We have put together this Jewellery & Watches Directory to provide you with information on the makers and jewellers whose items we regularly sell in our auctions. Click an entry to find out more information and to see pieces we have recently sold and prices achieved.
Founded by Jacques Adler in 1886, Adler is renowned for their clean, colourful and contemporary jewellery. A truly global brand, Adler started his career as an apprentice in Vienna, before moving to Istanbul, and today the firm has bases in Geneva and London. Using exceptional gemstones and employing design motifs from across history, Adler pieces are timeless works of art that can be cherished for generations.
Alabaster & Wilson are renowned for their wonderfully crafted pieces, often featuring sporting motifs of racing, hunting and fishing. These realistically modelled pieces sell well at auction, particularly to collectors. Formed in 1887 by Arthur Alabaster and Thomas Wilson in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, Alabaster & Wilson specialised in a wide range of diamond and gold jewellery for their discerning client base.
Andrew Grima is one of the most celebrated jewellers of the 20th Century. Rightly so, Grima made “big jewels that were daring, fantastic, even flamboyant but without being clumsy or brash.” Pieces by Grima, and by the highly collectable Grima Omega collaboration are highly sought-after at auction and can reach exceptional hammer prices.
Anton Michelsen jewellery is renowned for its clean, sleek and wearable designs that are just as in vogue today as when they were made. A celebrated Danish jeweller and silversmith, Anton Michelsen worked as an apprentice for eleven years before setting up his own workshop in 1841. A family firm until their merge in 1985, Anton Michelsen jewellery is renowned for its clean, sleek and wearable designs that are just as in vogue today as when they were made.
Audemars Piguet is widely seen as an institution in the watch world. Representing technical prowess, style and innovation, the brand, formed in 1875 by Swiss craftsmen Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in the village of Le Brassus. Since its inception, Audemars Piguet has pioneered many watchmaking innovations, including the world’s first minute-repeating movement for wristwatches in 1892.
Baume & Mercier was founded in 1830 by brothers Louis-Victor and Célestin Baume in a village called Les Bois in the Swiss Jura. With the company motto to “accept only perfection,” the company established a great reputation as their business grew. It was in 1918 that William Baume partnered with Paul Mercier to create ‘Baume & Mercier’. Pieces by Baume & Mercier continue to sell well at auction, with some of the most popular designs retaining their prices incredibly well on the second hand market.
Bell & Ross was the result of a university project between Bruno Belamich and Carlos A. Rosillo in 1992. A relative newcomer to the luxury watch market, this brand is instantly recognisable and has shot to popularity with their practical, functional and eye-catching designs. Bell & Ross were formed with the dedication to create timepieces that are designed to serve specific functions. The company has three established collections: Aviation, Marine and Vintage. As part of their Aviation Collection, they have supplied pilot watches to the French Air Force since 1992. The Marine Collection saw the record for water resistance in 1997, with the Hydro Challenger reaching a depth of 11,000 metres.
Ben Rosenfeld was a British jewellery designer based in Hatton Garden. His jewellery design and production started around 1959, and he gained an international following throughout the 1960s and 70s for his fine jewellery designs. Operating in the post-war period, Rosenfeld relies heavily on gold in his designs, with plenty of bold, heavy and bright designs.
Boodles is a luxury brand that is coveted worldwide, renowned for its excellence in design and for sourcing the finest diamonds and gemstones. Founded in Liverpool in 1798, Boodles & Dunthorne was a purveyor of fine antique jewellery. Antique pieces from when the firm was retailing antique jewellery are also sought-after for their exceptional modern designs, these are often signed 'Boodles,' 'B&D' or come with fitted cases.
Boucheron is one of the most sought-after jewellery makers at auction. Establishing his first jewellery salon in 1858 in the Palais Royal, Boucheron was the first jeweller to set up his shop at the famous Place Vendôme in 1893, and still operates to this day. Frédéric Boucheron was renowned as an expert in precious gemstones and as an exceptional goldsmith, creating breathtaking fine jewellery for the elites of the late 19th century.
The brand of choice for many sports stars and famous aviators...Breitling was established in 1884 and is still a family business and is one of the last remaining independent watch brands. Breitling watches are very collectable, with condition and rarity being driving factors when determining value.
