0

Search

Register for Updates

Journal

Helping your New Year resolutions…

New Year in London

Engravers Guild of London would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

2017 had its challenges, and the world is optimistic for better things to come in the coming 12 months.

However, change does not happen all on its own, and for change to happen then new actions must start at home.

So, to help with those little New Year’s Resolutions, we thought we would offer some helping thoughts about how some of our items can help you find the New You in the New Year.

Resolution 1 – Seize the day

As many wise people have said, “Carpe diem”, so make sure you don’t miss the moment in 2018. A personalised pocket watch from Engravers Guild keeps you mindful of the time, and the complimentary engraving allows for a special message as a reminder to act smart. There are so many quotes about the importance of time that it is difficult to choose one, but for now we’ll settle with: “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life” (Charles Darwin).

Resolution 2 – Give more time to important people

As they say, “Family is not an important thing, it is everything”. The is no substitute for spending time with the ones you love, but never let thoughts of them be far from your heart with a personalised locket. Perfect to keep a photo of them, or perhaps a curl of their hair, our engraved silver lockets are a perfect totem to treasure your special relationships and underline what really is important in life.

Resolution 3 – Write more by hand

2018 is the year of the return of real handwriting. In our online world, the old fashioned skill of putting pen to paper is often lost, but there are many benefits to scrawling your thoughts by hand. Science shows that writing with a pen fires up the brain in different ways and students have been shown to be more creative when putting the keyboard to one side. Handwriting also limits distractions by weaning you off a computer with its tempting clickbait, and by going more slowly you’re forced to put more consideration into what you’re doing. So, why not make the thought of writing by hand that little more appealing with one of our beautiful solid silver fountain pens.

That’s it for now. But tune back in for more Engravers Guild life hacks in 2018 shortly.

(Secret) Santa Claus is coming to town!

At Engravers Guild, we say that the most special gifts are those that: say something about the person who is giving it, reflect something about the person who is receiving it, and acknowledge the particular gifting moment.

The majority of Christmas presents, therefore, can hopefully hit as many of these three pointers as possible.

However, there is an ever-growing vein of Christmas giving which make it very difficult to score against all three of the markers… that is, in Secret Santa gifting.

Often being towards the lower end of the value range (after all, if you don’t get the credit for the gift then you don’t want to be too generous), we’ve put together a quick guide of suggestions underneath three spend categories.

All three categories have something to offer a personalised gift experience, even on a budget.

UNDER £10

A common spending category for an office Secret Santa or amongst closest classmates, £10 can go quite a long way in buying a beautifully presented and engraved present. Our antique brass effect lighters can make for a touching gift, coming complete with bespoke gift card and smartly delivered in our signature packaging. Popular amongst users of scented candles, open fires and gas cookers, they’re a multi function gift that never fails to brighten up a moment.

UNDER £20

Nearly everyone has their favourite tipple, and what better way to carry it discreetly about their person than in their own engraved hip flask. We offer a whole range of options, with many coming in well below £20. The plain stainless steel option offers wonderful value, but if your budget stretches then do consider one of our exclusively made real leather hip flasks with silver plate to engrave.

UNDER £30

When moving into this category, a whole range of options opens up. For ladies, you cannot fail with the cute sterling silver heart necklace at £24.95. Created by MYRI and presented in clean London packaging, it’s a gift which really leaves an impression and is a versatile piece of jewellery which can be worn in any style. Meanwhile, for the gents, there is no finer way than to sip your ale than from your own personalised pewter tankard.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

decorations for christmas in london

The woolly jumpers are coming out, the end of year parties are being booked, and even snow is falling from the skies… which must only mean Christmas.

With Christmas, though, comes that inevitable conundrum of what to buy your family – and even your friends and colleagues if you’re particularly generous.

So the team here at Engravers Guild has put together the first part of our festive guide to help you with your gifting challenges. Of course, nothing can beat a full and proper browse of our collections… but this is the next best alternative to find that special something.

To kick us off, we’ve started with our top picks for either a very special man or very special lady in your life.

