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Wimbledon: An engraving odyssey

Murray engraved wimbledon trophy

Wimbledon may now be over, but that does not mean we cannot reflect on the occasion and call out some of the stars of the tournament.

As ever at Engravers Guild, it is not just the stars in the limelight that we like to credit, but also the unsung heroes behind the scenes.

And there is no one we like to pay homage to more than the person who etches memories in metal – the engraver.

Like all notable competitions, Wimbledon culminates in the presentation of an engraved trophy. But, perhaps unlike other championships, there are very special measures made at SW19 to ensure the engraving is just right.

The man responsible at Wimbledon for engraving the trophy has been Roman Zoltowski.

Since 1979 he has been inscribing the victor in history, and he has been going to very great lengths to do so.

Mr Zoltowski is not your local key cutter. He lives 850 miles away from the hallowed turf in South London, hailing from near Poznan, Poland.

Every year, at the mid point of Wimbledon, he sets off from his home in his 52 year old MG convertible. Unable to fly with his tools for fear of them being considered hazardous, he makes the 18 hour journey over two days.

Once at the tournament, he sits in a special room underneath Centre Court, busily engraving the names on each trophy before they are presented on the final weekend.

Each trophy takes about 18 minutes to engrave. With the 48 trophies, that comes to 14.5 hours of work. By way of comparison, Petra Kvitova (the 2013 ladies Champion) spent a total of nine hours, 24 minutes on court during her seven Wimbledon matches.

Roman, however, has now put away his engraving tools for good, and the mantle of Wimbledon Engraver has passed to another.

But his story will live on as part of the heritage of the world’s most famous tennis tournament.

We hope he has some special souvenirs from his time there. If not, we would be happy to give him a pair of personalised Clewley sterling silver cufflinks from our own store.