One December night in the 1940s, Harry Winston stopped to stare at the decorative holly wreath hanging on the door of his Scarsdale estate. He noticed how the branches glistened with the light of the winter’s snow. Together, the intertwining leaves took shape in a wintry design of remarkable beauty, while the wreath’s rigid branches disappeared to the background. It was then that Mr. Winston made a historic realization: gemstones, not their metal settings, should dictate the design of his jewels. Thus the iconic Winston Cluster was born.
He turned to the house’s head designer, Nevdon Koumrouyan, to bring his vision to life. Mr. Koumrouyan, a prolific artist, was renowned for his elegant, painterly style, which emphasized the essence of each extraordinary gem. He designed mostly in pencil and sometimes in gouache. His creations were coveted among the world’s most discerning jewelry collectors, including the Duchess of Windsor. It was in his hands that the house’s most iconic motif came to life and an unrivaled legacy was forever sealed.
Today, nearly 75 years later, the Winston Cluster remains one of the house’s most coveted motifs. From the mesmerizing Wreath necklace to exceptional earrings and rings bearing the same cluster of stones, the collection serves as the cornerstone of all Harry Winston design. This year marks the introduction of color for the first time to the house’s permanent Winston Cluster collection—in the form of emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.
“The Winston Cluster is Harry Winston’s most iconic motif,” explains Nayla Hayek, CEO of Harry Winston, Inc. “It is the setting technique that revolutionized fine jewelry and the design that has made Harry Winston jewels among the most sought after. When you look at our archives, Winston Cluster with colored stones has always been part of our DNA. Our goal with the introduction of this collection is to marry our commitment to rare gemstones with our beloved motif, and to offer our clients a variation on this timeless style.”
Indeed, the extraordinary stones in the new Winston Cluster pendants and earrings showcase the house’s pioneering design technique and signature aesthetic in their purest form. Marquise and pear-shaped diamonds, along with emerald, ruby, and sapphire accents, are expertly set at varying angles to seemingly float in near-invisible platinum settings. With the most exceptional gemstones at their forefront, the new Winston Cluster designs reimagine an iconic motif, infusing it with new color and life.