Art & Craft

The Harry Win­ston Premier Pre­cious Weav­ing has a dial that’s wo­ven like tapestry, ex­cept it isn’t tex­tile.

L'officiel Singapore - - Contents - BY KENNY LOH

The Premier, as its name sug­gests, was Harry Win­ston’s first watch, and when a watch is a sto­ried, 84-year-old New York la­bel’s first, you know for sure that it will be of great sig­nif­i­cance. Since its de­but in 1989, the Premier has re­mained a tes­ta­ment to the brand’s stel­lar track record in man­u­fac­tur­ing some of the most cre­ative-look­ing time­pieces in the mar­ket. Its round dial is flanked by three arches at the top and bot­tom to re­call the neo­clas­si­cal façade of Harry Win­ston’s sa­lon on Fifth Av­enue – a ver­i­ta­ble blank can­vas for the watch­maker’s sk­il­ful crafts­men, who trans­late the iconic codes adored by the la­bel through won­drous dis­plays of dif­fi­cult-to-ex­e­cute métiers d’art tech­niques.

These highly dec­o­ra­tive tech­niques in­clude the har­vest­ing of pow­dered colour pig­ments from but­ter­fly wings to paint beau­ti­ful, life­like pat­terns on the Premier Pre­cious But­ter­fly (re­search and devel­op­ment of this ex­cep­tional work of art spanned three years). Mean­while, the cut­ting, shap­ing and ar­range­ment of pheas­ant and pea­cock feath­ers over seven hours re­sults in a kalei­do­scopic mo­tif on the Premier Feath­ers. Fi­nally, the slic­ing of mother-of-pearl re­veals a dainty, open­worked pat­tern on the Premier Pretty Lace. While it seemed as if Harry Win­ston might have had a tough time out­do­ing it­self ar­tis­ti­cally this year, it wowed yet again. At Baselworld, the brand ticked off un­charted ter­ri­to­ries in horol­ogy with the un­veil­ing of a never-be­for­e­seen tech­nique de­rived from Raden, an age-old Ja­panese method of dec­o­rat­ing: shells are fused onto the sur­faces of wood and lac­quered ob­jects. The star of the show is the new Premier Pre­cious Weav­ing, which boasts a dial that is wo­ven like tex­tile – not us­ing fab­ric threads, but in­stead, strands of gold silk and wafer-thin sliv­ers of mother-of-pearl that in­ter­lock to form al­lur­ing, iri­des­cent tapestry mo­tifs. Due to the lat­ter’s ex­tremely brit­tle na­ture, this is an in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult tech­nique to ex­e­cute, let alone per­fect.

There are four hand­made di­als to choose from. Each is just as stun­ning as the other in looks. The first de­picts the chrysan­the­mum, the em­blem of the Ja­panese im­pe­rial fam­ily and also a sym­bol of life. The sec­ond fea­tures a bold ab­stract mo­tif wo­ven with gold leaves, silk and mother-of-pearl, there­fore mak­ing it shim­mer like the fab­ric of a cou­ture gown, while the third and fourth di­als reimag­ine an an­tique koi mo­tif as scin­til­lat­ing scales that over­lap for a strik­ing 3-D fin­ish.

While it seemed as if Harry Win­ston might have had a tough time out­do­ing it­self ar­tis­ti­cally this year, it wowed yet again.

A tech­nique sim­i­lar to Raden (a Ja­panese dec­o­rat­ing craft) is de­ployed for Harry Win­ston’s new Premier Pre­cious Weav­ing watch. (From left) 18k rose gold with mother-of­pearl, silk, bril­liant-cut di­a­monds and satin strap; 18k white gold with mother-of-pearl, silk, bril­liant-cut di­a­monds and satin strap; 18k rose gold with moth­erof-pearl, silk, sil­ver leaf, bril­liant-cut di­a­monds and satin strap; and 18k white gold with mother-of­pearl, silk, gold leaf, bril­liant-cut di­a­monds and satin strap.

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