May 16, 2010

Backes & Strauss

Last week I went to view the new Backes & Strauss fine jewellery and watch collections at the company’s all-black, very-difficult-to-find, London HQ.

Whilst I appreciate the phenomenal amount of work that goes into crafting them, diamond-encrusted time-pieces are not my thing. History and backstories however are, so this was a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the company's first jewellery collection since 1870, and (best of all) to leaf through leather bound order ledgers dating back to the early 1800s.

The new jewellery collection comprises 2 lines

The Crown Collection, so named after the Crown Jewel detail on B&S luxury watches.*

The Victoria Collection which features designs inspired by those found in the company’s 19th Century catalogues and design archives.

Black Enamel Cocktail Ring from the Crown Collection features a central Round Brilliant Cut Ideal Hearts & Arrows diamond weighing 5.65 carats

Tapered Cross Earrings from the Victoria Collection

The Backes & Strauss signature Ostrich Cuff in white gold and ostrich skin

A cocktail ring from the Black Enamel line, part of the Crown Collection

Solar Star Pendant from the Victoria Collection

Backes & Strauss Fact File

•Founded in 1789, Backes & Strauss is the oldest diamond company in the world.

•The B&S company logo – a running ostrich – was chosen because the word Strauß is German for ostrich. I couldn’t find this info anywhere online so this could very well be a coup for The Bibelotphile.

•All B&S stones are cut to achieve the Hearts and Arrows effect (see earlier post for more on this phenomenon).

•It takes a month to decide how to cut a B&S diamond, and a further 2 months to hand polish it.

•Almost 50% of the rough diamond is lost in achieving a perfectly polished B&S diamond.

•Every B&S watch boasts at least one diamond set into its crown (or winder). It’s called the Backes & Strauss Crown Jewel.*

•I was hoping the B&S goodie bag would contain something shiny and hard. No such luck, but the smelly candle was jolly nice.

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