The Broadway Glasses by Harry Winston are the star of this year’s high jewelry timepiece collection. This time telling jewelry art piece is decorated with diamonds, emeralds and black onyx, evoking the bright lights of Broadway and the sleek, geometric aesthetic of the Art Deco era.
The Broadway Glasses by Harry Winston take us back in time, to New York City during the 1930s; in particular, to the bright lights of Broadway’s theater district, which drew in spectators from around the world, who were seeking a large variety of shows.
New York, home to Harry Winston’s jewelry empire since 1932, was a constant source of inspiration for the House’s one-of-a-kind creations. The 1930s were, after all, the exciting age of the skyscraper – with the majestic Chrysler and Empire State buildings – the height of the Art Deco movement, the rise of the syncopated rhythm of jazz, musicals on Broadway, and the lively cultural scene that has long been synonymous with Manhattan.
Opera glasses or theater binoculars, as they were referred to in the past, are hand-held magnification devices that allow a close-up view of the action on stage and have, throughout history, been designed to appeal to sophisticated women who wanted an accessory to match the elegance of their attire.
The lorgnette, a fancier predecessor of theater binoculars, was a pair of foldaway spectacles attached to a long handle, which was favored by fashionable society women in the 18th and 19th centuries, as a way to keep a close eye on the stage, or to get a closer look at people in the audience. More a piece of jewelry than a visual aid, lorgnettes – derived from the French “to take a sidelong look at” – were also used at masquerade parties to confer an air of mystique and allure on the wearer.
This year, Harry Winston revives the tradition of opera glasses with the introduction of its Broadway Glasses. To create this feminine accessory, Harry Winston designers married the sophisticated decoration and elegant long handle of the classic lorgnette, vintage cameras. These were then combined with the magnifying power of binoculars to create a product that is at once beautiful and practical.
The Broadway Glasses by Harry Winston are designed for a night out on the town. They were created using a combination of white gold and titanium that is almost entirely covered in diamonds and black onyx. The central structure, or body of the binoculars, is decorated with a bold, geometric design, a tribute to the accessory’s Art Deco spirit. Two layers of 80 baguette-cut diamonds frame six rows of 240 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Amazingly, on the bridge of the body, a delicate timepiece is revealed. Shaped to echo Mr. Winston’s favorite diamond cut, the emerald-cut, the dial is fully set with 48 baguette-cut diamonds and bordered with a black onyx frame with emeralds in each corner. The small wheel below the timepiece, used to adjust the focus of the lenses, is, as you would expect from the House of Harry Winston, also set with 70 baguette-cut diamonds. A labor of love, the gem setters set the baguette-cut diamonds upside-down to ensure a better grip on the focus knob and placed a cabochon emerald on top to complement the four emeralds framing the timepiece.
Onyx, a popular stone during the Art Deco period was used extensively in the creation of the Broadway Glasses by Harry Winston. In contrast to the gleaming white diamonds, panels of sleek, black onyx are inlaid on the lenses and the eyepieces.
The beauty of the Broadway Glasses by Harry Winston goes well beyond the surface, as ingenious mechanical movements, hidden beneath the gleaming exterior, ensure the perfect functioning of both the lenses and the timepiece. Equipped with professional binocular lenses, the glasses are flexible and can be adjusted to fit the shape of your face.
Setting the time on this superlative Swiss quartz-powered timepiece is effortless. Pressing a small button opens the entire high jewelry structure and allows the time to be set seamlessly from the inside.
So that the opera glasses can be held elegantly in one hand, Harry Winston’s designers created a telescopic handle that can be extended and retracted to obtain the desired length. Crafted in 18-karat white gold, the handle features a tapered octagonal shape and is decorated with onyx marquetry and a combination of 30 brilliant-cut and 14 baguette cut diamonds.
Not only can it be extended, exposing a white gold interior, the handle can also be rotated to create alternate angles for the perfect viewing experience. Last but not least, the bottom of the handle features the House’s iconic emerald-shaped logo in white gold, and, in case you don’t need the handle, it can easily be detached from the glasses.
Model: Broadway Glasses by Harry Winston
Diameter: 11.3 mm
Thickness: 2.50 mm
Hours and minutes
18K white gold and onyx
Dimensions: 28.0 x 22.0 mm
Thickness: 7.30 mm
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides
Gemsetting on the case: 4 baguette-cut emeralds (approx. 0.24 carat) & 1 cabochon-cut emerald (approx. 0.99 carat)
White gold base
Invisible setting with 48 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 2.55 cts)
18K white gold
Dimensions: 114.0 x 54.4 mm
Gemsetting on the binoculars: 240 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 13.68 cts) & 150 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 7.30 cts)
18K white gold and onyx
Gemsetting on the handle: 30 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 1.44 cts) & 14 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 0.91 carat)
Total carat weight
4 baguette-cut emeralds (approx. 0.24 carat)
1 cabochon-cut emerald (approx. 0.99 carat)
270 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 15.12 cts)
212 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 10.76 cts)