Bueche Girod watches exemplify a post-war exuberance combined with excellent precision movements. Set in textured golds, and adorned with precious and semi precious gemstones, these eye-catching watches attract quite a following at auction and typically sell exceptionally well.
Greek born Sotirio Bulgari opened his first jewellery shop in 1884 on the Via Sistina in Rome. From a family of silversmiths, Bulgari sold his exceptional silver creations which were well received by locals and tourists visiting the area. Upon Sotirio's death in 1932, his sons Giorgio and Constantino took over the business, and these brothers are largely credited for creating the distinctly Italian Bulgari house style that we know today.
Bulgari as a firm was operating from the 1880s, but it wasn't until the 1920s when this Italian jewllers introduced wristwatches to their offering. The watches side of the business gained iconic status with the introduction of Serpenti style watches in the 1940s, a design that is still very much in vogue to this day. The Tubogas bracelet was also developed and used in the mid 20th century, to international acclaim. Quickly becoming known for their fashion forward, fine timepieces, the firm gained celebrity patrons such as Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn.
Famed for exquisite enamelled jewellery in the Renaissance tradition, Carlo Giuliano jewellery remains some of the most coveted in the auction industry. Carlo Giuliano moved to London from Italy around 1860. Together with his sons Carlo and Arthur, he established a jewellery business, selling his Revivalist pieces through retailers such as Hunt & Roskell and C.F. Hancock.
One of the most prestigious jewellery manufacturers in the world, Cartier was formed in 1847 by Louis-Francois Cartier when he took over the workshop of his master, Piccard. It was Louis Francois' three grandsons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques who really established the company as a worldwide business and warranted Edward VII's claim that Cartier was the "jeweller of kings and king of jewellers."
In 1904, Louis Cartier designed the firm’s first wristwatch for his friend Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian pioneer aviator; the elegant design and square face of the ‘Santos’ became an instant success. Cartier continued to go from strength to strength, introducing many other innovations, and to this day the company is still at the forefront of watch design.
Alessandro Castellani was born in 1823 into a family jewellers, celebrated as excellent craftsmen. Under Alessandro's care, the business became known as the heart of the Revitalist jewellery movement, taking inspiration from medieval pieces in the family collection. Alessandro published 'Antique Jewellery and its Revival' in 1862, sharing the application of ancient jewellery making techniques.
Chanel is a house that remains true to its identity, offering both high and costume jewellery collections season after season. Coco Chanel herself used to layer fine jewellery with costume pieces in her outfits, and this is something that is echoed by the jewellery offering from Chanel to this day.
Chanel is a renowned fashion house, producing perfume, fashion, bags and jewellery. Despite Coco Chanel launching her first shop in 1910, it was not until 1987 under the vision of Karl Lagerfeld that Chanel launched its first wristwatch. Aptly named, the 'Premiere Watch' was designed as a rectangular case with truncated corners, deliberately formed to mimic Paris' Place Vendôme.
Chaumet is one of the most historic French jewellers, establishing themselves on the Place Vendome in the late 18th century and quickly gaining a wealth of significant and loyal clients. Founded in 1780 in Paris by Marie-Etienne Nitot, Chaumet quickly garnered a wealth of important clients, most significantly when they were appointed the official jeweller to Empress Josephine.
Child & Child is a jewellery maker from the turn of the 20th Century that continues to witness exceptional prices at auction. With distinctive colourful, enamelled Art Nouveau designs, Child & Child is a firm that produced jewels from around 1891 until 1915. Child & Child enamelled jewellery continues to fetch fantastic prices at auction, with popularity amongst collectors who admire the artistic merits of these pieces, and the ‘high fashion’ of these jewels relative to their time.
Encompassing that opulent and highly wearable Italian style, Chimento typically sells very well in our auctions. The firm was established in 1964 when Adriano Chimento established the business which has remained in the family ever since. Using 18ct gold and the finest gemstones, Chiemento's house style is a wonderful mix between tradition and contemporary design, resulting in pieces that are highly versatile and coveted.
Chopard is a highly sought-after name at auction, both for watches and jewellery. Although founded as a watchmaker in the 19th Century, diamond jewellery was introduced by the company in the 1980s under the helm of Caroline Scheufele. Since then, Chopard’s imaginative, luxurious and iconic designs have quickly become some of the most desirable jewellery both on the red carpet and at auction.
