Harry Winston Premier Hypnotic Chrysanthemum Automatic 36mm
The Harry Winston Premier Hypnotic Chrysanthemum Automatic 36mm wonderfully demonstrates the two core pillars of this prestigious brand, namely haute joaillerie and haute horlogerie.
In 1953, Marilyn Monroe starred in the film ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ while bedecked in Harry Winston jewellery. During the film, the movie icon sang ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ with the immortal line, “Talk to me Harry Winston”. Harry, the son of a Ukrainian immigrant, was always a favourite of Hollywood and was widely referred to as ‘jeweller to the stars’.
However, the eponymous company, Harry Winston, has repeatedly shown its capacity to create incredible watches. Aged just 31, Max Büsser was appointed Managing Director of Harry Winston Rare Timepieces. He conceived the firm’s innovative Opus series (2001), a collection of high-end watches made in collaboration with independent watchmakers. Ultimately Monsieur Büsser went on to form his own brand, MB&F.
In 2009, Harry Winston unveiled its inaugural Histoire de Tourbillon, again showcasing its horological expertise. This know-how was reinforced in 2013 when the Swatch Group acquired Harry Winston. ‘Swatch Group is the world’s number one maker of finished watches’ with vast in-house capabilities.
The Harry Winston Premier Hypnotic Chrysanthemum Automatic 36mm plays to the strength of the brand, combining both haute joaillerie and haute horlogerie. Housed in an 18-carat white gold case, this model is offered in two versions, one encompassing blue tones and a second variant suffused with turquoise shades. Both watches feature gem-set cases which incorporate 161 baguette-cut diamonds, 4 brilliant-cut diamonds and 1 brilliant-cut sapphire.
At the heart of each creation is an automatic movement, the HW2008. Consistent with the brand’s no-compromise reputation, the movement is embellished with circular Côtes de Genève and circular graining. Moreover, in common with some of the other Swatch Group brands, the movement features a state-of-the-art silicon (silicium) hairspring.
The brand’s press release
The high jewellery spirit of Harry Winston
Known throughout his life as the ‘King of Diamonds’, Mr. Winston was as famous for his collection of the world’s rarest gems as he was for his innovative gem-setting style. Taking cues directly from nature, Mr. Winston believed stones should dictate design and float freely in near invisible settings. Like fresh floral bouquets, his gemstone ‘clusters’ would become the distinctive style of the House of Harry Winston.
Marrying the rich, three-dimensional language of Harry Winston High Jewelry with the precision and elite mechanics of House timepieces, the Premier Hypnotic Chrysanthemum presents the best of both worlds.
Chameleons of the gem universe
Opals are magical gemstones, characterized by their unique bursts of colour. In fact, their name is derived from the Greek word opallios, meaning ‘to see a change of colour’. Opals form in heavy rainfall, when silica drawn from the ground seeps into cracked rock. As the water evaporates, the silica deposit left behind forms millions of unique silica spheres. These spheres are what refract light and produce the signature play-of-colour, which is different from other precious gemstones that depend on facets for their colour show. In jewellery, opals are often cut and polished to form a cabochon, as the domed surface maximizes their magical quality. The opals in the Premier Hypnotic Chrysanthemum were each polished by hand before being applied on the dial.
Bursting with intense blue and green colour, the spectacular opals are enhanced by the neighbouring, carefully set white diamonds. To create great depth on the dial, Winston designers worked with unique layers and gem-setting techniques. The first layer is composed of 60 baguette-cut diamonds set on an 18-karat gold base.
Rising from this majestic diamond platform, 32 marquise-cut and 160 brilliant-cut diamonds are interspersed between the magical opals. Once again, by layering stones of different cuts and sizes, Harry Winston’s talented gem-setters have achieved an incredible sensation of volume. Both models feature ‘peacock’ opals, a name that refers to the multiple tonalities of blue and green. Here, the colour blue – a reference to the House’s brand colour – plays a dynamic, ever-changing game, alternating from deep midnight blue to neon turquoise and from shimmering aqua to luminous green, depending on the light.
A dazzling Premier case
In keeping with the exquisite high jewellery spirit of this watch, the luxurious 18-karat white gold case is set with 161 baguette-cut diamonds. In an invisible setting, baguette-cut diamonds sit on the bezel, sides of the case, and on the distinctive arches at either end of the case, designed to recall the arched entrance to Harry Winston’s Fifth Avenue Flagship Salon. Difficult and demanding, the invisible setting requires stones to be positioned in tight, perfect arrangements that conceal their underlying structure. The result is a solid, uninterrupted surface that reveals each stone’s face in its entirety. In addition to the sparkling case, the watchstrap features truncated brilliant-cut diamonds at the four points of attachment. Further, a truncated dark blue sapphire or light blue sapphire, depending on the model, sits at the crown.
The hours and minutes of the Premier Hypnotic Chrysanthemum are powered by a high- end Swiss mechanical automatic movement with a robust 72-hour power reserve. The latest technology, in the form of a flat silicon balance spring, ensures years of impeccable service. The sapphire crystal on the case back reveals the fine finishes on the movement, including the circular Côtes de Genève on the bridges, circular graining on the base plate, rhodium-plated parts, and a skeletonized 18-karat rose gold rotor with the letters HW.
The straps of both Premier Hypnotic Chrysanthemum models echo the colour scheme of the dial; the model with lighter opals is presented with a turquoise pearly alligator strap, while the darker model comes with a dark blue pearly alligator strap. Both are attached to the wrist with a gold ardillon buckle set with 28 baguette-cut diamonds.