FOR A SPECIAL MAN IN YOUR LIFE

Men can be difficult at the best of times, but never are they more difficult than when you are buying a present for them. However, every man will always appreciate a special pair of cufflinks. Whether they wear cufflinks for the office or just for notable occasions, a pair of solid silver cufflinks personalised with their name, initials or significant date will be a precious keepsake for very many years. For something a bit different for an engraved cufflink, have a look at our Silver Knot model.

FOR A SPECIAL LADY IN YOUR LIFE

Ladies often like useless things: bath salts (which disappear down the plughole), hand cream (which disappears without a trace), and candles (which disappear in to thin air). Alternatively, there are handbags and accessories, which disappear at the back of the wardrobe. Engravers Guild, however, sells a beautiful collection of MYRI jewellery which is designed never to disappear. The clean and minimal styling provides a sense of timelessness, while the personalisation brings a sentimentality which will never go out of fashion. Make it even more personal with a photo or totem enclosed inside… our Rose Gold Heart Locket is always a good option.

 

We agree with Claudia Winkelman

It’s the most… wonderful time… of the year.

The advent calendars start work tomorrow, properly heralding the coming of Christmas.

While it’s easy to be distracted by the festive parties, mulled wine, woolly jumpers, carols and much more besides, we of course have to plan ahead and make sure we’re buying our loved ones the presents they really deserve.

Luckily for the British public, we are inundated by choice and different options. Every newspaper supplement is bursting with suggestions and novelty ideas, inspiring us on what best to buy.

A favourite columnist of ours here at Engravers Guild is Claudia Winkelman in the Sunday Times. We adore her unfiltered thoughts and smile at her direct comments.

Delighted we were, then, to read her latest column on Christmas gifting.

Her words rang true exactly. The best gifts in life are the most personal – it’s not the cost of the item that matters, but the sentiment.

And while that was enough to satisfy every member of our team, her recommendations got even better.

Amongst the proposed gifts of sweet treats, stationary and handbags, her number one present for the season is… a jar of personalised Marmite.

Claudia gave details on how to order a jar of Marmite with a person’s name printed on the label – perfect for lovers of the famous yeast extract spread.

However, if only if only Claudia knew about something special that’s available from Engravers Guild. For sitting primly in our online catalogue of gifts is a beautiful collection of solid silver Marmite lids.

Whatsmore, each lid is complimentary finished by our expert engravers with an inscription of your choice for the personal touch.

Made in sunny Birmingham by a well-established silversmiths, the workshop is one of the few remaining places in the UK that still keeps the traditional skill of metal spinning alive.

All our of custom gifts come in beautiful presentation packaging. So if you, like Claudia, want to give some special Marmite this Christmas, then do think of us and we’ll be happy to help.

British pocket watch maker remembered (part I)

 

While the items we normally look boast an inscription or engraving to speak of, this week we cannot help but marvel at the bespoke pieces of George Daniels.

George Daniels was a British watch-maker who died in 2011 at the age of 85, and was considered to be the best in the world during his lifetime.

Making only 37 watches, every piece was custom made for each client. All the parts were made individually by hand and would involve up to 2,500 hours of work to complete.

They were totally unique creations that reflected the character of the owner – if Mr Daniels didn’t like the person, then he wouldn’t make the pocket watch.

As well as crafting complete time pieces, George Daniels also invented the coaxial escapement in 1974.

This has been considered as perhaps the most significant advancement in horology in the last 250 years as it eliminated the need for lubricant in the mechanism of a watch.

Where oil tends to thicken over time and cause friction which brings timing inaccuracies, a coaxial movement works with radial friction instead of sliding friction, and so reduces the wear.

Despite this, it was first met with a lukewarm reception by the watch industry, and it was not until the 1980s that the Chairman of the Swatch Group recognised its significance and incorporated the technology in their models.

It was later still in 1999 that the Omega brand (part of the Swatch Group) unveiled its first automatic watch to great acclaim.

However, it is for his pocket watches that George Daniels is perhaps best remembered and which holds his legacy.

Having reported from an auction house recently on the record sale of Paul Newman’s timepiece, Mr Daniels can claim some auction records of his own.

Next week, we look forward to bringing you a condensed history of the George Daniels pocket watch name and how it commands the price that it does.

But in the meantime, do browse some of our own mechanical pocket watches which recall the spirit of one of this country’s greatest watchmakers and offer a taste of the passion of the great man.