Chopard Watches are amongst some of the best-selling at auction. Renowned for exceptional timepieces, Chopard is a name that sells exceptionally well to both watch collectors and private individuals looking for an eye-catching yet precise timepiece. Chopard was founded by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in Solvilier in 1860. As an artisan watchmaker, Chopard created unique precision chronometers and pocket watches, some of which he exported to the court of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Chopard quickly gained international repute for their superb timepieces.
Corum watches are amongst the most eye-catching and creative timepieces that we sell at auction, and appeal particularly to a strong collectors market. The brand, formed in 1955, specialises in limited edition runs of 'avant garde' timepieces, bold and brilliant in their design. Corum's $20 gold coin watch was the design that really projected the brand after its launch in 1964, and introduced a tradition for 'world premiers,' annually featuring a limited edition collection produced in small quantities.
Cropp & Farr jewellery is characterised by excellent workmanship as well as the use of bright and vibrant gemstones. Founded in 1917, the London based jewellers created beautiful brooches, earrings, rings, necklaces, cufflinks and bracelets throughout the 20th Century, each bearing the firms’ maker’s mark ‘C&F’ in a rectangle. Cropp & Farr pieces come in a wide variety of eye-catching designs but typically feature floral sprays, figural renderings, textured gold and kaleidoscopic gemstones.
One of the North’s leading jewellers, David M Robinson is synonymous with style, craftsmanship and sheer luxury. David M Robinson’s diamond pieces are exceptionally sought after, with iconic designs such as the Cloud Nine, Lunar and Hopscotch collections in high demand at auction. Today, David M Robinson has stores in London, Manchester and Liverpool selling his own exquisite diamond and gem-set designs.
David Webb's mid 20th Century jewellery created a long list of celebrity clientelle, including Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy and Gloria Vanderbilt to name a few. Forming his eponymous jewellery business in 1948, Webb quickly found success in the 1950s with his bold and eye-catching designs, inspired by ancient art and nature, in particular the animal kingdom.
David Yurman is a leading American contemporary jewellery designer. Yurman began his jewellery career in the 1970s, following a passion for sculptural jewels. Today, he is known as one of the most sought-after designer jewellers, winning countless awards for design innovation. His pieces are bold, daring, yet wonderfully wearable. He uses mixed metals, cable twist metal, pearls and diamonds to create his collections of jewellery and watches for women and men. As such these pieces can sell incredibly well at auction, particularly when accompanied by their original boxes.
Deakin & Francis are a family run and Birmingham based jewellers that were founded in 1786. Renowned for their imaginative, creative fine jewellery designs, jewellry by Deakin & Francis sells brilliantly well under the hammer. Famed for their exquisite cufflinks and luxury accessories, Deakin & Francis pieces are set with precious gemstones or colourful enamel in eye-catching and unique designs. Identified by their D&F maker's mark, the firm continues to produce superb jewellery to the present day.
The signature style of De Vroomen jewellery is the result of a collaboration between husband and wife team, Dutch goldsmith Leo de Vroomen, and British jewellery designer Ginnie de Vroomen. De Vroomen designs encapsulate a dedication to form and a timeless style that is unparalleled. The pair work mainly in gold and never make more than a few copies of any given design. De Vroomen jewellery is bold, sophisticated and sought-after, with fewer than a handful of pieces auctioned in the last couple of years.
Ebel was formed when husband and wife Eugene Blum and Alice Levy merged their initials, Eugene Blum Et Levy, forming the company in 1911. The firm grew through the 20th century, gaining a reputation for excellence. In 1932, they began to create wristwatches for the likes of Cartier, and in 1939 designed and supplied watches to the British Royal Air Force for use in World War Two. Today, Ebel is a specialist in ladies wristwatches and gents chronographs, endorsed by public figures such as Claudie Schiffer and Andre Agassi.
Ernst Paltscho was an Austrian jeweller working in the early 20th century. His pieces are bright, vibrant and colourful. Appearing infrequently at auction, pieces by Paltscho attract a huge amount of interest from collectors. Ernst Paltscho founded his firm in 1899. Ernst quickly became renowned for his skill and was appointed jeweller to the Greek Royal House, as well as working for many members of the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy. Paltscho's clientele and craftsmanship were so revered that he was known as "jeweller to the kings" in his native Vienna.
