50 YEARS OF
“Fifty years, five decades. There have been tears of joy and times to reflect. It seems like only yesterday that I was climbing the stairs to a very damp, smoke-filled workshop to begin an apprenticeship ‘on the bench’ in working conditions that would not pass health and safety rules today. The business has grown hugely since then. Our workshops continue to excite, our goldsmiths are still very much part of the company’s heartbeat. As much as times change, I know that I could not have continued on this very enjoyable journey without great people around me – the company’s success is down to them. We have wonderful relationships with our brand partners. And, of course, no company can grow without customers who are kind enough to tell their friends and recommend ‘DMR’. Those customers, who become friends, value our standards of trust, professionalism, honesty and integrity. These are the values that I insist will forever run through this company. To the DMR goldsmiths who patiently and enthusiastically craft pieces to the highest of standards, to my colleagues in the showrooms (and often much further afield) who go that extra mile for their customers and to all of my customers who have supported us all in so many ways – I say thank you.”
David M Robinson
5 The original DMR showroom on North John Street, Liverpool
“There is something special about diamonds, about creating and making jewellery and about the world’s best watches, which just ‘gets you’. I remember as a child going into the workshops and seeing the flames from the torches, the audible hiss of hot metal, as it is shaped, stretched and plunged into cold water. The concentration on the faces of goldsmiths, the tension in their hands, the rhythm of the saw blades. The hum of the polishing motors. Upstairs in the showroom, the tears of joy, the hugs and the gasps of breath. I guess it’s the same with watches. The first time a customer slides the cold, solid steel of a Rolex over their wrist, perhaps having dreamt of that precise moment since childhood. Witnessing the first time a customer listens to the pulsating heartbeat of their new Patek Philippe, knowing that one day their grandson may hear the very same sound. From that first showroom on North John Street in Liverpool to the company we have today, the journey has been remarkable. I doubt it will be repeated. Without huge financial support, how could a young goldsmith these days afford to start a business with the costs of raw materials, equipment, not to mention leases and showrooms in prime locations in major cities? There are times when I literally don’t know how my Dad managed to do it. Clues abound in our 50th anniversary book. Please enjoy.”
John Robinson Managing Director
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S
H I S TO RY & H E R I TAG E 10
B R I DA L 15
J E W E L L E RY 27
WATC H E S 59
50 YEARS OF DMR 81
D M R TO DAY 91
50 YEARS OF DMR
THE STORY OF
From humble beginnings in Liverpool to an award winning British brand, David M Robinson’s half-century of success is the result of an innovative approach to craftsmanship and a dedicated commitment to quality service
The story behind the photo Pictured here is Liverpool’s original Music Lending Library, which sat on the corner of Church Alley, a street in the heart of the city. In 1972, the David M Robinson team moved in and it became the brand’s much-loved flagship Liverpool showroom – fondly nicknamed “Church Alley” in homage
to the street it sat on. The insert shows the same building in all it’s DMR glory, after it was acquired and refurbished.
50 YEARS OF DMR
For 50 years, David M Robinson has fused innovative design with exceptional craftsmanship
ABOVE David Robinson showcases his Liverpool workshop to clients during an evening visit in the 1970s
LIVERPOOL, 1969. The streets reverberate to the sound of The Beatles’ Abbey Road as John Lennon’s sultry Scouse lilt pumps out of every car, shop, house and club in the city. In Anfield and Walton, football fans paint the town red or blue, depending on their team of choice, as Liverpool FC and Everton FC defend their places in the top tier of English football. Amid the buzz of melodic guitar hits and football pitch riffs, a young goldsmith hones his craft. The dexterous fingers of David Robinson mould gold, silver and diamond into exquisite jewellery pieces – so exquisite, in fact, that
he wins two De Beers Diamonds International Awards for his work. This heritage lies at the heart of the David M Robinson brand today. For 50 years, the brand has fused innovative design with exceptional craftsmanship, working precious metals into dazzling jewellery collections and partnering with the best brands in horology. Born in 1943 in the Garston district of Liverpool, David Robinson had a natural aptitude for craftwork. He became an apprentice goldsmith for a jewellery repair business on Liverpool’s Hanover Street and went to night school to achieve his qualifications.
The Story of David M Robinson
History & Heritage
and Everton FC managers Kenny Dalglish and Howard Kendall in ruby and sapphire team colours, in a jewelled tribute to their respective roles in that year’s FA Cup Final. From a small workshop in Liverpool, a goldsmith developed his craft to forge the makings of a truly unique British heritage brand – a brand that this year proudly celebrates half a century of service to its treasured clientele.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Queen Elizabeth II presents a trophy designed by David Robinson to winning trainer Major W.R. Hern after the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, 1980; A newspaper article announces David Robinson’s first De Beers Diamond International award; David Robinson is presented with the second of his De Beers Diamond International Awards at the Plaza Hotel, New York City, 1969; The earliest known photograph of David Robinson as an apprentice, 1962
Shortly afterwards, he passed his trade examinations to become a Fellow of the British Gemmological Association. David Robinson founded his eponymous company in 1969, starting with a small shop on North John Street in Liverpool. Today, DMR has four showrooms – in Liverpool, Manchester, Altrincham and London – and employs more in-house goldsmiths than any other retailer in the north of England. The company has cemented its reputation through several notable achievements. In 1980, Her Majesty The Queen presented a piece of jewellery, designed by David, to winning trainer Major W.R. Hern at Royal Ascot’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. In 1982, the brand designed an exclusive pendant for Geraldine Rees, the first female jockey to complete the iconic Grand National course. A few years later, the jeweller designed two rings for Liverpool FC
CUSTOMER STORIES ENGAGEMENT RINGS
B R I DA L
“When the client is seriously in love, when you know there is a really special proposal just days away, often in a far off land, those are the most exciting days.” These are the words of Alisha Duffy, Showroom Manager of DMR Liverpool, who, like David Robinson himself, is a qualified Fellow of the Gemmological Association. “I get goosebumps just contemplating the reaction and sometimes I get sent the first picture of the proposal. One said ‘Mission Completed’, another one simply said, ‘She said YES!’” DMR’s bridal collections of diamond engagement rings, wedding rings and eternity rings remain the bedrock of the company. The team has seen thousands of couples become engaged and attended more than their fair share of weddings too. They’ve watched as our customers have sat with DMR’s goldsmiths and witnessed them drawing out the metal and setting the stone – that is a true luxury experience. “I don’t think we will ever sell many rings online,” adds Alisha. “We offer the luxury of choice – and feel – and our expertise, our goldsmiths and the ability to add those little personal touches into the setting. Customers look online and invariably pop in. You’re actually starting two relationships, one with each other and another with your jeweller. It’s my job to be there for you every step of the way.”
50 YEARS OF DMR
A Match Made in Heaven Few purchases are as precious as your engagement and wedding rings. Here, five happy couples explain why they chose DMR to mark this special moment
Ann & Stephen “Stephen and I met while both working at Walton Hospital. He asked me out for a drink and we were engaged six weeks later. We have now been married for nearly 39 years. We chose a central diamond ring with two sapphires, set in gold. Stephen chose DMR because he wanted a ring from a jeweller that had both a modern and high-end reputation. On the day we bought our rings, we met Belinda Baldwin. She was new to DMR at the time and she, like us, is still with them. We still see her regularly. We also bought our wedding rings from DMR and my eternity ring. We’ve since celebrated many occasions over the years with the help of DMR.”
