Cherished horological doctrines are being questioned. Which, if you’re a watch obsessive, is apparently something of a very big deal indeed.


Remember when you were a kid and you learnt how to tell the time, how pleased you were with your miniature self? You can forget all that because designer Ludovic Ballouard wants you to learn how to do it all over again, with his groundbreaking timepiece, the Opus XIII from Harry Winston – a watch with no watch hands, just pop-out triangles and moving ticks.

The American Geneva-based watchmaker is already renowned in the horological world for avant-garde design and innovative alchemy: previous watches in the Opus series have brought us surprising features such as jumping discs, deconstructed modules and placards instead of watch hands (that explode into chaos before instantly reassembling as the new hour). Essentially they’re world specialists in horological rule-breaking.

The new Opus XIII is no different – an unprecedented amount of originality has gone into its construction (feast your eyes on the video if you’d like to see proof). Inside the watch’s core movement is a mind-blowing 242 functional jewels (yes, jewels that actually do stuff). So how does it work? A series of 59 moving ticks represent each minute, and a collection of triangles bring you the hours. Each triangle emerges mysteriously from beneath a faceted sapphire-crystal dome and remains in sight for an hour before disappearing when the next triangle surfaces.

Of course there had to be a catch, and with only 35 hours power reserve you’ll need to use a watch winder every day or two. We consider that a small price to pay for bringing time-keeping anarchy to the watch-wearing masses.