Swatch watches don’t exactly conjure an image of old Hollywood glamour, but the Swiss company best known for its affordable timepieces has just acquired jeweler to the stars, Harry Winston. The Swatch Group, which has been expanding its portfolio of luxury brands, has purchased 100% of HW Holdings, the owner of the venerable bauble boutique, for $750M and the assumption of $250M in debt. The 70-year-old Winston has a long history in Hollywood. It was famously referred to by Marilyn Monroe in the song “Diamond’s Are A Girl’s Best Friend” from 1953’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. But even earlier, it was the first jeweler to loan pieces to celebrities for the Oscars beginning with Jennifer Jones in 1943 when she won a Best Actress Academy Award for The Song Of Bernadette. Winston diamonds have also appeared on Halle Berry (when she won the Best Actress Oscar for Monster’s Ball) and Gwyneth Paltrow, who wore a 40-carat diamond necklace when she accepted her Oscar for Shakespeare In Love. Last year, Natalie Portman and Shailene Woodley both donned Winston bling on the Oscar red carpet. In making the acquisition announcement, Swatch board president Nayla Hayek noted that Harry Winston “brilliantly complements” the Prestige division of the group, adding “Diamonds are still a girl’s best friend.”
Jeweler To The Stars Harry Winston Acquired By Swatch For $1BBy NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor | Deadline.com – Tue, Jan 15, 2013 11:06 AM EST
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