Fontana was one of the most famous jewellery houses in Paris in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Pieces by this wonderful French master jeweller are exceptionally sought-after at auction, with only a handful of pieces appearing for sale over the last few years.
Franck Muller watches continue to fetch fantastic prices at auction, with the watchmaker’s signature bold and eclectic style in high demand from collectors worldwide. Franck Muller became a name to be reckoned with in the 1980s, after he designed his own tourbillon wristwatch, a feat that only few watchmakers such as Vacheron Constantin could achieve at the time. Thus, Franck became known as the ‘Master of Complications,’ which forms the company slogan today. The House of Frank Muller was established in 1991 and today boasts celebrity clients, as well as dedicated watch collectors from around the world.
Garrard was founded by George Wickes in 1735. Wickes was a talented silversmith and produced several commissions for aristocratic patrons. In 1792, the firm was taken over by partners John Wakelin and John Garrard, whose name the company retains. In 1843 they were bestowed the title of Crown Jewellers to Queen Victoria and have held this with six successive monarchs ever since.
Arthur and Georgina (Georgie) Gaskin were a husband and wife team, producing exceptional wirework, foliate Arts & Crafts jewellery from the turn of the century. Both accomplished artists in their own right, and studied at the Birmingham School of Art where they met in 1888. It is worth noting that the pair also made significant contributions in illustration and metalwork, before turning their attention to jewellery as mature artists. Jewellery by the Gaskins is highly sought after by collectors of Arts & Crafts jewellery, and pieces continue to fetch high hammer prices both for the tale they tell in design history and for their elegant, charming and wearable designs.
Gavello is characterised by bold, fashionable and undeniably chic designs. Crafted by husband and wife team Rinaldo and Martha Gavello, their ergonomic, statement and unique pieces attract a huge amount of attention at auction. The brand was founded in the late 1970s, with the idea of evolving the concept of jewellery with comfortable design and technological advances. The functionality of Gavello pieces is one of the brand’s strongest creative pulls, coupled with an homage to traditional jewellery motifs such as crosses and eyes.
One of the most celebrated Danish jewellers, Georg Jensen set up his own shop in Copenhagen in 1904 and started off making small pieces of jewellery. His jewellery was heavily influenced by organic shapes such as leaves, flowers and fruit. He also incorporated ivory and semi-precious stones into some pieces. A great attraction of the Georg Jensen jewellery range is the number of styles available under the influence of the company’s different designers.
Graham Watches take their name from Fleet Street horologist George Graham, one of the greatest watchmakers of the 17th century. These timepieces are instantly noticeable from with their eye-catching chronograph trigger mechanism. This feature was developed as a convenient thumb operation for aviators but nowadays feature as a beneficial design feature for the general public. These unique, desirable and iconic timepieces are produced in limited numbers, ensuring the exclusivity of this brand is maintained.
Grossé is a jewellers largely associated with Christian Dior. Henkel & Grossé was founded in Pforzheim in 1907 initially specialising in watch chains, and the company specialised in costume jewellery from the 1920s. Awarded at the 1937 Paris World Fair for their exceptional costume jewels, and advanced, innovative techniques. Following the Second World War, the company was simply known as Grossé. It was in 1955 that the company was granted the rights to manufacture Christian Dior’s costume jewellery.
Although founded in 1921, Gucci began producing its hugely popular jewellery and watches in the mid 1960s. With an air of Italian finesse, maximalism and imagination informing much of the fashion houses designs, its no surprise that their jewellery and watches form a large part of the companies successes. With both costume and fine jewellery, as well as ladies and gents watches, Gucci’s designs incorporate those brand motifs seen in their bags and fashion. Monograms, equestrian motifs, and more eccentric creature jewels form the basis for the jewellery and watches seen at auction.
One of Scotland’s leading and most historic manufacturing jewellers and silversmiths, Hamilton & Inches was formed in 1866. With a Royal Warrant held since 1893, the firm continues to create breathtaking jewellery and watches, most designed with a nod to the firm’s Celtic identity and set with the finest gemstones and diamonds.
Henry Matthews was a Birmingham based silversmith and jeweller. First registered in 1894, Matthews is known for his small silver items featuring beautiful detailing. Pieces include brushes, cigarette cases, frames, card cases and buttons. Matthews also produced jewellery in the style of the day, and all of his pieces bear his makers mark ‘H M’ together with the Birmingham assay mark of the anchor.
