When Harry Winston debuted the Ocean Collection back in 1998, it was immediately clear that, despite the name, these were not like the other aquatic watches on the market. While undoubtedly sports watches, powered by calibres that promised a host of handy mechanical complications should you be headed for the high seas, these were not rugged timepieces destined for the wrists of deep-sea divers and professional sailors. They were sleek, refined, elegant. Some of them even featured diamonds for heaven’s sake.
No, these were watches created for those for whom the term ‘ocean’ conjured up visions of sunny days in the Hamptons or yachting in the Caribbean. Sure, they could stand up to squally showers and quick dips if required, but really, these were watches best admired at the bar rather than on-board ship.
None of which should be interpreted as a dig. Harry Winston’s sport-luxe approach to the Ocean Collection has clearly chimed with its well-heeled audience. This year, the collection celebrates its 25th anniversary and remains the house’s signature sports watch range. So, how best to celebrate such an occasion? With diamonds, of course.
This summer, Harry Winston unveiled two new editions of the Ocean Date Moon Phase Automatic, designed to celebrate the anniversary – each of which puts precious stones front and centre.
While both feature the signature three arches surrounding the winding crown – inspired by the entrance to Harry Winston’s New York flagship store – fans of the collection will instantly notice the reconfigured dial. Breaking with the collection’s traditional symmetrical designs, a fresh, modern asymmetric layout offers sub-dials displaying the time, date and moon phase embellished with shimmering mother-of-pearl or an abundance of round-cut and baguette diamonds.
Likewise, both watches feature in-house calibre HW3202 automatic movements (which can be admired through sapphire crystal casebacks) housed in 42mm 18k white gold cases alternately set with brilliant- or baguette-cut diamonds. In keeping with the aquatic heritage, both references are also water resistant to 100 metres; whether you’re brave enough to actually take them diving is a conversation to be had between you and your bank manager.
Bracelet-wise, you have a choice between a blue alligator leather strap finished with a diamond-set white-gold buckle or a full white gold bracelet set with 558 baguette-cut diamonds. It will probably come as no surprise that the latter, which boasts a total diamond weight of more than 38 carats, is limited to just five pieces. As for the price? Strictly on application, naturally.