Harry Winston stole this year’s show at Baselworld with its fully functional pair of opera glasses with a secret timepiece. The Broadway Glasses are designed to evoke the bright lights of New York’s famous theatre district and capture the sleek Art Deco aesthetics that prevailed when Mr Harry Winston, aka the King of Diamonds, founded his jewellery emporium in the city that never sleeps in 1932.
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. This high jewellery interpretation, the Broadway Glasses are made from a combination of white gold and titanium and 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. 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.