Lauren & Harrison “Harrison and I met in 2012 on our first day at our first job out of university. On our fifth anniversary in Rome, poor Harrison walked around with a jacket on in 26-degree heat with the ring hidden in his pocket, waiting for the perfect moment that never came. He ended up proposing the following evening in front of the Trevi Fountain. DMR have such a special place in my heart – my mum’s wedding rings were from DMR as well, and they have been our family jeweller since the 80s.
I always knew I wanted my engagement ring to be from them. The team helped us with everything, including sourcing the exact specification of diamond we wanted. Not only did I get the ring of my dreams, but Harrison and I built the most lovely relationship with the team who helped us and we are so grateful that we chose DMR for this very special occasion.”
Photography by Robert Millin
Jill & James “James and I met nearly 12 years ago. He proposed on my birthday in 2016. He owns a Pitts Special plane, so we went for a day out to the airfield. James had placed a bottle of champagne in the cockpit along with a temporary ring – he knew I would want to choose the real one myself. I said “yes” and then we took to the skies! I have bought jewellery from David M Robinson since I was at university, so James and I decided to book an appointment with Diane Norbury in the Altrincham showroom to choose a ring. She was amazing and made us feel really welcome and special. We chose a pear shaped diamond as James thought it looked like an aeronautical shape. When we decided to tie the knot we knew we had to go back to Diane and choose the wedding ring.”
Photography by Anna Fowler
Colette & Joshua
“Richard and I met while training to be pilots at flight school in Southampton. He proposed on the top of a mountain in the ski resort of Méribel. He asked me to follow him off the side of a slope for a photo looking toward Mont Blanc. I complained as I had to climb through waist deep snow, but when I got around the corner he was on one knee. Richard had the diamond from my engagement ring set at DMR as he loved their unique claw design that holds the diamond. I wanted a wedding ring that matched my engagement ring perfectly, so there was no doubt that we were getting our wedding rings from DMR as well. The team at the Altrincham branch have always been very welcoming and keep our rings looking their absolute best.”
“We’ve celebrated many occasions over the years with the help of David M Robinson”
“I met Joshua on a blind date back in January 2014. In typical Josh fashion, he plotted the proposal with minute detail. A surprise trip to Vienna was booked and, after a magical day sightseeing, we went to the Vienna State Opera. During the intermission, Josh insisted on getting a photo on the terrace overlooking the city, and to my total astonishment he got down on one knee. Joshua worked closely with Diane Norbury in the Altrincham showroom, choosing the diamond and the setting for my engagement ring and a complementary design for the wedding ring. The goldsmiths brought Josh’s vision to life and I couldn’t be more delighted.”
Rebecca & Richard
Photography by Philippa James
This Thing Called Love... Described by David Robinson in the early days of the business as ‘simply beautiful diamond rings’, the ethos remains the same with the brand’s bridal collection today. Individual, daring, different
Compass Set Diamond Ring, £14,700 D colour, 1.03cts
This page: Emerald Cut Diamond Ring, £33,950
F colour, 2.03cts Diamond Wedding Band, £2,225 Opposite page: Oval Cut Diamond Ring, £11,150
E colour, 1.01cts
This page: Princess Cut Diamond Ring, £32,400
G colour, 2.04cts Opposite page: Princess Cut ‘Twist’ Diamond Ring, £9,300
E colour, 1.00ct
HOPSCOTCH CLOUD NINE H O N E YC O M B MEANDER C O M PA S S LUNAR
J E WELLERY
“Giving diamond jewellery is about feelings, not reasons.” The ability of any jeweller is tested most when it comes to designing. Not just a single piece of jewellery, but suites and collections. Creating ‘a look’ that is both enduring and timeless, and that can be enjoyed for many years is the skill that the David M Robinson team brings to its collection pieces through its workshops. From the structured, strong lines of Cloud Nine, through to the playful scattering of princess cut diamonds in Hopscotch and the fluid lines of Meander, DMR’s collections remain exclusive to its showrooms. If the idea of modern, British, original jewellery design appeals, look no further for inspiration than the following pages as we journey through just some of the collections so identifiable as pure DMR…
All That Glitters From shoulder-skimming earrings to sparkling stackable rings and statement rainbow bracelets, David M Robinson presents a striking selection of jewellery for its 50th year
‘Embrace’ Diamond Ring, £4,500; ‘Love Lines’ Diamond Bangle, £2,500; Statement Earrings, £6,250
32 50 YEARS OF DMR
This page: Wave Collection Diamond Stacking Rings, £2,050 each Opposite page: Rainbow Collection Sapphire and Diamond Pendant, £3,250; Sapphire Bracelets, from £3,250
This page: Silver Linings
‘A metaphor for optimism...’ Necklace, £6,250
Opposite page: Eclipse Collection
Diamond Earrings, £9,750; Diamond Ring, £8,950
50 YEARS OF DMR
Earrings, £3,550; Pendant, £6,950; Bangle, £6,950; Ring, £2,500
The Hopscotch necklace was designed in-house as part of DMR’s 50th anniversary collection and was handmade in Liverpool by Rupert, one of the jeweller’s master goldsmiths. To see the final piece, turn to page 54
This striking collection, in yellow, rose and white gold, has a name that perfectly reflects its charming and unique design inspiration
flatter as much as they catch the eye. “I was in the playground of my daughter’s school at “drop off” when I first noticed the Hopscotch pattern painted on the playground,” says John Robinson. “The shape appealed but after a discussion in the workshop that morning, we noticed that DMR had cleverly started to break up the symmetry of the pattern to allow it to flow and move – essentially to let it breathe. Today the Hopscotch Collection by DMR is one of the world’s most identifiable Princess Cut jewellery collections. We see so many attempts to copy it but it’s really become a collection so many people identify as a classic DMR design.”
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Statement drop earrings, £14,950; Pendant, £6,950; Earrings, £3,350; Ring, £2,500; Ring, £6,450
Hopscotch is, of course, that childhood classic, a lively playground game that has been enjoyed for centuries by children across the UK. Its pattern is playful, iconic and eye-catching, making it a clever, and unusual, source of design inspiration. DMR’s bold interpretation of the game’s formation resulted in the Hopscotch collection, which launched in 2010 and comprises earrings, rings, necklaces and pendants in yellow, rose and white gold. Dazzling princess cut diamonds are set within bars of gold, reflecting the geometric shapes of the playground game. Stones cascade down within the pendant and earring designs, creating asymmetric arrangements that
50 YEARS OF DMR
Mark life’s happiest moments with a beautiful piece of diamond jewellery from David M Robinson’s joyful, elegant Cloud Nine collection
‘Cloud Nine’ is an evocative expression used to describe our reactions to the very happiest of life’s milestones – getting engaged, securing a dream job, hosting or attending a wedding and celebrating the safe arrival of a new baby – and, as such, it’s the perfect name for such a joyful collection. It’s believed that the phrase comes from the fact that clouds are measured in terms of their height; the very first edition of International Cloud Atlas described the ninth type of cloud as the cumulonimbus, which rises to 10km, the highest a cloud can be. This versatile suite of earrings,
rings, bracelets and necklaces “epitomises all that DMR does best,” enthuses Cerian Tarbuck, Head of Jewellery at DMR London, namely “exclusive collections of diamond jewellery that are perfect for any occasion,” whether it be an engagement, birthday or wedding. The central motif of the Cloud Nine© collection, a slim circle, is created in gleaming white, rose and yellow gold or sterling silver, given texture thanks to its brushed treatment. Round brilliant cut diamonds are scattered around this shape, creating the impression of sparkling raindrops. Every cloud has a silver lining, after all.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Ring, £995; Bangle, £4,950; Earrings, £1,200; Necklace, £5,500
Earrings, £1,200; Pendant, £950
50 YEARS OF DMR
Earrings, £950; Necklace, £1,550; Bracelet, £1,350; Ring, £1,250
This collection not only references David M Robinson’s northern roots but also represents the creativity to be found within its design team, 50 years later
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Necklace, £1,550; Bracelet, £1,350; Ring, £1,250
interlocking hexagons, within which round brilliant cut diamonds have been expertly set; the delicate yet impactful bracelet matches this striking design. An open ring, which combines elegance with modernity, has two hexagonal components, which wrap around the wearer’s finger, and the earrings that complete the suite are bold yet versatile. “A DMR design for more than 15 years, the Honeycomb© collection has changed recently and now includes the version shown in a warm 18ct yellow gold,” says Hannah Williams at DMR Manchester. “The Honeycomb© is now part of the city of Manchester’s symbol and is testament to the socalled worker bees of our industrial past. The symbol can be seen all over the city these days and at DMR we are proud of the link we can make between jewellery and its symbolism.”
