sparkling Legacy

In­spired by the world’s most per­fect pear-shaped di­a­mond, the House of Harry Win­ston em­barked on a three-year jour­ney to cre­ate a col­lec­tion un­ri­valled in scale, writes Em­i­lie Yabut-ra­zon

Hong Kong Tatler - - Contents -

In­spired by the world’s most per­fect pear-shaped di­a­mond, the House of Harry Win­ston em­barked on a three-year jour­ney to cre­ate a col­lec­tion un­ri­valled in scale

We first heard of The Win­ston Legacy, a 101.73-carat pear-shaped di­a­mond, back in 2013. Her­alded by the Christie’s auc­tion house as “the most per­fect di­a­mond ever of­fered for sale,” the in­ter­nally flaw­less, colour­less stone, cut from a 236-carat rough dis­cov­ered at Botswana’s Jwa­neng mine, was ac­quired by the House of Harry Win­ston for US$26.7 mil­lion. In­spired by this per­fect di­a­mond, the house’s team of gem­mol­o­gists, de­sign­ers and crafts­men cre­ated the Legacy col­lec­tion, a 22-piece se­ries that uses only large D colour—that is, colour­less—in­ter­nally flaw­less di­a­monds as the fo­cal point of its pieces. The de­signs ref­er­ence iconic jew­ellery from the Harry Win­ston ar­chives, specif­i­cally works by two of its most pro­lific de­sign­ers. Jew­ellery con­nois­seurs will agree that a col­lec­tion of this cal­i­bre, the world’s largest in­cor­po­rat­ing only D colour, in­ter­nally flaw­less di­a­monds, comes along only once in a life­time.

The Legacy col­lec­tion, which took three years to com­plete, con­veys Harry Win­ston’s life­time ob­ses­sion with the pur­suit of the per­fect di­a­mond. With a true pas­sion for gems, he in­stinc­tively knew whether a great di­a­mond lay within just by look­ing at the rough. And through­out his ca­reer, he employed peo­ple who had the same pas­sion and in­stinct.

Among them were Mau­rice Galli and Am­baji Shinde. Ital­ian-born Galli worked as a jew­ellery de­signer for Tif­fany & Co, Van Cleef & Ar­pels and David Webb be­fore he joined Harry Win­ston in 1967, while In­di­an­born Shinde had nearly 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence de­sign­ing pieces for ma­hara­jahs be­fore he joined the house in 1962.

As Harry Win­ston’s chief de­sign­ers, Galli and Shinde had a friendly and col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ship, and their ideas be­came the cor­ner­stones of the house. Shinde was highly tech­ni­cal and metic­u­lous, his de­signs dis­play­ing the ex­u­ber­ance of the royal In­dian jew­ellery that launched his ca­reer. Galli, who was an en­gi­neer be­fore he turned to jew­ellery de­sign, had a knack for cre­at­ing be­spoke pieces and en­joyed in­ter­act­ing with the house’s high-pro­file clients, who in­cluded so­cialites, royalty and Hol­ly­wood’s A-list. One of his most lauded cre­ations was a turquoise and di­a­mond tiara and ear­rings for Farah Diba, the last em­press of Iran.

To­gether, the two de­sign­ers trans­formed gem­stones into fine art, and it is from their most iconic de­signs that the phe­nom­e­nal pieces of the Legacy col­lec­tion were imag­ined. The col­lec­tion’s Asia launch took place at Harry Win­ston’s new bou­tique in Taipei, with all 22 pieces flown in and un­veiled dur­ing a mean­ing­ful bal­let per­for­mance, fol­lowed by a gala din­ner and en­ter­tain­ment by the a cap­pella en­sem­ble Metro Vo­cal Group and veteran Tai­wanese pop singer Jonathan Lee.

DEL­I­CATE Touch A mas­ter crafts­man works on the set­tings of neck­lace

DROP DRAMA Neck­lace with a 34.27-carat D colour, in­ter­nally flaw­less pear­shaped di­a­mond drop and 103 round, pear-shaped and mar­quise di­a­monds (60.82 carats) set in plat­inum; ring with a 10.5-carat D colour, in­ter­nally flaw­less pear­shaped di­a­mond with six mar­quise di­a­monds, both by the House of Harry Win­ston

LAST­ING HER­ITAGE Im­ages of Harry Win­ston’s his­toric di­a­mond col­lec­tion hang on the walls of the house’s newly opened bou­tique at Taipei 101 (be­low)

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