Now a by-word for luxury, craftsmanship and unparalleled exclusivity, Hermès was established in 1837 by Thierry Hermès as a harness workshop serving the Paris elite. In 1900 the company released their first bag, designed for riders to fit their saddles in, as well as other accessories such as riding boots. The company released their jewellery line, offering both costume jewellery including the Clic Clac bracelet and enamelled bangles, as well as fine gold and gem-set jewellery in the 1950s. The firm began to develop their selection of watches in 1978, fifty years after the production of their very first timepiece.
Heuer was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer in St-Imier, Switzerland. Following an aquisition by Techniques d'Avant Garde, Tag Heuer was formed in 1985, Heuer watches predating this merge are highly prized at auction. With two of the most notable designs the Heuer Autavia and the Heuer Carrera, Heuer has been associated with premiuer sporting events since the firm's inception.
IWC watches are exceptionally sought-after timepieces at auction, and sell incredibly well. The finesse of their movements, elegant styles and company heritage all fuel the demand at auction for these coveted timepieces. Florentine Ariosto Jones was the manager of E. Howard Watch and Clock Company in Boston, and had a brilliant entrepreneurial flair. His vision was to create a company that merged the technical brilliance and craftsmanship of the Swiss horologists with American cutting edge technology to produce fine timepieces for the American market. In 1868, Jones worked alongside Heinrich Mosser to harness the powers of the Rhine in order to power watchmaking machinery in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen. The company became known as the International Watch Company.
Le-Coultre was founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre, and the company merged with Jaeger S.A in 1937 to become Jaeger-LeCoultre. Based in Le Sentier, Switzerland, Jaeger-LeCoultre are responsible for some of the most iconic timepieces of the 20th century. The company boasts over one thousand movements, including the world's smallest movement and a timepiece of near-perpetual movement. Popular timepieces under the hammer include the Reverso, Atmos, Memovox, Polaris, Joaillerie, Duoplan and Futurematic to name a few.
John Donald jewellery exemplifies all the creativity, flair and exuberance of the 60s and 70s. Pieces of John Donald jewellery are marked JAD, and typically feature molten gold and beautifully vibrant crystals (both faceted and rough). Donald was born in 1929 and schooled in graphic art, before moving into jewellery at the Royal College of Art. His pieces are exceptionally designed and as such are highly sought-after by collectors at auction. His experimental techniques were revolutionary, with the use of crystals in his work paving the way for other artist jewellers of the time.
J.W. Benson was one of the most prestigious retailers of clocks, watches and jewellery of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Formed in 1847 by brothers James William Benson and Samuel Suckley Benson, S.S.J.W. Benson manufactured their own pieces as well as retailing imported pieces from their Cornhill, London premesis. By 1855 the brothers split, and James William Benson continued the firm alone as J.W. Benson. Significantly, the company obtained a Royal patronage in 1879, sadly a year after the death of James. His sons Arthur and Alfred continued the business and enjoyed great success as well as further patronages from the Prince of Wales, the King of Siam and the King of Denmark. Nowadays, J.W. Benson are known for their exceptional watches, with their pocket watches, wristwatches and clocks selling well at auction.
Krementz & Co was established by George Krementz in 1866 in New Jersey, originally manufacturing cufflinks, tie clasps and similar jewellery for gentlemen. Indeed, they were largely credited as the inventors of the one-piece collar button, as well as other innovative men's jewellery designs, quickly gaining worldwide repute for their work. It wasn't until the 1930s that the firm expanded into the manufacture of women. The gold jewellery produced by Krementz, particularly those gem-set examples from the 1930s onwards are highly sought-after and sell well at auction with both national and international buyers.
Kutchinsky is a brand that is synonymous with post-war exuberance, with bright, eye-catching vibrant and fun designs that are particularly popular with collectors at auction. With the pieces from the 1960s and 70s attracting a real following, the combination of sculptural bold design with bright precious and semi-precious gemstones is a winning combination at auction.
Lalaounis pieces are inspired by classical jewellery, and in this respect have a timeless, enduring appeal to collectors worldwide. Inspired by the ancient jewellery of his country Greece, Ilias Lalaounis exhibited his first collection in 1957 whilst working for his uncle’s reputed jewellery company Zolotas. Following his uncle’s passing in 1966, Lalaounis decided to create his own eponymous company.