The worker bee emblem has long been associated with Manchester. The buzzing motif symbolises the hard work of every Mancunian who contributed to the city’s hive of activity during the Industrial Revolution, for which Manchester led the charge. In 1842, the worker bee was officially made a part of the city’s coat of arms, forever cementing it as the symbol of Manchester. David M Robinson’s Honeycomb© collection pays tribute to this iconic emblem and the jeweller’s relationship with the city, where it has had a showroom since 1979. To coincide with DMR’s 50th anniversary, the Honeycomb© collection has been given a polished gold and diamond makeover. Its central motif is a hexagonal shape, which reflects the formations found within a beehive, and the use of 18ct rose or yellow gold imbues the pieces with a honey-hued warmth and vivacity. The new pendant comprises
50 YEARS OF DMR
Meander Make the most sophisticated and subtle of statements when wearing these River Thames-inspired pieces, from one of the British jeweller’s newest collections
“We came up with the idea of our Meander Collection several years ago. I used to fly down to the DMR showroom in Canary Wharf and invariably, you would see the meander in the River Thames on the approach to London City Airport,” says John Robinson. Available only in the brand’s UK showrooms and online, Meander comprises a full suite of diamond jewellery, from pendants and earrings to rings and bangles. Its playful, flowing design was inspired by the meandering motion and natural flow of the River Thames as it weaves through our worldrenowned capital, and 18ct yellow, rose and white gold are used to
recreate this distinctive pattern. Pavé set diamonds are set elegantly within sleek, curving stretches of the precious metal, and round cut diamonds subtly emphasise the bends of the design. Particularly appealing to those who love coloured gemstones are the rings that incorporate sapphires and amethysts, reflecting the inky-purple-blue depth of water. “I’ve always liked rivers and the rolling meander shape seems to crop up in the landscape even more these days,” John adds. “I think our clients like the idea that rivers reflect life – they are seldom straight, and I think we all meander along in our way at times, reflecting on past and future journeys.”
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Pendant, £4,750; Earrings, £3,450; Ring, £1.250
Ring, £4,750; Pendant, £4,750
44 50 YEARS OF DMR
Life can go in many different directions; this striking collection features as its central motif the compass, embellished with exquisite diamonds, rubies and sapphires
pendants is inspired by the many directions in which our lives take us. Each slim circular compass motif and chain are crafted from one of three luminous precious metals – 18ct yellow, rose or white gold. The central compass shape itself sparkles with exquisite diamonds and at each of the four points a gemstone is set; deep red rubies and brilliant blue sapphires were added in a vibrant 2018 reimagining of the collection. Each pendant, in a subtle and thoughtful touch reflecting the compass’ relevance to our most meaningful relationships, is engraved with W.H. Aiden’s words “My North, my South, my East, my West” on the reverse.
FROM TOP Diamond Pendant, £2,000; Ruby and Diamond Pendant, £1,800; Sapphire and Diamond Pendant, £1,800
The compass may be small but it is mighty; its history can be traced back millennia and creative greats from Shakespeare to Leonardo da Vinci have referenced both its significance and its power. David M Robinson used this object as inspiration for an exclusive collection designed at the company’s Cheshire studio more than a decade ago. “My North, my South, my East, my West” – the words of poet W.H. Aiden were the genesis of the idea for the Compass collection, which was created back in 2009. Now including ruby and sapphire pieces, the collection of stunningly simple diamond and coloured stone
50 YEARS OF DMR
A dazzling tribute to the design and craftsmanship at the heart of David M Robinson, this Lunar ring has been created especially for the jeweller’s landmark anniversary by the brand’s skilled team of goldsmiths From £5,000
Lunar Shoot for the stars in this exquisite suite of star-spangled diamond jewellery, one of DMR’s most iconic collections, designed by Mr Robinson himself
FROM TOP Diamond Ring, £2,245; Pavé Diamond Ring, £2,650; Pendant, £1,950; Bangle, £7,450
Celestial elements, from shooting stars and the fiery sun to the magnificent moon, have long been a source of fascination for jewellery lovers the world over, looking as beautiful as they do when crafted from precious metals and dazzling gemstones. More than a decade ago, the heavenly aspect of the moon, and its associations, inspired David Robinson himself to create a glittering collection named Lunar. In the years that have passed since, trends have come and gone in the world of jewellery but this glamorous collection continues to resonate with friends of DMR, new and old alike. Intricate, gleaming strands of 18ct gold – either yellow, rose or
white – are woven together for each piece, from rings and bangles to earrings and pendants. Sparkling diamonds are elegantly set within these flowing, asymmetric designs. In 2017, two exclusive Anniversary bangles joined the collection, with a refined curved shape and a sparkling new addition in the form of a single row of pavé set diamonds. “There’s something evocative about Lunar by DMR,” says Alisha Duffy at DMR Liverpool. “I’m not sure if it’s our fascination with the planets and the stars or the timelessness of the design – perhaps it’s just the way the voluptuous golden swirls of the Lunar ring orbit your finger.”
Earrings, £3,650; Pendant, £2,350; Ring, £2,245
50 YEARS OF DMR
Bespoke Jewellery The one thing that can make a special moment even more unforgettable? A bespoke piece of jewellery to reflect your unique story
Leonardo DaVinci once said, “Everything begins with a sketch.” The same is very much true of the design process at David M Robinson. Whether it be the beginning of a new exclusive diamond jewellery collection, or a one-of-a-kind piece for a client, the journey begins in a similar way. Spend a year among the workshops of DMR, a bright and airy hive of activity in Altrincham, Liverpool One or St Ann’s Square, and you’ll witness something quite miraculous and sadly all too rare these days: a myriad of commissions transforming old pieces into new, with heirlooms given a new lease of life. In these workshops, the largest team of in-house goldsmiths in the North West of England takes a customer’s ideas and inspiration, and crafts a three-dimensional, very personal, bespoke piece of jewellery. From 10ct emerald cut diamonds set with matching tapers, to replicating children’s handwriting on bangles, commemorating sporting success and even applying tender loving care to collarettes worn by film stars, the range of works astounds the team daily. As David Robinson has always said, “Every piece of jewellery tells a story”.
