The famous fine jewelry house’s iconic Emerald Collection timepieces carry the founder’s legacy forward.
Text by Lindsey Kesel Images courtesy of Harry Winston
With the keen eye of a jeweler’s son, a young Harry Winston made his first precious gemstone acquisition at age 12 inside a pawn shop. The green-hued treasure that turned Winston’s head and happened to be a two-carat emerald — costing him a mere quarter and selling only days later for $800 — foreshadowed the extraordinary impact Winston would have on the industry that later became his lifeblood.
Following his passion for discovering and shaping jewels in the rough, in 1932, Harry Winston forever altered the landscape of luxury jewelry with the opening of his eponymous American jewelry house in Manhattan, New York. The illustrious “King of Diamonds” meticulously transformed many of the world’s grandest diamonds—including the Jonker, the Vargas, and the Lesotho—into exquisite icons of style and splendor. Adorning Hollywood royalty on the red carpet and on the silver screen, Harry Winston jewelry became synonymous with glamour and elegance.
Entering the world of timepieces in 1989, the House of Harry Winston has since joined the paragon of watchmaking elite as a partner brand of Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (High Horology Foundation). In 2016, the House unveiled the Emerald Collection, a series of contemporary timepieces celebrating founder Harry Winston’s impeccably high standards of craftsmanship and his gem shaping method of choice, the emerald cut.
The famed emerald cut was conceived in the 16th century as a clever technique for shaping rough emeralds, a soft gem prone to chipping. Using graduated, parallel step cuts, stonecutters could preserve the integrity of the emerald by exerting less pressure. Amid the 1920s Art Deco movement, the emerald cut’s distinctive rectangular shape with cropped corner—a perfect marriage of classic beauty and reinforced strength—became the hallmark of luxury for diamond jewelry.
One of the House’s most coveted lines to date, the Emerald Collection is a series of transcendent timepieces. From mechanics to materials, every intricate detail plays up Winston’s perpetual fascination with form. The 18 mm models reflect a diamond-set bezel, a subtle nod to the King of Diamonds heritage. Following the path of its sister, the larger, more architectural 33 mm models showcase the dynamic of the dial through ornate beveling. Both sizes embrace distinctive finishes and are crafted in 18-karat white or rose gold—and yellow gold for the smaller model, a first for the House.
One of the House’s most coveted lines to date, the Emerald Collection is a dual series of transcendent timepieces.
Each Emerald Collection dial, available in a sunray satin-brushed finish of mother-of-pearl, is crowned with an 18-karat gold, emerald-shaped Harry Winston logo or an emerald-cut precious stone. Elegant features—such as central octagonal motifs in brilliant-cut precious stones and emerald-shaped beveled date windows on the larger model—pay homage to Winston’s steadfast love for the stunning emerald cut.
Powered with Swiss high-end quartz and automatic movements, the Emerald Collection upholds the House’s rich tradition of balancing functionality with inimitable style. While the unassuming dial of the 18 mm models takes a minimalist approach to the hours and minutes, a thoughtful date accent completes the 33 mm models. And because each second counts, the Emerald Automatic 33 mm model incorporates the delightful addition of a seconds hand running around the dial.
All Emerald Collection timepieces present the trademark octagon-shaped case in an assortment of styles that appeal to the individuality of each wearer. In the collection’s latest release, bright colors and mother-of-pearl cabochons bring a joyful and playful spirit to the newer models.
For anyone who appreciates the pursuit of watchmaking perfection, a Harry Winston timepiece on the wrist is a timeless accoutrement.