To borrow a joke that’s doubtless been made many a time before, it’s not every day one finds cufflinks that – quite literally – have a jaw-dropping effect. But Deakin & Francis has achieved just this; doing what many believed to be the impossible, with a little help from its in house die-sinkers, model makers, mould makers, jewellers, enamellers, engravers and finishers. How? You might well ask – and it is with great pleasure that we have teamed up with the jeweller in question to find out.
For one of Britain’s oldest family jewellers, now under the helm of seventh generation gemmologists James and Henry Deakin, it’s all in a day’s work. Since being founded in 1786, the company has evolved from a family-run jewel manufacturer come silversmith to one of Britain’s most treasured heritage brands. The style-elite has nurtured and raised D&F to become a truly refined company, still young at heart. With this inherent youth – no doubt a side effect of having two forward-thinking, good-humoured (not to mention extremely talented and incredibly entertaining) gentlemen in charge – comes a sense of playfulness in their whimsical designs and unashamedly competitive attitude. The thought process, the brothers admit, is to be able to offer anything anyone could ever want. “We absolutely love a challenge, and the reason the collection has got to where it’s at now is by people saying ‘Do you have a skier or a cigar?’ or whatever it is, and if we haven’t got it, it’s seriously frustrating.”
Iconic Deakin & Francis products include vintage-inspired art deco pieces, tongue-in-cheek designs and high-quality stamped materials (stamping compromises the metals much less than melting, and leaves a clean finish), and it’s the house’s unique ability to bring unadulterated wow-factor to an item so tiny, you’d otherwise blink and miss it. Made in Birmingham by some of the finest and most underrated artisans, the delicacy and detail of Deakin & Francis’ designs is comparable to lacework, glass blowing and tattoo artistry – professions that require instinct and discipline in abundance, as well as a finesse that only comes with years of practising one’s craft.