Jewellery DMR’s micro-setter Anna at work on a new collection in her Altrincham workshop
“It is difficult to say exactly what an average day entails in our workshops,” says Kylie Yeung, Product Developer and Designer. “A day in the studio could see me doing anything from working with Mr Robinson on the development of our newest collections, to creating a beautiful bespoke setting for a significant diamond that has been in a family for generations.” One of Kylie’s most interesting commissions was two ‘Mum’ lockets created for Olympic cyclists Laura Trott and Jason Kenney, who gave them as gifts to their mothers. “The most rewarding part of my job?” Kylie muses. “Hearing a client say, ‘this is exactly what I want, but even better’.”
Spend a year amongst the workshops of DMR and you’ll witness something quite miraculous and sadly all too rare these days
Gold... Bold! Of all the precious metals David Robinson has worked with over the past five decades, gold remains his favourite. The lustre, the feel, the malleability… Gold has it all! Worn, sculpted and enjoyed for thousands of years, if ever there was a timeless, fashion proof-product, gold would be it. Pure and simple
Clockwise from top: Giallo Link Earrings, £450; Giallo Small Sphere Necklace, £580; Giallo Sphere Necklace, £2,450; YG Stacking Bangles, from £675; Diamond Domed Bangle, £2,950; Giallo Link Bracelet, £1,150; Embrace Diamond Ring, £4,500; YG Stacking Ring, £750; Infinity Ring, £625; Ribbon Diamond Ring, £3,450; Infinity Bangle, £2,750; Love Lines Bangle, £2,995; Yellow Gold Stacking Bangle, from £675
This page: Emerald Cut Diamond Earrings, £5,750; ‘Love Lines’ Diamond Bangle, £2,500; Double Row Diamond Bangle, £4,500 Opposite page: Giallo Drop Earrings, £650; The unique ‘Ava’ Bangles, from £1,850
54 50 YEARS OF DMR
This page: The Stella Collection – Earrings, £5,950; Diamond Necklace, £28,500 Opposite page: ‘Hopscotch’ 50th Anniversary Collection – Necklace, £42,000; Earrings, £12,500; Ring, £12,000
This page: Statement Earrings, £2,950 Opposite page: Georg Jensen ‘Mercy’ Neck Ring, £8,100
PAT E K P H I L I P P E ROLEX IWC OMEGA TUDOR TAG H E U E R
WATC H E S
“Time and tide wait for no man.” The world’s greatest watch houses share one thing in common: they select only the very best, most trusted retailers to be part of their Authorised Dealer network. At DMR, the teams of helpful experts are passionate about horology and looking after their clients. They are trusted and proud representatives of the company.
DMR Master Watchmaker Mike Brooks at work in his Liverpool workshop.
50 YEARS OF DMR
David M Robinson is a proud partner of Patek Philippe, widely considered the world’s most prestigious watch company
A FAMILY AFFAIR
In 1932, Patek Philippe was acquired by brothers Jean and Charles Stern, co-owners of a Swiss dial manufactory. It has remained in the hands of the Stern family ever since. In 1958, Charles’ son Henri (above, right) succeeded him as president. Henri’s son, Philippe (above, left), took charge of the company in 1993, before his son, Thierry (right), became president in 2009.
Antoine Norbert de Patek and Jean Adrien Philippe had one goal: to develop and manufacture the finest timepieces in the world. More than 100 patents – and 180 years – after founding their company, Patek Philippe enjoys a reputation among watch aficionados for doing just that. The oldest independent, familyowned watch manufacture in Geneva, Patek Philippe has been in the hands of the Stern family for the past nine decades. In order to earn the Patek Philippe Seal, each timepiece the company creates has to adhere to a strict set of directives,
widely considered to be the most demanding criteria in the watch industry. The standards apply to the company’s finished watches in their totality – the movement, case, dials, hands, pushers, bracelets and clasps – and embrace every aspect of highend watch production. Today, there are around 200 different Patek Philippe models in regular production, crafted by the manufacture in small series of between a dozen and several hundred watches, each fitted with movements manufactured completely in-house.
Watches The Ladies’ Automatic Nautilus in rose gold, launched in 2019, sports a golden brown opaline dial, gold applied hour markers and numerals with luminescent coating
Mark Hearn, Managing Director Patek Philippe UK
SELF-WINDING NAUTILUS, 7118/1R
“It has been a pleasure working with David M Robinson for almost 15 years. Celebrating their 50-year anniversary with them is a great opportunity to reinforce our partnership based on trust and excellence. Their commitment to quality is second to none.”
50 YEARS OF DMR 50TH ANNIVERSARY GOLDEN ELLIPSE GRAND-TAILLE, 5738R
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Golden Ellipse last year, Patek Philippe presented a new Grande-Taille version in rose gold with an ebony black sunburst dial. Applied hour markers and slender hands are also in rose gold
RIGHT A Patek Philippe advertisement promoting the Golden Ellipse collection, including cufflinks and keychain, from 1976
Years of the Golden Ellipse
TOP Thierry Stern (left) took over from his father Philippe (right) as president of Patek Philippe in 2009 MIDDLE 50th Anniversary Golden Ellipse GrandTaille, 5738R RIGHT 50th Anniversary Golden Ellipse Platinum, 5738/50P
In 1968, the same year that David Robinson won his second De Beers Diamonds International Award, and a year before he launched his eponymous business, Patek Philippe created the Golden Ellipse. A bold departure from traditional watch shapes, the Golden Ellipse featured a distinctive, rounded-rectangular case inspired by the ‘golden ratio’. The ratio – expressed as 1 to 1.6180 – was discovered by the ancient Greeks and is thought to be the foundation for all harmoniouslybalanced design. It forms the basis of some of history’s greatest works of art, including Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. The Golden Ellipse was Patek Philippe’s second family of watches, following the launch of the Calatrava in the 1930s, and the first to spawn a collection of accessories, including cufflinks, pendants and keychains. During the 1970s, the Golden Ellipse collection grew to comprise 65 references. For the watch’s 50th anniversary, Patek Philippe introduced two new models: a rose gold edition with a black dial (main image, opposite) and a limited edition piece in platinum, with an engraved white gold and black enamel dial (left).
Celebrating half a century of Patek Philippe’s Golden Ellipse
50 YEARS OF DMR
It began with the creation of the first waterproof wristwatch. Today, Rolex manufactures some of the world’s most recognisable timepieces
HANS WILSDORF, ROLEX FOUNDER
“I tried combining the letters of the alphabet in every possible way. This gave me some hundred names, but none of them felt quite right. One morning, while riding on the upper deck of a horse-drawn omnibus along Cheapside in the City of London, a genie whispered ‘Rolex’ in my ear.”
The history of Rolex is inextricably linked to some of humankind’s greatest achievements. From the highest summits to the deepest part of the oceans, the world has been conquered by explorers and visionaries wearing Rolex watches. The company’s reputation for robustness began in 1927, when English swimmer Mercedes Gleitze crossed the English Channel while wearing a Rolex Oyster, the world’s first waterproof and dustproof watch. Between 1924 and 1935, Rolex wearer Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the world speed record nine times. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest equipped with Rolex Oyster Perpetuals. More recently, a Rolex Submariner Deepsea descended to the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench, with Titanic director James Cameron in 2012.
It was the second time a Rolex had made the journey – the first travelling with Jacques Piccard in 1960. Perhaps the most famous Rolex admirer of all, however, wasn’t an adventurer, but an actor. Paul Newman famously owned several Cosmograph Daytona Chronographs. “It’s difficult to buy a better watch,” he said.
