Harvey Diamond, 42, the younger brother of singer Neil Diamond, is putting extra sparkle into better bathrooms. Harvey is creator of the BathWomb, billed as the most technically advanced whirlpool bath, and displayed at the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair. Diamond's multifaceted tub provides room for two bathers to soak in its unique environment: built-in stereo, speaker phone, reading tray, neck-massage pillow and electronic controls that indicate water temperature as well as regulate water jets for a gentle facial mist or a whirlpool spa. It's not cheap—nearly $14,000. But Barbra Streisand, Goldie Hawn and Joanna Carson are among the celebrity sybarites who have shelled out to get into the swim in some of Harvey's whirlpool tubs.
"My brother could do or make anything mechanical," recalls Neil of their Brooklyn boyhood. "I had to lock my microscopes and guitars in the closet because he was always tearing them down and rebuilding them."
Harvey holds a total of 80 patents and patents pending on items ranging from a medical instrument used in cataract operations to scuba diving equipment. His first patent, granted at age 22, was for a drafting pen that was never marketed. His second patent, at age 25, was for an ultrasonic dental scaling tool still in use today. In 1977 he got into the tub business, calling his firm Water Jet.
Alice, 40, his wife of 21 years (they live in Studio City, Calif. with their two children) helped inspire the BathWomb. Harvey asked her what she'd like in the bathtub, and she answered, "I love to read in the bathtub and would like to have a tray because the books get wet."
Today Water Jet turns out 26 models in 55 colors. "If I make money, that's fine," says Harvey with enthusiasm. "But the excitement and challenge of creating is enough of a stimulus for me." Okay, Harvey, how about making this: a BathWomb model that cleans itself?