Art of glass: Harry Winston

The Premier Precious Micromosaic collection from Harry Winston celebrates ancient skills through a new contemporary offering

Watches & Jewellery 5 Dec 2019

Cut glass is arranged on the dial.
The Premier Precious Micromosaic is the most recent métiers d'art by Harry Winston

Harry Winston’s watch designers are always looking for innovative and exciting ways to decorate timepiece dials, and their latest journey has taken them to the historical Italian city of Ravenna, famous for the ancient art of mosaic. The results are expressed in the latest Harry Winston Premier timepiece – for 30 years the designated timepiece to showcase such métiers d’art – featuring the art of glass micromosaic. Four unique models have been created, with handcrafted dials that combine vibrant colour palettes with contrasting fragments of beautiful translucent and opaque glass, which come together to produce singular geometric designs.

The Ravenna artisans use coloured glass blocks to create the perfect shade, heating the glass until soft and malleable. Having obtained the desired intensity, the material is worked to form a specific shape that can be stretched into long, slender rods or threads. After the glass has cooled, it is cut into small pieces and arranged on the gold base of the dial with tweezers. This process is repeated for each colour and shape. Once the design is completed, the surface is sealed in an oven and polished until it shines like precious stones.

Hand-crafted dials combine vibrant colour palettes with contrasting glass fragments
Hand-crafted dials combine vibrant colour palettes with contrasting glass fragments

The Premier Precious watch is recognisable by its distinctive diamond-set lugs at 12 and 6 o’clock that reference the arched entrance to Harry Winston’s Fifth Avenue flagship store. The gold – 18k white or 18k rose – case of the automatic, 36mm Premier Precious Micromosaic is set with around 2.56 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds, and all four models are limited editions of 30 pieces each.

The four dials feature red, pink and white tones; turquoise with white; brown, nude and white; and turquoise, blue and white. A discreet floral motif can be glimpsed among the tiny geometric glass shapes that create a dynamic, abstract arrangement, and each dial is patterned with small brilliant- cut diamonds, which highlight and reflect the beauty of the faces.