TOP LEFT On 4 September 1935, while wearing a Rolex watch, Sir Malcolm Campbell set a land speed record of more than 300 miles per hour TOP RIGHT Jacques Piccard, who, in 1960, descended into the Mariana Trench. A Rolex Deep Sea Special watch was attached to the outside of Piccard’s bathyscaphe Trieste RIGHT The Rolex ‘Oyster’, created in 1926, was the world’s first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch
SEA-DWELLER IN OYSTERSTEEL AND YELLOW GOLD M126603 Waterproof to a depth of 1,220 metres
“Rolex is proud to work with David M Robinson and wishes the company the best of luck for the next 50 years.”
Richard De Leyser, Managing Director Rolex UK
68 50 YEARS OF DMR
ROLEX & YACHTING The first three yachtsmen to complete solo round-the-world voyages in under a year – Sir Francis Chichester, Bernard Moitessier and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston – all did so while wearing a Rolex chronometer. Rolex’s first official partnership with a yacht club dates back to 1958, when it formed an alliance with the New York Yacht Club. To celebrate its nautical ties, in 1992 the company launched the Yacht-Master range – watches characterised
by their distinctive bidirectional rotatable bezels and raised 60-minute graduation, the first 15 of which were graduated minuteby-minute. The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II regatta chronograph, launched in 2007, was the first watch to be equipped with a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory. A rotatable ring command bezel allows sailors to cross the start line as soon as possible after the gun is fired.
TOP RIGHT Rolex’s Plan-les-Ouates site is home to the company’s foundry, where it creates the 18 ct gold alloys used for its watches RIGHT Yacht-Master II in Yellow Gold, M11668 OPPOSITE Cosmograph Daytona in Yellow Gold, M116508
Hans Wilsdorf was obsessed with the quality of his movements. He chose to equip his first watches with extremely precise calibres from a watchmaker in Bienne. By 1910, a Rolex had become the first watch to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision. Four years later, Kew Observatory awarded a Rolex wristwatch a ‘Class A’ precision certificate, a distinction which up until then had been reserved for marine chronometers. Perhaps Rolex’s most significant technical achievement came in 1931, when the company invented the world’s first self-winding mechanism with a perpetual rotor. The system, which uses an oscillating weight, is at the heart of every modern automatic watch. In 1956, Rolex introduced the Milgauss. After rigorous testing, CERN confirmed that the Milgauss could resist magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss. As of 2016, the Rolex Superlative Chronometer Certification guarantees that the company’s entire production run will be accurate to -2/+2 seconds per day – twice the precision required of Switzerland’s official chronometer testing institute.
THE QUEST FOR CHRONOMETRIC PRECISION
50 YEARS OF DMR
With a heritage deeply rooted in exploration and adventure, IWC is the elegant watchmaker with the pioneering spirit
KURT KLAUS, IWC WATCHMAKER
Klaus started his career at IWC in 1957. Most famous for his perpetual calendar, Klaus also helped develop IWC’s Grande Complication as well as the company’s World Time module. During his time at the company, there has hardly been a technical development which Klaus has not made an important contribution towards.
Boston watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones founded the International Watch Company in 1868 in Schaffhausen, far from the watchmaking centres of Frenchspeaking Switzerland. His plan was to combine advanced American production technologies with the skilled craftsmanship for which Swiss watchmakers were famous. In Schaffhausen, he found the ideal conditions: modern factory premises, a hydropower plant driven by the Rhine river to run the machines and, equally important, a centuries-old horological tradition. Between 1874-75, a new IWC factory – and the company’s headquarters to this day – was built at Baumgarten, directly adjacent to the banks of the Rhine. Its headquarters were expanded in 2005 and 2008 with the addition of
the East and West Wings. Today, IWC is committed to transparency and was the first luxury Swiss watchmaker to produce a sustainability report to Global Reporting Initiative Standards. The company also works towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ and ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’.
In a world first, 2019 will see two pilots attempt to traverse the globe in a vintage Spitfire restored through proceeds donated by IWC. ‘The Longest Flight,’ a 26,700-mile journey, will see the aircraft make 150 stops across close to 100 countries.
TOP RIGHT Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 Edition “150 Years” BELOW LEFT Portofino Automatic 34 BELOW RIGHT Portofino Chronograph 42
THE LONGEST FLIGHT: Round the world in a Spitfire
IWC Schaffhausen celebrated its 150th birthday in 2018 with the launch of its Jubilee collection and a gala evening at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva. Around 800 guests participated in the event, including IWC brand ambassadors and global film stars. In attendance were actors Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper and James Marsden, as well as sports personalities Valtteri Bottas and David Coulthard.
50 YEARS OF DMR
Selected by NASA for its manned missions and trusted as the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games, Omega knows a thing or two about precision timekeeping
RAYNALD AESCHLIMANN, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF OMEGA
Raynald Aeschlimann became CEO of Omega in 2016. Since then he has embraced e-commerce, masterminded a multigenerational marketing campaign with famous mother-and-daughter models Kaia Gerber and Cindy Crawford, and became the first CEO to launch a special edition watch exclusively through social media – the Speedmaster ’Speedy Tuesday’.
In 2017, 169 years after the company was founded, Omega extended its Biel-based HQ with a new building by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. The cavernous, five-storey factory features a fully-automated, fireproofed storage facility that rises through three entire floors. It contains more than 30,000 boxes of watch components, allowing Omega to manufacture around 3,000 timepieces a day. Omega, however, has always been about more than just watches. In 1932, a lone Swiss watchmaker arrived in west coast America with 30 split-second chronographs to record times at the Los Angeles Olympics. On 28 occasions since then, Omega has fulfilled the role
of Official Timekeeper at the Olympic Games. A firm believer in the power of film, Omega works with a family of actors to promote good causes across the world. Its ambassadors include committed humanitarian and UN Special Messenger of Peace George Clooney; women’s rights activist and UN Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman; and Academy Award winner and Into Film charity ambassador Eddie Redmayne. Since 1995, James Bond has been saving the world while wearing an Omega Seamaster. For many watch lovers, however, Omega will always be the brand of the ‘Moonwatch’ – the company’s Speedmaster becoming the first watch worn on the Moon in July 1969.
CONSTELLATION MANHATTAN With diamond-paved bezel and a blue aventurine glass dial
“We wish David M Robinson a very happy 50th anniversary – in the same year that we celebrate 50 years since the Omega Speedmaster became the first watch worn on the moon.”
Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega
50 YEARS OF DMR SPEEDMASTER APOLLO 11 50TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION
Limited to 1,014 pieces and driven by a manual-winding calibre, this commemorative watch is made from 18 carat Moonshine™ gold – a new alloy, slightly paler than traditional yellow gold, that is more resistant to fading
In July 1969, the Omega Speedmaster earned its place in the horologic hall of fame by becoming the first watch to be worn on the moon. Tracing its DNA to chronographs made by Omega prior to World War II, the ‘Speedy’, and its novel tachymeter bezel, first landed in 1957, its name in keeping with a new professional line
TOP Buzz Aldrin wearing the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition in Moonshine™ gold (left); Aldrin touching down on the surface of the moon, 21 July 1969 (right) MIDDLE The Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition in stainless steel BOTTOM A laser-engraved Buzz Aldrin climbs down onto the lunar surface
Associated with some of mankind’s greatest extraterrestrial adventures, the Omega Speedmaster has become one of the world’s most iconic watches
that also included Omega’s Seamaster 300 and Railmaster ranges. Since 1965, NASA has equipped all of its astronauts with mechanical Omega wristwatches. The Speedmaster earned its ‘Moonwatch’ moniker four years later when Buzz Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong onto the moon wearing his Omega – Armstrong had left his own watch inside the Lunar Module. This year, Omega celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with the launch of three limited-edition Speedmasters – in steel, platinum and Moonshine™ gold.
