The Times Square ball drop has been the highlight of New Year’s celebrations in New York City for more than a hundred years. Since New Year’s Eve 2000, the iconic ball has been created by Waterford Crystal, and the company will ring in 2012 with a new crystal design theme to mark the “Year of Friendship.”
The updated ball, which measures 12 ft. (3.7 m) and weighs 11,875 lb. (5,386 kg), will be adorned with 2,688 crystal triangles of various sizes and is expected to create a palette of more than 16 million colors. “The motif features a beautifully cut crystal pattern that represents friends holding hands around the world,” says Jim O’Leary, design director at Waterford. “The series honors the many ways that the world celebrates the New Year, with symbols and sentiments of universal understanding.” If you won’t be around to catch the countdown live (in New York or on television) this weekend, sneak a peek at the 2012 ball above, and take a look at its construction below.