Seven generations after Washington Shirley Charles Deakin developed the product range, the business is now owned and managed by the brothers Henry and James Deakin, who had a childhood somewhat different than the rest of their classmates, because during school holidays they used to go to the company’s workshops to watch with childlike curiosity as specialized craftsmen developed their sketches and created the lead molds that later would be used for the jewels.
They also used to go with their father to trade fairs in London and Switzerland. Eventually, Henry graduated in gemology and design at the International Institute of Gemology of Vincenza, Italy, and his brother James graduated at the Gemological Institute of America.
Working in the Deakin & Francis workshops, renowned artisans and expert goldsmiths produce beautiful creations totally handmade with precious metals like gold, silver and precious stones, including diamonds, pearls and vitreous enamels using traditional ancestral techniques that have passed from one generation to another during the last two hundred years.
The enameled pieces are hand-crafted in the same way that jewels were made in times of pharaohs. All cufflinks produced by Deakin & Francis go through several experienced hands until the head craftsman takes care of the finishing, polishes the jewels and certifies their quality. In addition, the company can create special designs to suit the client, personalizing them with a logo, a special date or any significant details that may be engraved in them.
The fun and sometimes unusual cufflinks represent motifs as eclectic and improbable as donkey heads, rabbits jumping out of a hat, violins, electric guitars, sports cars, trucks, sailboats, horseback-riding polo players, billiards balls, and the peculiar Viking skulls with ruby eyes that always arouse admiration.
In addition, for those who prefer a more classic style, the firm suggests the timeless “Diamond Set Square,” the “Lapis Lazuli and Ruby Bouton” or the select model “Gold Enamel Cigar Box.”
For many years Deakin & Francis have been official jewelers for the British royal family, and the firm is proud to have built a family business based on strict observance of the quality and design, and a bold commitment to innovation, a priority for the 21st-century man who seeks distinction and modernity. ■