Lemania was founded in 1884 by Alfred Lugrin. Lugrin had previously trained at Jaeger-LeCoultre and went on to win awards and gold medals in Milan in 1906 and Berne in 1904. The firm was known as Lugrin until 1930, when Lugrin's son in law established the brand name Lemania Watch Co, named after Lake Geneva, or Lac Leman as the French called it. Lemania specialised in complications, long running movements, and chronograph movements.
Liberty jewellery is amongst the most popular at our auctions, with the distinctive 'Liberty Style' encompassing the best of the Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau and Jugendstil design movements. In 1899 the line of 'Cymric' jewellery was launched, designed by Archibald Knox and bearing the Liberty assay mark. Cymric jewellery featured sinuous lines, peacock blue enamelling, and gemstones such turquoise, blister pearls, amethyst, moonstone, and other semi-precious gems.
Founded in Switzerland in 1832, Longines is the world’s oldest registered watchmaking brand. In 1867 Longines opened its first factory near Les Longines and produced its first watch movement, which won an award at the Universal Exhibition in Paris that same year. The name ‘Longines’ has always been synonymous with precision and quality, and their timepieces remain popular with collectors.
Although traced back to 1775 in Sheffield, Mappin & Webb’s London store was opened by Joseph Mappin in 1849, retailing silverware to great success. Jewellery and watches followed as a natural progression from the silverware. With a Royal Warrant since 1897, Mappin & Webb have been responsible for some sensatinal royal commissions, and their current master craftsman Mark Appleby is the Crown Jeweller.
The Mauboussin jewellery house was founded in 1827 by Rocher and Noury. At the time of its formation, the firm took the name of its co-founder, Noury. The rise of this company is credited to Georges Mauboussin, who joined his uncle’s firm in 1877 as an apprentice, and by 1903 was the sole proprieter. In 1898 the firm was renamed Mauboussin, and it was the turn of the century that really propelled the firm into one of the best-known French jewellers.
Max Stollsteimer registered his maker's mark in 1904, a foreign agent operating in Hatton Garden, Stollsteimer worked in a similar vein to their peers Murrle Bennett & Co., importing pieces of Art Nouveau and Jugenstil jewellery for sale to their London headquarters.
The first female artist jeweller, Mrs Philip Newman, otherwise known as Charlotte Isabella Newman was born in 1836. She studied her goldsmithing at the Kensington School of Art and started her career working for leading London jeweller John Brogden until his death in 1884. Soon after, Mrs Newman started her business, trading from 10 Savile Row and producing unique and exceptional jewels in the fashions of the time. Pieces by Mrs Newman are not only historically significant but rarely appear at auction, so fetch a premium when they do appear!
Murrle Bennett & Co. was a partnership between German-born Ernst Mürrle and his London counterpart Bennett. Operating between 1884 and 1916, Murrle Bennett & Co worked from their London premises at 13 Charterhouse Street. Ernst Mürrle came to London around 1880 and took full advantage of his German roots, making around six trips a year to jewellery centre Pforzheim for the production of around 80% of the firms jewellery. Pieces signed by Murrle Bennett & Co. are incredibly collectable and sell exceptionally well under the hammer.
The exquisite enamel work of husband-and-wife jewellers Nelson & Edith Dawson is amongst some of the finest and most coveted of the Arts & Crafts jewellers. Nelson was a pupil of enamellist Alexander Fisher from 1891, and in turn taught his wife Edith to enamel. Edith was a skilled watercolourist and this talent very much extended to her enamel work. Their pieces are typically set in silver, with the main event being deep coloured enamel decoration executed by Edith featuring natural scenes of flowers and birds.
In 1848, 23-year-old Louis Brandt set up a workshop in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland that was eventually to grow into watch company Omega. He died in 1879, and his two sons Cesar and Louis-Paul took over the business; in 1880 the company moved to Bienne, where it still has its headquarters today. In 1884 they produced the 19 line (OMEGA calibre), a movement manufactured using groundbreaking industrial techniques from which the company would later take their name.
The history of Patek Philippe is bound up with the stories of three different men; František (François) Czapek was born in 1811 in what’s now the Czech Republic, followed in 1812 by Antoni Patek de Prawdzic who was born in Piaski, near Lublin, Poland. Jean Adrien Philippe was born in 1815 in Eure-et Loire in France. In 1839 Czapek and de Prawdzic (who’d changed his name to Antoine Norbert de Patek after arriving in Switzerland in 1835) founded watchmakers Patek, Czapek & Cie in Switzerland.
