William & Son: Shooting for More than just Lumiere Engagement Rings…

08/22/2016
Melvyn Teillol-Foo
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William & Son

William & Son has a quintessentially quirky British take on Life’s luxuries. Not to be mistaken for the previously family-owned Asprey & Co that was bought by an equity firm in 2006, William & Son was founded in 1999 by William Asprey, a seventh generation member of that aforementioned Asprey family.

William Asprey

William Asprey

As “quality will out”, William & Son has established itself in Mayfair rapidly as a creator and curator of the finest collections of jewellery, silverware, glassware, leather goods, writing implements, and most recently, timepieces. For British country pursuits, it is a purveyor of bespoke, handcrafted shotguns and its own line of “sturdy country clothing”.

William & Son countrywear

William & Son country wear

 

William & Son shotgun

William & Son shotgun

I used to shoot competitively with a number of Italian shotguns, so my interest was piqued by the craftsmanship at William & Son. Their shotguns are way above my league and probably more suited for forays into the heather on the ‘Glorious Twelfth’.

Onwards to another glorious pursuit – Matrimony – where the goal is “an heir and a spare”. When you have all that money, you’ve got to ensure the family line.  🙂

Engagement Rings

While engagement rings are an established part of William & Son’s fine jewellery business, until now they have only offered custom-made traditional styles with a “terribly discrete service”.

Bespoke Jewelry

Bespoke Jewelry

Modern-day Hermione and Tarquin of Sloan Square, demand more contemporary yet classy offerings. More importantly, the design has to “trend” well with their chummy clique so a ‘Collection’ had to be created. Now, their best chums, Octavia and Hugo, can also choose the same design but inject their personal touch with Great Aunt Isadora’s stupendous sapphire!

Hermione and Tarquin

Hermione and Tarquin

The Lumiere Collection is William & Son’s first signature design, whilst the made-to-order service remains; thus keeping to their philosophy of bespoke craftsmanship. Having a Collection allows for rapid manufacture and delivery…smart move!

At the media launch of the Lumiere Collection at Claridge’s, William & Son’s head of jewellery of four years, Clémence Devaux, said: “We focused on the design and the quality of the diamonds”.   Indeed, they have…

The collection comprises three white gold and diamond engagement rings of varied sizes: a one-carat round brilliant-cut, a two-carat pear-cut and a three-carat cushion-cut. Each main stone is surrounded by a halo of graduated diamonds, resembling the puckered lips of a gossamer kiss on the split shank pavé-set with marquise-cut diamonds at each corner.

By the way: the halo motif is very on-trend in jewellery right now….dunno why?

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Lumiere platinum 1-carat round diamond

William & Son Lumiere engagement ring in platinum with a 1-carat round brilliant diamond, £18,990 ($24,830)

“William & Son is known for being eclectic, traditional and luxurious so we’ve tried to come up with something that really resembles our brand,” expounded Ms Devaux.

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Lumiere platinum 2-carat pear-cut diamond

William & Son Lumiere engagement ring in platinum with a 2-carat pear-cut diamond, £41,250 ($53,940)

The inspiration for marquise-cut diamonds was Madame de Pompadour’s mouth, so William & Son took it further to design the ring like puckered lips kissing the central diamond…..C’est très romantique!  Hermione and Tarquin will be pleased!

Lumiere platinum 2-carat pear-cut diamond

Lumiere platinum 2-carat pear-cut diamond

Central stones are raised to allow more light to shine through and create seductive patterns. As if not enough diamonds were already present, an additional row of pavé diamonds on the front of the shank completes the design. The clever bit is that the design allows for any shape or size of main gem because customers like to find their “perfect stone”.

Also, grandmama’s old ‘sparkler’ may find a new setting.

The Asprey family has used the same Hatton Garden atelier for generations and the rings can be crafted in 4 – 6 weeks from when the gems are selected.

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Lumiere platinum 3-carat cushion-cut diamond

William & Son Lumiere engagement ring in platinum with a 3-carat cushion-cut diamond, £91,980 ($120,270)

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Lumiere platinum wedding band

William & Son Lumiere wedding band in white gold with diamonds, £2,255 ($2,950)

When you finally consummate the marriage, a subtle wedding band can join the engagement ring on Hermione’s finger.  To complete the set, you can add earrings or pendants to the ensemble.

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Lumiere platinum earrings

William & Son Lumiere stud earrings in white gold with round brilliant diamonds, £6,450 ($8,430)

Fine Goods

It’s not all over after the nuptials as William & Son continues to fill you every luxurious desire with an extensive Wedding Gift Selection of silverware, glass, leather goods and other delights.

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William & Son leather goods

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William & Son Backgammon set

Crocodile Backgammon Set £16,460 ($21,520)

Backgammon set in green crocodile with cream interior. Purple and green points in crocodile leather inlay with complete with spun aluminium counters. Complete with green and purple crocodile shakers and dice.

The Royal Warrant

The watches and pens departments mix and match connoisseur brands to ensure that all tastes, whims and fancies are catered for. They offer a bespoke service across the product range, from elegant engraving to customisation or one-off commissions. Their unique level of service and commitment to excellence has earned William & Son an international reputation, a Royal Warrant and a loyal clientele. In 2009, William & Son was granted the Royal Warrant to HM Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition of the highest standards of service in the field as goldsmiths and silversmiths.

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The Royal Warrant

William Asprey says, “Craft is what we do”.

 

Timepieces

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, President of Chronometrie Ferdinand Berthoud and Co-President of Chopard, Mrs Scheufele and Wm. Asprey

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, President of Chronometrie Ferdinand Berthoud and Co-President of Chopard, Mrs Scheufele and Wm. Asprey of William & Son at London launch of FB1 Chronometer

For me, the most telling commendation is that Mr Karl-Friedrich Scheufele  of  Chronometrie Ferdinand Berthoud chose William & Son to be one of only a handful of global purveyors of his watches. Seriously, there are only four retailers in the whole world.

The FB1 is a most excellent chronometer made with passion and its stratospheric price reflects this; it costs as much to strap an exotic sports car on your wrist!

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB1 white gold

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB1 white gold

Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 Chronometer movement

Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 Chronometer movement

FB1 RG dial 800

Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 Chronometer rose gold

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB1 £160,930 ($210,430)

Location

William & Son Location:
34-36 Bruton Street
London
W1J 6QX
UK

I received no fee nor remuneration for this report.

 

Author’s Biography:  Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)

Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelog ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.

Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications.  He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).