Launch of personalised silver locket collection

The team at Engravers Guild of London is delighted to cut the ribbon on our new collection of engraved lockets.

Jewellery so very often is bought to give as token of a sentiment, but none so is this more true than for a locket. With the design of a locket being so as to hold something precious – whether that be a photo, a lock of hair or a memento of some kind – the locket epitomises the expression of a sentiment.

Now most commonly worn on a chain around the neck, lockets have taken many guises over the years.

Queen Elizabeth I famously wore a locket on her ring, containing a portrait of her mother Anne Boleyn and herself. Only on her deathbed was it removed, and is now reportedly kept at the Prime Minister’s country residence at Chequers.

Indeed, the fortunes of the locket have run closely with the styles of kings and queens.

Following the execution of Charles I, his loyal male followers were known to wear an image of the king in a locket. And, come the nineteenth century, Prince Albert gifted Queen Victoria a bracelet with eight lockets each containing a curl of each of their children’s hair.

The royal couple again were to define a new fashion for the locket, however under much more unfortunate circumstances. Upon the death of Prince Albert, the Queen wore a mourning locket for the rest of her life and made the accessory a common gift at funerals and commemorations.

However, the personalised locket found new purpose in the twentieth century, as it became the most commonly gifted item by soldiers heading overseas in the World Wars. Thousands upon thousands were being sold each year, with mass produced models available for just a shilling.

Today, we’re pleased to bring to market a unique selection of engraved sterling silver lockets. Each one has been exquisitely finished, with our usual guarantee of expert engraving on every piece.

Engraved watch sets auction record

Last week we wrote about how one of the most famous engraved watches in the world was coming to auction, and the hype that surrounded it in the horological world and the global media at large.

This week… we can bring you the events that unfolded in the last week in New York at the Phillips auction house.

Cited as one of the most iconic watches of the twentieth century, and perhaps ‘the’ watch that kick started the collectors’ market for vintage timepieces in the 1980s, it was clear that this lot was always going to make a big impact with potential buyers.

So the opening bid price was set at a colossal 1 million USD. The hefty price tag in itself was enough to establish the personalised gift as one of the most expensive timepieces ever sold.

So the room broke out in applause when no sooner had the auctioneer announced the sum than a telephone bidder immediately shouted out “10 million dollars”.

After an intense period of bidding from 16 telephone participants (the 16 pre-approved participants in the room were all floored when the 10 million USD price tag was dropped), the engraved watch eventually sold for…

…17,752,500 USD.

The new owner of the custom timepiece has remained anonymous. He or she now has in their possession the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction.

The previous owner, on the other hand, now lays claim to an impressive fortune.

As we mentioned in the previous post, the watch was gifted to a former boyfriend of Paul Newman’s daughter. Though they have now long separated, they remain on good terms and it’s understood that a portion of the proceeds will go to the Nell Newman Foundation and the Newman’s Own Foundation.

To end on a quote, we would like to recall the words of the auctioneer when he said that: “The meaning of a watch is not just in numbers. It is the people behind it, the story.”

Today we talk about a Rolex that multiplied many times over in part because of an engraving. In years to come, we hope to be talking about an item from Engravers Guild that multiplied many times over from its story that the owners gave it.

Paul Newman’s engraved watch up for auction

Followers of the Engravers Guild Journal will well be aware of our interest in a good auction.

Like other well esteemed news outlets around the world, we have fascination in some of the weird and wonderful items that wealthy collectors will pay enormous sums of money for, when they could buy an almost identical alternative for much much less.

The reason so often that they are prepared to spend great fortunes for pieces which cannot be valued on their material parts is that there is an engraving.

An engraving, no matter how short, tells a story all in itself. And, as humans, we understand stories. We value stories. Stories are what makes us.

So our ears pricked and our interest was piqued when we heard that a rather expensive watch that belonged to a rather famous person was going under the hammer.

Auction house Phillips in New York is selling a rare Rolex Cosmograph Dayton, which used to belong to the icon of the big screen, Paul Newman.

The watch was worn by the Oscar winning actor every day for 15 years. Made in stainless steel with a thick-stitched leather strap, the model was on general sale between 1963 and 1970 and even became known as the ‘Paul Newman Watch’.