A steadfast dedication to excellence, and to "always do better than neccessary" have ensured Piaget's place amongst the most respected of the luxury watchmakers. Founded in 1874 by a 19 year old Georges-Edouard Piaget. The firm continued to grow under the watch of Georges' son Timothee, and in the 1950s was responsible for groundbreaking ultra thin watches as well as the 'Salon Piaget,' in which some of their most creative, breathtaking jewelled watches and jewellery pieces were designed.
Pomellato was formed in 1948 by the Rabolini family. Based in Milan, Pomellato is famed for their bold, bright and wearable designs, featuring beautiful coloured gemstones. Pieces of Pomellato jewellery are highly sought-after at auction, with their creative and colourful jewels attracting an international audience.
Raymond Weil is a Swiss watch brand that was founded in 1976 in Geneva. Producing exceptional timepieces since their creation, Raymond Weil is a family company that was run by Raymond Weil and Simone Bédat, producing both traditional and modern timepieces for the luxury market.
Record was formed in 1903 with the introduction of the 'Sector Watch,' a triangular pocket watch with retrograde. This timepiece was hugely popular, and by 1920 Record were producing wristwatches as one of the top Swiss watch brands. In the 1930s, Record moved into the production of chronograph watches of exceptional quality. These timepieces were so well-reputed that they became one of the 'Dirty Dozen' watches selected by the British military to make their WWW watches for soldiers in the Second World War.
Roberto Coin began his jewellery business in 1977. Working from Vicenza, Itali, colloquially known as the 'city of gold,' Coin has grown to become an internationally reputed designer brand, eagerly sought-after by fashionistas and jewellery collectors alike.
The name ‘Rolex’ has long been a hallmark of quality and precision. Although they’re known as a Swiss company, Rolex actually originated in Britain. In 1905, Hans Wilsdorf founded a retail company in London specialising in clocks and watches, and became interested in the idea of a very precise, reliable watch to be worn on the wrist - he invented the name ‘Rolex’ as he wanted a word that was easy to say, the same in all languages and was short enough to look good on a watch.
Stuart Devlin was born in 1931 in Australia. In 1960, he came to study at the Royal College of Art on a scholarship. In 1965, he opened his first workshop, after gaining acclaim in his native Australia after winning a competition to design Australia's first decimal coinage. In his early days, Devlin was principally known as a silversmith, turning to jewellery further down the line. His work is characterised by filigree, and patterns of openwork reticulation. In 1982, he was appointed Goldsmith and Jeweller to the Queen, and in 1996-7 was appointed as the Prime Warden of the Goldsmith's Company.
Sibyl Dunlop learned her craft in Brussels, and on her return to England she went into business as a jeweller and silversmith. Her shop was located on Kensington Church Street, and she oversaw four craftsmen, as well as her old nurse ‘Nanny Frost’ who looked after the accounts for many years. At the start of the 1920s, W. Nathanson joined her as a craftsman. His contribution to the style of Sibyl Dunlop is vital, and he was to thank for their “carpet of gems” style that makes her designs so eye-catching and sought-after.
In 1860, Edouard Heuer set up a watchmaking workshop in Saint Imier in the Swiss Jura region, where he was joined by his son Jules-Edouard in 1887. The company began a series of innovations and improvements. Tag Heuer are still producing top quality, precision watches and timepieces in Switzerland to this day. Thanks to their long association with sporting events, the name ‘Tag Heuer’ has always been synonymous with precision and accuracy, and their timepieces remain popular with collectors.
Imaginative, exquisite and individual jewellery is a good description of Stephen Webster’s work. Established in 1989, Stephen Webster is one of the leading British contemporary jewellers, with fantastic prices at auction. With a dedication to responsible sourcing, cutting edge technology and innovative design, Stephen Webster has received industry wide admiration. In 2013 he was awarded an MBE for his services to the jewellery industry and continues to produce truly exceptional pieces.
