phase Automatic 42mm, however, has taken the line in a different direction by playing with asymmetry instead. Much of this is achieved by the three intersecting displays that anchor the dial. Here, time is shown on the sub-dial at two o’clock, with the similarly sized date display at eight o’clock providing visual balance, and the smaller moon phase indicator at five o’clock rounding out the trio.

Beyond the most obvious features, Harry Winston has also put several subtle touches on the watch to liven things up. Note, for instance, how the displays don’t overlap each other equally. In much the same way, the brand signature has been offset to sit along the dial’s edge at 10 o’clock – an unusual position, but one that lends visual weight to that portion of the timepiece. The overall result is a delightfully off-kilter design that nonetheless remains visually appealing and legible.

Harry Winston has opted for a classic combination of materials in the watch. An iridescent mother-of-pearl dial presents a shimmering surface upon which light dances, while brilliant-cut diamonds set into the dial and case stand out with their icy sparkle. Further to these, a white gold case and blue alligator strap round things out for an overall package that exudes elegance and sophistication. These qualities are, in turn, backed by various features that guarantee the watch’s robustness and reliability. They include a 100-metre water resistance – as expected of a sports watch – as well as an automatic movement with a shock-resistant, anti-magnetic silicon hairspring, and a longish 68-hour power reserve.

To view the Ocean collection, simply arrange for an appointment here.

Images courtesy of Harry Winston, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.

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