Swarovski, the leading producer of crystal stones and crystal fashion jewelry, today unveiled the newly refurbished crystal star that will crown the 2009 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Nadja Swarovski, Vice President of International Communications, and Thomas Madden, Managing Director of Tishman Speyer, co-owners of Rockefeller Center, were on hand to reveal the enhancements to the star, which include a cutting-edge computerized new lighting system with energy-efficient LED bulbs.
The star's 12 rays are outfitted with 720 LED bulbs on 3,000 feet of wire to create a dazzling, twinkling effect through customized light sequencing programmed by a complex computer system. This is the first year that the Swarovski star, which debuted at the top of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in 2004, will feature dynamic light movement.
A team of nine artisans and engineers spent three months employing a unique combination of art, science and technology to complete the new design. The team spent 1,200 hours installing, programming and testing the star to ensure the effects would withstand the challenging winter weather conditions 76-feet above Rockefeller Center.
The Swarovski star is comprised of 25,000 crystals, with 1,000,000 facets, measures 9 1/2 feet in diameter and is 1 1/2 feet deep. Weighing 550 pounds -- including 300 pounds of crystal panels -- it is composed of six outer rays and six smaller inner rays. The main surfaces of the rays are made of point-mounted safety glass, the same shatter-proof glass that adorns the facades of New York City buildings. The crystals are affixed to the inner sides of the glass in a tight, scale-like pattern to ensure maximum brilliance.
"The redesign of the star exemplifies the Swarovski tradition of blending innovation with timeless elegance," said Nadja Swarovski. "We are proud to continue to enhance the star's beauty and to share our vision with visitors to Rockefeller Center from around the world."
"We are pleased to once again partner with Swarovski to present New Yorkers and visitors alike with a magnificent symbol of the holidays at Rockefeller Center," said Thomas Madden, Managing Director of Tishman Speyer. "The new elements to the star are sure to dazzle the millions who visit the iconic tree each year."
The Swarovski Star now sits atop the 76-foot-high, 40-foot wide, over 10-ton Norway Spruce from the home of Maria Corti. An exact replica of the Swarovski Star will also be on display in Rockefeller Center to allow visitors the opportunity to get a closer view of the detailing and craftsmanship.
In addition to the redesign of the star, Swarovski will offer a selection of holiday jewelry and ornaments on sale at the Swarovski holiday kiosk at Rockefeller Center, at Swarovski boutiques nationwide and online at www.Swarovski.com. The collection includes stylish star-themed crystal jewelry and an Annual Edition Ornament.
The 77th Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, December 2nd, from 7 P.M.-9 P.M. The two-hour ceremony will be televised live, locally on WNBC-TV from 7 PM-8 PM and nationally on NBC from 8 P.M.-9 P.M.
Rockefeller Center officially began the Tree Lighting Ceremony in 1933, when a Christmas tree was erected in front of the then-RCA Building and covered with 700 lights. Christmas trees in Rockefeller Center have ranged from 50-foot Pines to 100-foot Norway Spruces and are viewed by millions of spectators during the holiday season.