Simply Abu Dhabi XX

8 7 S I M P LY A B U DH A B I H arry Winston always draws much attention and sparks excitement amongst watch lovers from around the world at each and every Baselworld fair, and 2015 was no different. A standout launch amongst the novelties was a trio of feminine watches Harry Winston has named after the company’s redoubtable designer, Ambaji V. Shinde. The Shinde Automatic 36mm timepieces form part of the Harry Winston Premier Collection, a flagship of the brand that was introduced in 1989 and which pays tribute to Harry Winston’s ongoing journey in the rarefied world of haute horlogerie. Harry Winston and Ambaji V. Shinde met in Mumbai in 1955 and the two found in each other an immediate affinity – the two gentlemen recognised they were of like-mind, bursting with creativity and a passion to share their visions. Winston appointed Shinde – whom he endearingly nicknamed ‘the gem behind the gems’ – to be designer of the Maison and his signature taste has since imbued countless collections. The three new Premier Shinde models are a result of searching through the archives for a touch of historical, if not allusive inspiration. Two of these new timepieces are interpretations of Mr. Shinde’s previous jewellery creations – including the famous Star of the Desert – and a lavish tiara, both of which play a respected part in the company’s patrimony. The original jewellery artworks are represented in miniature on the dial of each of the new timepieces, each housed in a 36mm case. The recreation of jewellery is executed using a special gold engraving technique. With artist and designer working in close harmony to achieve the final product, the dial is entirely relief-engraved. A gossamer-thin 24-carat thread is draped in precise positions to create a cannetille – a small filigree-type element composed of spirally twisted gold thread. This measures just four-tenths of a millimetre and the difficulty in achieving such precise effects bestows on each of the three watches an indisputable prestige. The dials of the three Premier Shinde models are in Grand Feu enamel, a fine yet notoriously problematic material. The enamel must be fired at such an extreme temperature, between 800 and 900°C, that there is always an element of doubt that the final watch face will be damaged or compromised in each firing. When successful the colours are transcendent and intensely vivid. The alliance of Grand Feu enamel and the gold finesse achieves a deep, contrasting effect. A nice signature touch is seen in the three arches joining the case to the strap, which evokes the Harry Winston Fifth Avenue Boutique inNew York. Each piece features a range of precious stones, all marquise-cut and ranging from one to eight in total, depending on the model. Technical excellence is also an intrinsic part of the considered beauty of these watches, and there is no quartz here; each piece is powered by a mechanical automatic movement – the Calibre HW2008 with 186 components, circular Côtes de Genève, rhodium plating and circular graining for refined decoration. The movement dimensions measure in at an impressive 26.2mm in diameter and 3.37mm in height. A lustrous black Louisiana alligator leather strap with 18- carat white gold ardillon buckles encrusted with 17 brilliant-cut diamonds completes this remarkable triumvirate. The set is limited to just 50 pieces per design with price on request. HarryWinston Premier Shinde Automatic 36mm