The first Omega Speedmaster, the CK 2915, from 1957 (left) against 2019’s Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum, which has subdials made of meteorite
Years of the Moonwatch
50 YEARS OF DMR
Established as a sibling brand to Rolex, today Tudor enjoys a standing of its own thanks to a consummate collection of vintage-inspired tool watches
LADY GAGA, TUDOR AMBASSADOR
In 2017, Tudor unveiled singer, actress and Academy Award winner Lady Gaga as its first female ambassador. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way foundation is committed to supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world.
“For some years now, I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches,” wrote company founder Hans Wilsdorf in 1926. “Yet one that would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous.” Wilsdorf decided to form a separate company – Tudor.
The Tudor Royal in 9 carat gold, 1961
Early Tudor watches were mainly rectangular or barrel-shaped and intended for both men and women. In 1952, the company launched the self-winding, waterproof Oyster Prince with an avant-garde advertising campaign (left) that emphasised the qualities of the watch in long-form text, a highly unusual marketing technique at the time. The brand’s first divers’ watch, the Oyster Prince Submariner, arrived two years later. It would evolve through more than 20 references until 1999. Tudor was reborn in 2009 with the launch of the Grantour and Glamour collections. Yet it was in 2012 that the brand cemented its place among the world’s leading watchmakers with the creation of the Black Bay. Based on the first Submariners from the 1950s, it became an iconic timepiece almost instantly.
One of the first Tudor watches from 1932
In 1952 Tudor launched the Oyster Prince
NEW ZEALAND ALL BLACKS Tudor sporting ambassadors, the New Zealand All Blacks, wear the company’s Black
A Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner with ‘snowflake’ hour hand from 1969
Bay Dark, a vintageinspired, all-black steel dive watch that has been PVD-treated and comes with a unidirectional rotating bezel.
Years of the Tudor Snowflake
Half a century ago, Tudor created what would become its signature design element
LEFT Tudor Black Bay Bronze
RIGHT Tudor Black Bay 41 S&G
A famous Tudor signifier today, the angular hands accompanied by characteristic dials with square hour-markers first appeared in Tudor’s 1969 catalogue. The innovative design allowed for a lot of luminescent material to be applied to the hands and dials thus guaranteeing excellent legibility in all conditions. In the 1990s, as this design was somewhat reminiscent of the shape of a partial snowflake, watch enthusiasts started referring to all Tudor diving watches showing this configuration as ‘Snowflake’ Submariners. The ‘snowflake’ configuration re-entered the Tudor collection at Baselworld 2012 with the combined launch of the Black Bay and Pelagos models.
50 YEARS OF DMR
Synonymous with some of the industry’s most important technical breakthroughs, TAG Heuer’s creations have been worn by everyone from astronauts to Formula One racing drivers
JACK HEUER, HONORARY CHAIRMAN
In 2001, Jack Heuer, the great-grandson of Heuer founder Edouard Heuer, became Honorary Chairman of TAG Heuer. A gifted watchmaker and pioneering entrepreneur, Heuer helped name milestone timepieces like the Carrera, Monza and Monaco.
The story of TAG Heuer is a pursuit of precision timekeeping. Watchmaker Edouard Heuer introduced his first wrist chronographs in 1914. In the decade that followed, his company’s split second pocket chronographs were
selected as the official stopwatches for three consecutive Olympic Games: Antwerp in 1920, Paris in 1924 and Amsterdam in 1928. Heuer also lays claim to creating the first Swiss stopwatch to go into space, when, on 20 February 1962, American John Glenn completed the first manned space flight while wearing a Heuer chronograph. Models like the Carrera and Monaco cemented Heuer’s status as one the 20th century’s most avant-garde watch manufacturers: a reputation enhanced in the 21st century with the launch of highly-innovative timepieces like the Mikrograph, Mikropendulums and the TAG Heuer Connected smartwatch.
Years of the Monaco
How TAG Heuer’s square-faced chronograph entered the horological hall of fame, with a little help from Steve McQueen Introduced in 1969 in honour of the principality’s famous street-based grand prix, the Monaco was revolutionary for being one of the earliest automatic chronographs, and the first to comprise a waterproof square case. It was, however, a Hollywood actor with a penchant for motor racing that lent the timepiece its legendary status. In 1970, while preparing for his role in Le Mans, Steve McQueen sought the advice of his stunt double and real-life racing car driver Jo Siffert. In the spirit of authenticity, Siffert lent McQueen his racing overhauls, which, over the right breast, were embroidered with the words ‘Chronograph HEUER’. On his wrist, the blue-eyed actor chose to wear a blue-faced Monaco. Fifty years after the watch made its debut, 2019 saw TAG Heuer celebrate its longstanding relationship with motorsport with the launch of the blue-and-orange Monaco Gulf Special Edition (bottom right).
ABOVE Steve McQueen wearing a Monaco in Le Mans, 1971 MIDDLE Carrera Calibre 16 (left), Formula One Ladies Quartz (right)
RIGHT Monaco Calibre 11, with red dial, and blue dial with Gulf decoration
GIVING BACK H O S P I TA L I T Y S P O RT I N G S U C C E S S
5 0 Y E A R S O F. . .
50 YEARS OF DMR
“Congratulations to the whole team at David M Robinson on their 50th anniversary. During my recent visit to DMR’s new Manchester home, I got a deep understanding of the skill and attention to detail that goes into every relationship between DMR, its customers and its suppliers. They bring Michelin star levels of service to watches, jewellery, retail and event management and are a shining example of how UK independents are world-leaders today.” Rob Corder, Managing Editor,
ONSIDE YOUTH ZONES OnSide Youth Zones exists to provide all young people with a safe and inspiring environment to go in their leisure time. New experiences are offered, horizons broadened, expectations stretched, and aspirations raised – all motivating and empowering young people to forge a better future and to reach their full potential. The charity does this through its network of 21st-century, sustainable youth provision, known as Youth Zones – there are 13 in total, including three in London, as well as Manchester, Bolton, Oldham and Merseyside, and each provides members with access to employability, health and sporting initiatives, which make huge contribution to their emotional and physical wellbeing. “Team DMR and John Robinson have been instrumental in helping OnSide achieve its goals,” says John Roberts, Chairman of the Onside Executive Board for OnSide Youth Zones. “Through fundraising and introductions, the DMR network in the North West and in London, is clearly full of people who care enough about helping the youth of today.”
50 YEARS OF DMR
YEARS OF GIVING BACK
Since its founding, DMR has supported a number of arts and culture organisations in the North West. Here, some of the jeweller’s longest collaborators pay tribute to the brand
MICHAEL EAKIN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC
“David M Robinson have been dedicated supporters of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic for many decades. Although now a national company, they are still proud ambassadors of their home city of Liverpool. Mr Robinson, his family and colleagues are an absolute pleasure to work with and we are incredibly grateful for their unwavering friendship and support. Congratulations to David M Robinson on this significant milestone from everyone at Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.”