Theodor Fahrner was a manufacturing jeweller in Pforzheim, Germany at the start of the 20th century. Responsible for a fairly prolific output of low carat gold and silver gem-set jewellery in the jugenstil and Art Nouveau taste. Fahrner's jewellery was mass manufactured as costume jewellery and sold throughout Europe, including in Liberty of London, with further pieces imported by Murrle Bennett & Co. Pieces are frequently colourful, set with enamel, semi precious gemstones and marcasite.
Theo Fennell jewellery is both technically brilliant and unapologetically eye-catching. Founded in 1983, the eponymous brand encompasses Fenell's distinctly 'British sensibility' in its imaginative, eccentric and breathtaking pieces of jewellery and silverware. Worn and adored by celebrities such as Elton John and Naomi Campbell, Theo Fennell's jewels are highly sought-after at auction.
The Tiffany jewellery brand dates back to 1837 when a ‘stationery and fancy goods emporium’ was opened by Charles Lewis Tiffany and his partner John B. Young in Manhattan, trading as ‘Tiffany, Young and Ellis’. Now America’s foremost luxury jewellery brand, Tiffany and Co have been responsible for many innovations over the years, including the institution, in 1851, of the 925/1000 sterling silver standard.
Tudor was founded by Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex in 1926. A sister company to Rolex based in Geneva, Tudor was established with the idea of creating more accessible timepieces without compromising on the quality or dependability. The brand was named after the British Dynasty from 1485-1603, and the brand's rose and shields logo established in 1960 comes from the famed 'War of the Roses.'
Italian jewellery giants UnoAErre are renowned for their fine gold jewellery, with highly wearable pieces that are sought-after at auction. Founded in 1926 by Leopoldo Gori and Carlo Zucchi, the company takes its name from 1AR, the identification mark assigned to the first goldsmith company of Arezzo.
Vacheron Constantin was founded in Geneva in 1755. The oldest continuously operating watch manufacturer, they have been producing exceptional timepieces for over 265 years. A highly sought-after watch brand, Vacheron Constantin are responsible for some of the most expensive watches ever sold at auction, and as such continue to fetch fantastic prices under the hammer.
In 1896, a marriage between Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef signalled the very beginnings of the Van Cleef & Arpels story. A marriage of love and also jewellery excellence, Estelle was the daughter of a gemstone dealer and Alfred from family of expert stonecutters. Alfred and his new brother-in-law Charles Arpels founded their business ten years later, with premesis at the famed Place Vendome, where the company remains to this day.
Fulco di Verdura was born in 1898 into Sicilian aristocracy. Growing up amongst the opulence of high society, Verdura famously squandered his inheritance, reputedly on a lavish 1799 themed costume party. As a result, he began working as a textile designer for Coco Chanel in 1927, before later moving into jewellery design. One of his most famed designs for Coco was his Byzantine style Maltese Cross bangles, which are still in production today. Verdura's opulent, creative and colourful designs flourished in the interwar years, and continue to be produced today.
Wellendorff was founded in 1893 by Ernst Alexander Wellendorff. Working from Pforzheim, within a close proximity to Baden-Baden, Wellendorff attracted the attention of the German elite and soon created fine jewellery for a whole host of nobility including the British Royal family. Continuing to the present day, Wellendorff is famed for their beautifully crafted ropework chains, diamond jewels and bright enamel creations.
Jewellery produced as part of the Wiener Werkstätte movement is highly sought-after at auction. A movement formed in Vienna in 1903, the Wiener Werkstätte was established by the architect Josef Hoffmann, graphic designer Jutta Sika and patron Fritz Waerndorfer as a 'co-operative of artisans' in Vienna. The jewellery output from the movement blends a range of styles, with an emphasis on 'artistic freedom.' Inspirations from the Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Folk Art can be seen in Wiener Werkstätte jewels, with most pieces set in silver, with enamel and gemstone accents. Produced in a limited period from 1903 until 1932, Wiener Werkstätte jewellery is rare and highly coveted by international collectors.
Zenith is renowned for being a true watch collector's brand, and as such is incredibly sought-after at auction. Famous patrons include none other than Mahatma Gandhi, who owned a silver Zenith alarm pocket watch as one of his few material possessions.
Zolotas is one of the most celebrated Greek jewellers and goldsmiths, with a company history dating back to 1895, but design inspiration reaching much further back to ancient times. Efthimios Zolotas opened his first store at Aiolou Street the meeting point of all the Athenian elite, and the house quickly gained a reputation for its exceptional craftsmanship.