Harry Winston Revives Feather Marquetry for the 21st Century

The name Harry Winston is synonymous with diamonds, but the house’s avian creations are what stole the show at Baselword this year.

An exercise of symmetry from the Premier Feathers collection.

The art of feather marquetry involves selecting feathers from exotic species of birds and artistically arranging them on the face of a timepiece. All the rage in the courts of European royalty during the 1800’s, master artisan Nelly Saunier is reviving the art in four variations for Harry Winston.

Silver pheasant, Lady Amherst pheasants, ring-necked pheasants and, of course, peacock feathers, adorn the faces of Saunier’s Harry Winston creations. The feathers used in crafting the watches come from ethically sourced birds that are bred specifically to donate a few feathers for the sake of haute horlogerie.

The 36 mm ladies’ watches feature cases of either 18K white or rose gold, with 66 brilliant cut diamonds studding the bezel to equal 1.45 ct. Powered by a quartz movement, each watch is a labor-intensive project, with Saunier spending an average of seven hours creating the dial of every piece. Her finished work ranges from being artistically off-center to dazzling iterations of scale that would warm the heart of any math teacher.

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