D AV I D M RO B I N S O N
Conductor-in-Chief for 50 years
LAURA PYE, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL MUSEUMS LIVERPOOL
“As Director at National Museums Liverpool, I would like to send congratulations to David M Robinson on reaching their 50th anniversary. David M Robinson have been loyal supporters of National Museums Liverpool since 2001, and are a perfect example to showcase how closely the corporate and local cultural sectors can work together to support each other. Our aim, to look after and make accessible our world-class collections, can only happen with the continued support from our donors, and I would like to thank David M Robinson for making such an important contribution over the years. Happy 50th anniversary, here’s to another 50 years!”
50 YEARS OF SAMANTHA RHODES, DIRECTOR OF THE BLUECOAT DISPLAY CENTRE
“Bluecoat Display Centre has been generously supported by David M Robinson over many years and in particular by Mr David Robinson. David has been a long-standing customer and a patron of the Display Centre, and as a talented goldsmith himself, he appreciates the high quality of craftsmanship employed by our many professional studio-based makers working across a range of disciplines including jewellery and metalwork. We send our congratulations to David M Robinson on their 50-year anniversary and thank them for their continued and valued support of small Liverpool independent arts organisations.”
HELEN LEGG, DIRECTOR OF TATE LIVERPOOL
“David M Robinson has been a fantastic supporter of Tate Liverpool, and all that we do, for more than 25 years. During this time, they have sponsored world-class exhibitions of leading international artists, helped refurbish the gallery, and supported educational and learning opportunities for local schools, community groups and people of all ages. As one of our most loyal corporate supporters, the ongoing and committed generosity of David M Robinson is vital to Tate Liverpool; giving more people the chance to understand and enjoy British and international modern and contemporary art.”
PAUL YOUNG, PRINCE’S TRUST AMBASSADOR AND
“I would like to congratulate David M Robinson on 50 years in business and to thank everyone at the company for their continued support of the work we do here at The Prince’s Trust. The considerable funds the company has helped us raise over the course of our 16 year partnership, through their sponsorship of events such as our Diamond Ball in Liverpool, has made a huge difference to the lives of young people across the North West of England. We could not have helped as many young people as we have without your support.”
DIAMOND BALL PERFORMER
50 YEARS OF DMR
YEARS OF H O S P I TA L I T Y
From horological showcases to showroom launches, DMR has hosted a number of events for its clients during its 50 years
Over the course of 50 years, the David M Robinson team has established strong relationships with its clientele, horologic partners and local businesses. Ever since Mr Robinson founded the company, the jeweller has hosted a range of events as a thank you to its most committed customers. In the 1970s, the brand presented regular evening showcases at its Liverpool workshop, during which clients could peruse the latest collections and watch Mr Robinson craft his exquisite creations. In more recent years, DMR has held horology exhibits at its four showrooms – in collaboration with Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe and Panerai – and has hosted clients at sporting events such as the BMW PGA Championships and The Open Championships, as well as charity initiatives such as the Rise Above Sportive Cycling Challenge. In DMR’s 50th year, there has been all the more reason to celebrate, and during 2019 the company has played host to a number of exciting events. From an evening at Knowsley Hall, where Rolex’s latest Baselworld collection was revealed, to the grand unveiling of the new-and-improved DMR Manchester showroom, there have been plenty of memorable moments to mark this landmark year.
50 YEARS OF
1 G uests admire a watch at a DMR Patek Philippe showcase at the Lowry Hotel, 2011 2 Former Liverpool FC stars Xabi Alonso and Fernando Torres at an All Stars charity match at Anfield, sponsored by DMR, 2015 3 A client viewing a Panerai exhibition hosted by DMR at restaurant Australasia, Manchester, 2014 4 Guests view Patek Philippe’s collection at a dinner hosted by DMR, The Shard, 2014 5 The DMR team at Prince’s Trust charity clay shoot, 2013 6 Mark Cavendish’s Rise Above Sportive Cycling Challenge, sponsored by DMR in Chester, 2015 7 The first of a series of private lunches hosted in ‘The Lounge’ at DMR’s newly expanded Manchester showroom, 2019 8 David M Robinson showcases his Liverpool workshop to clients during a tour, 1970s 9 Lee Chadwick, DMR Manchester, presents Robert MacIntyre with a diamond necklace after securing the most Birdies at the Betfred British Masters, 2019 10 Alisha Duffy, Sophie Corness (DMR Liverpool) and Hannah Pownall (Events Manager) at a Rolex Baselworld exhibition, Knowlsey Hall, 2019 11 John Robinson with clients in the Rolex Pavilion at The Open Championships, 2017 12 DMR Jewellery and Rolex showcase at the launch of the Range Rover Evoque at Hatfields Liverpool, 2019 13 The ballroom at Knowsley Hall, where DMR hosted a Rolex Baselworld Collection event, 2019 14 Patek Philippe clients are invited to visit the brand’s Swiss factory alongside DMR, 2008 15 John Robinson (DMR), Thierry Stern (Patek Philippe) and rugby player Ben Kay with guests at DMR’s Patek Philippe exhibition, The Shard, 2014
50 YEARS OF DMR
YEARS IN THE FIELD
From football legends to golfing greats, David M Robinson has worked in partnership with a number of sporting stars over the course of its 50 years, both in support of young athletes and championing established stars
FOOTBALL FOUNDED IN A CITY WITH A REMARKABLE SPORTING PAST, DMR IS PLEASED TO HAVE HAD A LONG AFFILIATION WITH FOOTBALL, ACROSS THE NORTH WEST. IT IS WITH GREAT PRIDE, THEN, THAT DMR COUNTS LIVERPOOL FC CAPTAIN JORDAN HENDERSON AMONG ITS MOST LOYAL CUSTOMERS. HERE, THE FOOTBALL STAR PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE BRAND
“I’ve been shopping with the team at DMR for eight years now, since joining Liverpool FC in 2011. Since then, the brand has been my first point of contact for everything watches and jewellery. In the heart of Liverpool, the showroom team are experts on the pieces that they sell and I recommend them to anybody. Their customer service sets them apart from all of the other brands I have shopped with before and they constantly go the extra mile. Thanks to all of the staff at David M Robinson for their assistance over the years, and best wishes for your 50th anniversary!”
ABOVE Jordan Henderson celebrates Liverpool FC’s win at the UEFA Champions League 2019, ©Vlad1988/shutterstock.com LEFT A friendly match against the Malaysian football team, ©CHEN WS/shutterstock.com
50 YEARS OF
NETBALL AHEAD OF THE NETBALL WORLD CUP 2019, WHICH TOOK PLACE IN LIVERPOOL IN JULY, THE ENGLAND TEAM PAID A VISIT TO DMR MANCHESTER
GOLF IN A CONTINUATION OF THE JEWELLER’S GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS, DMR INVITED A SELECTION OF CLIENTS TO ATTEND ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY GOLF DAY IN SEPTEMBER
To mark David M Robinson’s 50th year, and in a nod to the jeweller’s golfing links, John Robinson and Karl Irwin hosted a special DMR Golf Day in September 2019. Held at the Sunningdale Golf Club, the 50-strong tournament included a selection of DMR’s clients, along with a number of famous faces – comedian John Bishop and actor Gwilym Lee were among the stars spotted practicing their swing. “Golf is a sport that runs through the heart of our business as it does with a number of the luxury brands with whom we enjoy a relationship,” said John. “When planning a way to celebrate such a special anniversary with friends, the iconic Sunningdale Golf Club – steeped in sporting history – seemed the perfect place to start.” Following the tournament, 150 guests were invited to a summer barbecue and prize presentation at Coworth Park in Ascot, where they were joined by BMW PGA Championship competitors Paul Waring and Lucas Bjerregaard.
