Harry Winston has been transforming every gem into an exquisite work of art for nearly a century. He creates timeless sculptural jewelry and watches in the finest traditions of Swiss craftsmanship. The American company attracted the most prominent figures of the 20th century. Heads of state, royal dignitaries and movie legends were dazzled by the creations of the jeweler Harry Winston. Among them are the Duchess of Windsor, Jackie Kennedy, Richard Burton and his wife Elizabeth Taylor. Contemporary collections are on par with pieces from the past, with flawless diamonds and fine finishes.
Harry Winston the finest diamond jewelry
Jacob Winston (Winston) emigrated from Ukraine to the United States in 1890. In New York City, Manhattan, he founded a small jewelry workshop with his wife. After 6 years, the couple had a son, Harry (Harry). His father told him everything he knew about precious stones. The boy had a clear talent, he grasped everything on the fly. The skills of the father, who saw in the son the heir to his small business, also helped. Jacob had no idea that he was revealing the Jeweler for the Stars to the world.
When Harry was seven years old, his mother died and the family moved to California to open a store in Hollywood. It was during this period that the formation of the legendary gemologist and entrepreneur began.
Harry dropped out of school at 15 to work in the family business. In 1914, the family returned to Manhattan and opened a repair shop on the Upper West Side. Two years later, Winston Jr. used 2,000 of his savings to start his own Premier Diamond Company. He started buying and selling on the New York Diamond Exchange. Harry quickly gained a reputation for making the right decisions at the right time. However, luck turned on Winston, and he nearly went bankrupt overnight when one of his employees fled with all his stock and money. Fortunately, this did not stop the jeweler. Instead of closing the business, he started buying jewelry at the auction. The items were very cheap because they were considered old-fashioned and out of fashion. Winston reworked them, selling them at a premium.
In 1932, Winston closed the Premier Diamond Company and opened Harry Winston, Inc. He focused on creating sophisticated and minimalist diamond jewelry that he bought up. Harry spent money on advertising, in addition to acquiring new products and stones. In 1935 he added the 726-carat Jonker rough diamond to his collection. The deal was valued at 700,000. After paying 64 cents to ship the stone to New York by regular mail, Winston spent 30,000 to split the diamond. The largest diamond obtained was a stone weighing 142.9 carats. There were twelve of them in total. This decision brought the jeweler international fame.
Michael Jackson and Madonna
Harry continued to buy stones for cutting, including the 970-carat Star of Sierra Leone diamond in 1972. It was considered the third largest ever found and was cut into seventeen gems. The largest of these was a 143-carat emerald cut diamond, which was later split again. However, Winston was involved in more than just buying and selling rare jewelry items. He became so immersed in this art that he himself became a collector. Harry founded the traveling exhibition Court of Jewels, which ran from 1949 to 1953. The prize stone was a deep sapphire blue Hope Diamond weighing 45.52 carats. It was part of the Evelyn Walsh McLean collection. It also includes a 94.80-carat Star of the East diamond.
Harry Winston Jewelry
The creation of each piece by Harry Winston evolves from a special desire to celebrate the individual beauty of each stone and the individual style of each client. Using cutting edge technology developed by the brand’s craftsmen and designers, the unusual jewelry is handcrafted and meticulously crafted with only the highest quality diamonds. This is the main idea of Harry Winston: products are determined by the stones themselves, and not by the metal in which they are installed.
The company romantically describes the moment that influenced the jeweler’s decision: “One December night in the 1940s, when Harry returned home to his Scarsdale estate, he was inspired by the way fresh winter snow glistened on the lush wreath that hung on his door. Noticing how the graceful dimensions of the wreath and the flowing curves were formed not by branches, but by individual leaves, Mr. Winston began to invent a modern way of making gemstones, allowing diamonds to guide every design.
As the first jeweler to lend diamonds to actress Jennifer Jones for an Academy Award in 1944, Winston pioneered modern red carpet glamor. Since then, Jones has been joined by Grace Kelly, Katharine Hepburn, Faye Dunaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Lopez and Charlize Theron. In 1991, Madonna appeared as Marilyn Monroe, wearing a shiny white dress and 20 million Harry’s diamonds, including the iconic necklace.
Harry Winston watch
The name “Harry Winston” is synonymous with the most magnificent gems in the world. This reputation for excellence has extended to watches that have been in production since 1989. The Premier Collection, which remains an integral part of the brand today, transformed Winston’s signature New York glamor into a classic. In 2007, the brand opened a modern production facility in Geneva, the watch capital of the world. The division is committed to the same tradition of impeccable quality and the finest diamonds.
The watch collections exude true authenticity and luxury, as evidenced by the delicate design and meticulous workmanship of intricate details. In addition to the iconic Premier models, there are elegant Avenue, innovative Ocean and sophisticated Midnight. The High Jewelry line deserves special attention, which shows real works of jewelry art. The watches are made of platinum and gold and decorated with sapphires and diamonds. The company also has a tradition of collaborating with some of the most respected independent watchmakers, as evidenced by the Opus collection.
A series dedicated to pushing the boundaries of watchmaking was launched in 2001 and was managed by Max Büsser until he left to found his own brand MB&F. Rare collectibles were created by watchmakers such as François-Paul Gernet. from FP Journe, Felix Baumgartner of Urwerk and Robert Greubel of Greubel Forsey. The pursuit of technical virtuosity continues with the Histoire de Tourbillon collection, which features an innovative approach with visible movements equipped with a tourbillon, a device to neutralize gravity. It was developed around 1795 and patented by the French-Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, the founder of the Breguet brand.
Harri Winston Company today
After the death of the jeweler, his wife took over the management. After 8 years, she died, and the business went to two sons: Ronald and Bruce. Unfortunately, during this period, things did not go very smoothly, as the brothers fought for leadership. The company’s shares were plummeting, and the heirs accused each other of fraud and did not contribute to the development of the jewelry house in any way.
In the end, Ronald was forced to pay 54.1 million to buy back the stake from Bruce. This only happened in 2000, when the war was finally over. In 2013 Harry Winston, Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its diamond jewelry and luxury watch division to the Swiss Swatch Group. Despite the changes, the jewelry house is still considered one of the best. He continues to acquire unique stones such as the 13.22-carat blue diamond, which has become the Winston Blue, and the rare 19-carat Pink Legacy diamond. Boutiques are located in the USA, Great Britain, China, Japan. United Arab Emirates, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Turkey, Monaco, France, Italy, Russia and other countries.