By Ted Gushue
Dressed head to toe in double-breasted white, we found ourselves standing next to a sharp Waris Ahluwalia a couple of weeks ago: “Waris, what do you make of Harry Winston’s hard push into the watch market?” Accepting our inquiry, the multitalented Punjabi powerhouse deadpans back at us: “I really have to say, it’s about time.”
Rewind eight hours, and our lifelong dream of flying a chartered seaplane to watch The Virgins perform at a Harry Winston-hosted beach party with Andre Saraiva had yet to be fulfilled. Day in, day out, we’d sat at our desks bemoaning just how little time we’d spent soaring above the jammed arteries of the L.I.E., whisked along an eastward flight plan, bottle of rosé and swimsuit model at the ready. What kind of cruel world did we live in where this wasn’t a constant reality?
And then it happened.
2:45 p.m., a discreet email washes over us like an awesome wave: “23rd Street and FDR Drive. No later than 6 p.m.” In one email, we’d left behind the disgustingly plebeian practice of driving to the Hamptons. Our new life flashed before our eyes: it looked like being adopted by Brad and Angelina, only sexier and more awesome.
These were not our people.
They did not care for the enthusiasm a seaplane flight afforded our tender loins; Here we were having the time of our lives while receiving the stink eye from one woman—like a tumbleweed rolling into the wrong part of town.
After a scant 45 minutes, we disembarked our “routine” flight to Sunset Beach on Shelter Island, relieved to find a familiar face in Patrick McMullan, who sympathized with our excitement of having just taken a fucking seaplane to a beach party on an island: “Isn’t that just the best? I was already out here so I didn’t need to fly,” he motions to his brand-new hybrid super car dubbed the Fisker Karma. “It’s the future,” he added.
Mr. McMullan, drenched in sweat, continued to snap away in the 97 degree heat, corralling us into a photo with Paul Sevigny, who miraculously donned a full suit, confided that it was hot as you-know-what under there. “I have no idea how I’m doing it,” he said. Sweat beading on our brow, we spotted another dude dressed for a fall stroll, none other than Johan “I’m Never Hot, Always Cool” Lindenberg, wearing a hearty blazer over his shoulders.
Acknowledging our need for a cool-down drink, we grabbed Hilary Rhoda and made our way to the bar. We were relieved that she (in her open-back L.B.D.) was on our side in regard to taking a goddamn seaplane to a beach party on an island with Sports Illustrated swimsuit models: “Yeah it’s pretty much the most amazing way to get around, I can’t imagine how people aren’t losing their shit at how cool that is.”
The whole reason we were there, you see, was to celebrate the birth of Harry Winston’s latest wrist-bound offspring: the Ocean Sport Collection ($16,300 and up). The watch itself is hulking, resembling a Sheik-chic interpretation of a futuristic hockey puck, crafted out of a metal that carries a trademark symbol. “It’s called Zalium™. We created an alloy of aluminum and zirconium,” explained Tom Dwyer of Harry Winston, “Woah,” we said in our best Keanu Reeves.
As Mr. Sevigny pumped “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s over a hulking soundsystem, we made our way to a red carpet area ancillary to the gravel dancefloor. Standing in front of a 25-foot canvas wall, nightlife impresario Andre Saraiva picked up a couple cans of spray-paint and went to work, revealing an impressively playful marriage between his signature tag and the posh Harry Winston logo.
Fresh from the tagging ceremony we were directed to 200-foot-long dinner table, ensconced in a miniature vineyard. The dinner proved to be unremarkably delightful, with a person or two who imbibed a bit too much of Andre Balazs’ signature rosé.
Dinner wrapped and we stumbled back down to the main deck for a somewhat subdued performance from The Virgins. We largely chalked it up to the impetuous heat. Moments later, we checked our own imaginary five-figure timepiece and realized the last ferry off Shelter Island was about to depart and so we, along with the rest of the throng, fled…