Rock The World
New York jeweller, Harry Winston, debuts in Southeast Asia
Issue: Aug 2009
Home of the famous landmark which is the Harry Winston headquarters in bustling New York City
Not since Tiffany arrived in the early '90s has an iconic New York jeweller launched in Singapore to such buzz. One of the most famous jewellers in the world, Harry Winston, had an uncanny ability to spot good gems.
In 1912, at the age of 16 when he worked at his father's jewellery store, he got what he called "diamonditis". At 21, with $2,000 in his pockets, he went to Manhattan to buy and sell precious stones on his own.
Winston celebrated magnificent stones and was consumed with the concept of individual stones rather than precious metals, shaping designs. He said, "If I could, I would attach the diamonds directly onto a woman's skin."
By 1949, the jeweller was a big buyer of African stones and mined diamonds in Venezuela. He employed 400 cutters and polishers in Amsterdam, New York City and Puerto Rico, and grossed $20 million a year.
His 5th Avenue store in Manhattan attracted an elite clientele. Browsing was not encouraged and viewing of gems was by appointment only.
A Star Favourite
Arguably the world's most (in)famous gemstone - The Hope Diamond.
How famous was Harry Winston? He was mentioned in the song "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" sung by Marilyn Monroe in the movie "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". How successful was he? He donated the legendary Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution. By the time he died in 1978, the Harry Winston empire was firmly established in the world's consciousness.
More recently, Harry Winston jewels have dominated popular culture and are never absent from the red carpet in Hollywood and around the world. They have graced the likes of Anne Hathaway, Halle Berry, Gwenyth Paltrow and superstar Madonna, lending their sparkle to these icons of international glamour.
To see a Harry Winston creation up close is like having a brush with the sublime.
As Harry Winston himself once said: "People will stare. Make it worth their while."
[Left] Anne Hathaway on the red carpet at the 2008 Oscars, wearing Harry Winston earrings and a matching diamond ring. [Right] The Queen of Pop Madonna exiting her limousine in a stunning dress with a white fur stole and draped in Harry Winston pieces.
A Harry Winston signature watch - the Avenue Squared timepiece
And stare people will, at the new Harry Winston retail salon in Singapore which opened at the equally iconic ION Orchard in July.
Their 19th retail salon globally, the 1,500 sq ft showroom houses some of the world's most dazzling diamonds and other rare precious stones. In Asia, there are five stores in Japan, one in Beijing, one in Taiwan and one in Hong Kong.
According to Thomas J. O'Neill, Chief Executive Officer of Harry Winston, "Harry Winston salons are located in the finest shopping destinations in the world".
"We're looking forward to bringing Harry Winston's exquisite jewellery and timepiece collections to Singapore to continue the company's growth in Asia," he adds.
With a passionate team and a catalogue of beautiful pieces, the new Singapore salon mixes Winston's traditional style, with a touch of modernity. There are lacquer and bronze armoire-style glass cabinets that showcase statement pendants and other jewelled trinkets. Private viewing rooms give VIPs a discreet and truly luxurious shopping experience.
Exquisitely Harry Winston
[From left to right] A brilliant cut diamond solitaire ring never fails to awe. A traditional Harry Winston Three-Stone Cluster diamond ring, which captures the signature Winston design distilled down to its purest form. This set of wedding band rings fitted with 18 diamonds will leave a dazzling impression.
Transforming diamonds into art and revolutionising modern jewellery design, Harry Winston craftsmen have a way of creating infinitely beautiful jewels of unsurpassed style.
By freeing diamonds from heavy metal settings and arranging them at seemingly random angles, diamonds are transformed into clusters of brilliance. Some of these will be making their way down to Singapore.
Prepare to be dazzled by one-of-a-kind pieces from the famous The Incredibles, a travelling collection of rare gems and magnificent designs inspired by Winston's extensive archives, including drawings by renowned Winston jeweller Ambaji Shinde.
International royalty, captains of industry and jewellery connoisseurs have long recognised Harry Winston as the ultimate diamond jeweller, and now, Singaporeans have a Harry Winston store to call their own. Harry Winston
#L2-19, ION Orchard, Singapore