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Saturday, January 07, 2006 

Harry Winston

Harry Winston watchesHarry Winston, the mere name conjures up glamorous images of diamonds and gemstones, of beautiful women and wonderful times. Indeed, the House of Harry Winston has been scintillating hearts and minds around the world for decades with its majestic jewelry. It’s no wonder that this legendary brand can easily work the same magic with watches of ultimate distinction.

Since his very early teens, Harry Winston was consumed by a passion for diamonds and gems. He embarked on his career as a jeweler when he was just 15 and by 1920—at age 24—he had started his first diamond company.

A man with a vision and extraordinary talent, Harry Winston built a reputation for purveying some of the most celebrated gems in the world. In 1925 he caused a stir when he acquired the famous jewelry collection of Rebecca Darlington Stoddard. By the time he founded Harry Winston, Inc. in 1932, he had already made several million-dollar transactions and was viewed as a shining star.

In 1946, Winston met the Duke and Duchess of Windsor who became avid admirers of Winston’s jewelry. In 1947 Winston was among the first to lend jewelry to the attendees of the Hollywood Oscars. Winston traveled the world to acquire famed stones, including the Hope Diamond and the sapphire of Catherine the Great. He began opening a series of salons around the world in 1955—with the first neatly situated in Geneva.

Through the ensuing decades, Winston bought, sold and donated famous stones and continued to create the most magnificent masterpieces of diamonds and gems in the world.

The house of Harry Winston survived the founder’s death in 1978. Winston’s son Ronald, at the helm today, masterfully continued in his father’s tradition. In 1989 Ronald Winston established the brand’s first collection of fine watches—called The Ultimate Timepiece series. Now focusing on haute horology as well as haute joaillerie, Winston has regularly unveiled spectacular timepieces.

The Perpetual Calendar Minute Repeater made its debut in 1995 and the Ocean chronograph—the world’s first platinum diving watch—came to fruition in 1998. In 1999, Winston unveiled the world-premiere Biretrograde complication and in the few years since, the brand has consistently offered remarkable timepieces of technical and aesthetic excellence to the world.

It is Harry Winston’s Premier collection of watches that takes center stage when it comes to technical excellence. The newest addition to this series is the Excenter, which takes its name from the off-centered position of its two counters. The result of much technological research, the exclusive HW2811 module was specially designed for Excenter.

A world’s first, the wristwatch boasts a bi-directional seconds display with a mechanical self-winding movement. The left counter tracks the seconds with a hand that moves down the semicircular indicator from 0 to 30 seconds and then back up again to 60 seconds.

The larger counter on the right displays the hours and minutes.
Water resistant to 30 meters, the Excenter sports a bold round case of 18-karat white gold with double anti-reflection treatment on both the front and back sapphire crystal.

In typical Harry Winston style, a jeweled version of the Excenter has also been created for women. It features a bezel and case-to-bracelet attachment that is set with Top Wesselton diamonds weighing more than three carats. The borders of the two counters on the natural mother-of-pearl dial are also framed with diamonds for added elegance.

New to the Harry Winston Avenue collection of Ultimate Timepieces is the exquisite Golden Lady Avenue. This striking 18-karat yellow-gold watch is bedecked with stunning cognac colored diamonds that glow with lustrous sophistication.

Decadent and daring, Harry Winston has created two versions of the Golden Lady Avenue.

One is set with 28 golden diamonds and 25 white diamonds (weighing just under two carats), while the other is set with 36 golden diamonds and 26 white diamonds (weighing a total of 3.4 carats). A striking hand-stitched cognac satin strap further enhances the amber hue of this diamond beauty.

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