Ravenna, the Italian city renowned worldwide for its mosaics, is the latest destination on Harry Winston’s journey to source unique artistic crafts for its timepieces. The millenary art of glass micromosaic is behind the captivating dials of the Premier Precious Peacock, a much-loved bird in Harry Winston’s history of high jewellery design.
The majestic beauty of the peacock
A bird native to India, the green peacock is celebrated for its extravagant iridescent plumage. Peacock symbolism varies from culture to culture; in Hinduism, it is associated with the most important gods, in Greco-Roman mythology, it represents the stars and cosmos, while in early Christian paintings and mosaics, the peacock’s eye-spotted tail, also known as ocelli, symbolizes the all-seeing creator.
Nature has always been a source of inspiration at the House of Harry Winston and a spectacular high jewelry opal peacock brooch that Mr. Winston designed and then donated to the Smithsonian in 1977 served as the muse for the Premier Precious Peacock timepieces. Presented in two different color schemes, the peacocks on the dials come to life through the delicate art of miniature glass mosaic setting.
The Italian art of micromosaics
The latest chapter in Harry Winston’s artistic crafts saga takes place in the historic city of Ravenna, renowned worldwide for its mosaics. A craft form from ancient times, mosaics are composed using tesserae, small pieces of colored glass, ceramic or stone. The tesserae are cut by hand and then applied on an adhesive surface to create a design. Widely used in Ancient Greece and Rome, the art of mosaic flourished under the Byzantine Empire. Ravenna, the seat of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and then of Byzantine Italy until the 8th century, took the art of mosaic to unprecedented levels, creating masterpieces for the walls and ceilings of the early Christian monuments in the city.
During the first stage in the art of micromosaic, colored glass blocks are mixed in specific proportions to obtain a desired color. To make this mixing possible, the glass is heated until it becomes soft and malleable. From there, the craftsmen are able to work the material to form a very specific shape that lends itself to stretching into long, thin rods or threads. Once the glass cools, it is cut into small pieces and placed on the gold adhesive-treated base with the aid of tweezers. Following time in the oven to secure the glass to the base, the surface is polished until it gleams like precious stones.
Glass and precious gemstones breathe life into the peacock
The Premier Precious Peacock timepiece is presented in 36 mm cases crafted in either 18-karat white or 18-karat rose gold. The peacock’s main features are outlined in yellow gold and then filled with colorful glass mosaic and precious stones. Perched on the right side of the dial, the peacock’s magnificent tail dominates the scenery. The vibrant blue and green color palette on the white gold model is more naturalistic, while the rose gold model presents a more imaginative and feminine interpretation of the peacock through pink, raspberry and white color tones.
By playing with different shades in a given color scheme, and positioning varying shapes of glass tesserae at different angles – very much like the Winston Cluster technique – the master craftsmen create an extraordinary sensation of movement. For added brilliance, the peacock’s eye, crest and long flowing tail are highlighted with 152 brilliant-cut diamonds, while the characteristic ‘eyes’ of the peacock’s tail are accented by vivid blue sapphires on the white gold version, and rich red rubies on the rose gold.
The perfect showcase for a work of art
Since its debut in 1989, Harry Winston’s Premier collection has been the designated timepiece to showcase different artistic crafts. Instantly recognizable by the distinctive diamond-set lugs at 12 and 6 o’clock that recall the arched entrance to Harry Winston’s Fifth Avenue Flagship Salon, the luxurious gold case of the Premier Precious Peacock Automatic 36mm is set with 57 brilliant-cut diamonds, including the five truncated diamonds on the crown and lugs.
Harry Winston Premier Precious Peacock Automatic 36mm Technical specifications
Harry Winston Premier Precious Peacock Automatic 36mm
18K white gold: PRNAHM36WW026
18K rose gold: PRNAHM36RR027
Type Mechanical, automatic winding
– Diameter: 26.2 mm
– Thickness: 3.37 mm
Number of components
Number of jewels
28 800 vibrations/hour (4 Hz)
Flat silicon balance spring
18K rose gold skeletonized rotor, circular Côtes de Genève, rhodium plating, circular graining
Hours and minutes
18K white gold or 18K rose gold
– Diameter: 36.0 mm
– Height: 8.48 mm
Sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides
Open, sapphire crystal
3 bar (30 meters)
Gem-setting on the case
57 brilliant-cut diamonds
PRNAHM36WW026: 18K gold base, handmade micromosaic glass in blue, green and turquoise color tones, 152 brilliant-cut diamonds, 8 brilliant-cut blue sapphires
PRNAHM36RR027: 18K gold base, handmade micromosaic glass in white, pink and raspberry color tones, 152 brilliant-cut diamonds, 8 brilliant-cut rubies
PRNAHM36WW026: Blue pearl alligator leather
PRNAHM36RR027: Raspberry pearl alligator leather
18K white gold or 18K rose gold ardillon buckle set with 17 brilliant-cut diamonds
– 226 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 2.67 cts)
– 8 brilliant-cut blue sapphires (approx. 0.07 carat)
– 226 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 2.67 cts)
– 8 brilliant-cut red rubies (approx. 0.07 carat)
30 pieces for each version
Harry Winston The Premier Collection™