Having been photographed on the wrist of the Hollywood star numerous times, the association of the between the man and the timepiece is clearly recorded.

However, it is the inscription on the reverse of the Rolex that makes the watch unmistakably his.

His wife, Joanne, had bought the watch as a present from Tiffany when her husband was starting a motor racing career. Intending it to be a good luck charm, she had three words engraved on the back:

DRIVE / CAREFULLY / ME

It was many years later in 1983 that Paul Newman gifted the custom watch to the boyfriend of his daughter.

Not owning a timepiece himself, the legendary actor handed the young suitor the timepiece, which he kept to this day. While the union with Paul Newman’s daughter did not last, they apparently remain good friends and will be sharing the proceeds of the auction.

With an expected sale of 1.3 million USD, the windfall gain could be generous. Watch this space to learn what the personalised gift goes for…

Launch of Personalised Nurses Watches

At Engravers Guild of London, we’re continually adding new product categories to meet our ambition of being the pre-eminent destination for quality personalised gifts in the UK.

In a step in that direction, we are delighted to include Personalised Nurses Watches in our offer.

All of our nurses fob watches deliver beautiful product, exquisite presentation and expert personalisation.

Ranging from classic stainless steel models to diamante set designs, the collection has been put together for graduating nurses to experienced beauticians and everything between.

The Ravel, Henley and Censi options all boast precision Quartz movements for keeping time under trying circumstances, whether in A&E or a busy salon.

A favourite in the collection is the White Ceramic Henley Nurses Watch with diamante stones all set within the rose gold case.

This, and all other nurses watches, are finished with the finest diamond engraving using the latest technology to ensure a deep and lasting impression.

The Engravers Guild gift experience is completed with a luxury gift box, and signature outer packaging.

To mark the launch of our first collection of timepieces, we have assembled our favourite quotes about time:

 

6. Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late. (William Shakespeare)

5. Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week. (Charles Richards)

4. You’re writing the story of your life one moment at a time. (Doc Childre & Howard Martin)

3. Never let yesterday use up today. (Richard Nelson)

2. The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something. (Carl Sandburg)

1. Money, I can only gain or lose. But time I can only lose. So, I must spend it carefully. (Anonymous)

 

We hope that some of the new nurses fob watches help our recipients to heed to wise words above. Best wishes to all who wear them.

‘Engraved With The Wind’

At Engravers Guild of London, we always like to keep an eye on our city’s famous auction houses. We look not so much to buy, but to learn about the stories behind the items and understand where the value lies.

So often we find that the real value of an item is not in the material worth of its parts, but imbued in the relfection of a previous owner which has made an indelible impression on the piece.

No example could be better of this phenomenon than that of the forthcoming auction for artefacts belonging to the legendary actress and two time Oscar winner, Vivien Leigh.

A number of personal possessions from the ‘Gone With The Wind’ star are going under the hammer at Sotheby’s, with collectors round the world keen to own a piece from a former queen of the silver screen.

Paintings, furniture, couture clothing and other personal items are attracting international attention, which are expecting to attract bids ranging from hundreds to thousands of pounds.

However, the prized item of the collection is noted not so much for the piece itself, but for the personal message inscribed on the piece…

Vivien Leigh is, in part, famed for her part in one of Tinsel Town’s great romances. She and Sir Laurence Olivier met in 1935, marrying in 1940 and lasting together for over 20 years.

On their first Christmas, the leading man gifted his betrothed a gold timepiece. On the back was engraved simply: “Vivien / Laurence / Only darling / Xmas 1940”.

Expected to fetch £1,200, it is not the close to being the most expensive piece of the collection, but it is the one that inspires the imagination most and has generated more headlines than any other.

A piece of Hollywood history in the truest sense, it was a keepsake that was forever treasured by Vivien Leigh, even after the marriage broke up and she continued to wear it.

We here at Engravers Guild will be following with interest to see who snaps up this priceless heirloom.

In the meantime, though, we’ll be continuing to help mark special times in other families’ histories. If it is a timepiece you would like, then our custom engraved pocket watches make for a perfect memento, as to our sterling silver bespoke cufflinks for something to wear more every day.