The 15th edition of the Netball World Cup took place in July earlier this year, at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena. For 10 days, the spiritual home of David M Robinson became a sporting hub as the world’s teams descended on the city. David M Robinson’s Managing Director John Robinson has a long-standing friendship with former England Netball coach Tracey Neville, and, as a brand, DMR has a lengthy history of supporting grassroots sports. Ahead of the tournament, the England team were invited to the newly-refurbished DMR Manchester, where the players were hosted in The Lounge area. During the event, each of the team’s 12 players were gifted a TAG Heuer Aquaracer timepiece, along with a personalised DMR jewellery case featuring an engraving inspired by the Roses’ team slogan – ‘If we are in it, then we are in it to win it’.
MANCHESTER LIVERPOOL C A N A RY W H A R F A LT R I N C H A M
D M R T O D AY
“A true family of showrooms across four different, vibrant locations...”
DMR’s newly refurbished showroom in St Ann’s Square, Manchester
94 50 YEARS OF DMR
Since 1979, David M Robinson’s St Ann’s Square showroom has brought its dazzling jewellery and watch collections to the people of Manchester. To mark the brand’s 50th anniversary, the showroom was given a magnificent makeover in what was the largest expansion project in the company’s history
two-storey space. DMR’s latest jewellery collections sparkle from the display cases that line the walls on the first floor, while a new lounge and bar area, complete with library, provides an opportune space from which to admire these exquisite pieces. Timepieces from Rolex, Tudor and IWC have been given expanded areas, while on the lower ground floor an additional Rolex space allows visitors to peek inside the showroom’s fascinating Watchmakers’ workshop. Both this and the Master Goldsmith’s workshop were remodelled too, and both have benefited from the renovation with expanded spaces. “It is hard to walk into the showroom for the first time and not say ‘wow’,” says Lee. “Eye-catching details and striking features have made it a really beautiful space, and it has certainly proved to be a hit with our friends!”
Forever evolving, David M Robinson chose to mark 50 years of history by moving forward; in 2019, the St Ann’s Square showroom in Manchester was given a stellar renovation. In the largest expansion project in DMR’s history, the brand acquired the adjacent property to the existing showroom and in turn created a 5,000 sq ft space befitting the heritage brand. “The showroom is now a completely different place to how our home was earlier this year,” says Showroom Manager Lee Chadwick, who has worked for the jeweller for five years. “DMR and Manchester have been joined at the hip since 1979, so it is extra special that we chose our 50th anniversary year to refurbish a showroom that has been part of our story since the early days.” Inside, bulbous Tom Dixon lamps dangle above a stone staircase, which links the now
96 50 YEARS OF DMR
Fifty years ago, David M Robinson was founded in a humble workshop in Liverpool. In the half-century since, the company’s connection to its roots has never waned, and today the brand is represented in its state-of-the-art Liverpool One showroom
collections, the showroom is home to a master goldsmith and a Rolex accredited watchmaker – the only one in the city. “A Rolex typically represents something very special to a watch owner,” Alisha says. “For a client to be able to meet our Master Watchmaker, who will carefully examine and maintain such a personal item, is truly unique.” Repeat customers are common at the showroom – “It’s not very often we meet a client once,” she explains, and she attributes her colleagues to this success. “For me, what sets us apart from any other jeweller is our wonderful team,” Alisha smiles. “We are all passionate about the DMR brand and the service that we give our clients, which makes our work so interesting. Seeing our fabulous Liverpool showroom continue to grow over the past 13 years has made me enormously proud. We are constantly raising the bar, 50 years into our story.”
Since its inception, David M Robinson has had a presence in Liverpool. For 50 years, the company has been bringing fine jewellery and timepieces to the city. Today, the brand’s Liverpool One showroom sits in the heart of the city’s vibrant retail and residential district, just a stone’s throw from where DMR was founded. Showroom Manager Alisha Duffy has worked for DMR for 13 years and, since 2012, has headed up the Liverpool showroom, where her team has more than 200 years’ experience between them. “Liverpool isn’t just my home, it’s the home of DMR,” Alisha enthuses. “It is in our DNA. As a family business, we have grown with our clients and many of the people we meet now are being introduced to the brand by other generations, who have shopped with us over the past half-century.” In addition to a carefully curated selection of luxury watches and DMR’s exclusive
98 50 YEARS OF DMR
In the heart of the capital’s thriving financial hub, David M Robinson’s Canary Wharf showroom offers unrivalled jewellery and watch expertise
world for the past 20 years,” says Sandy. At the Canary Wharf showroom, the team is made up of six experienced individuals who work with Sandy to deliver the expertise and service associated with the David M Robinson name. The showroom is a proud Georg Jensen stockist, and also has a stunning blend of large spaces for Rolex and Patek Philippe. “We care and work hard to make dreams comes true,” says Sandy, when asked what makes David M Robinson stand out from other jewellers. “When I initially joined DMR, I was attracted to the fact that it is a family business with plenty of growth, and that it is also fun and caring. “Today, every day working at DMR is a favourite experience. We enjoy looking after our teams and our clients.”
Located in one of London’s most international boroughs, DMR Canary Wharf brings the best timepieces and the company’s jewellery collections to the capital’s bustling financial district. DMR has operated a showroom in Canary Wharf since 2006. Showroom Manager Sandy Madhvani has worked for David M Robinson for 12 years, and personally has more than 37 years’ experience in the industry. He began his career as a watchmaker – following in the footsteps of his father – before applying his horological expertise to salesmanship. Today, he is a respected figure in his field – industry bible WatchPro named him in its Hot 100 Retail Titans in 2016 – and he has garnered a devoted clientele in the process. “Many of my clients have followed my career around the
100 50 YEARS OF DMR
In the historic market town of Altrincham in Cheshire, David M Robinson is the destination showroom for jewellery and watches, boosted by the fact that it is both Rolex and Patek Philippe accredited
appeal – an appeal that’s bolstered by its official Rolex, Patek Philippe and TAG Heuer accreditations. It is fully-equipped with a bespoke CAD design studio and a jewellery workshop, and, as the company headquarters, is also home to the brand’s designers, goldsmiths, stone setters and engravers. “Our showroom has become a destination store for our clients,” says Hugh, proudly. “We really like this about being based in a town rather than a big city. People often come for a day trip and support other local businesses too.” It also means that the showroom’s clientele is staunchly loyal and, in many cases, can span generations. “My favourite thing about working for DMR is the great relationships I have cultivated with clients, many of whom I would call friends,” says Hugh. “There is nothing more special than being part of a milestone occasion in someone’s life – and I am honoured to have been part of many.”
Hugh Pottle, DMR Altrincham’s Showroom Manager, is in a good position to sell jewellery to the people of Cheshire. Hugh initially trained as a goldsmith, and began his DMR career crafting bespoke treasures from the workbench in DMR Manchester. “I wanted to work for a business that was passionate about creating its own jewellery, and DMR certainly has a flair for that,” Hugh explains. “When working on bespoke jewellery pieces, I realised that I really liked the one-to-one personal aspect of dealing directly with clients.” DMR Altrincham opened 30 years ago, and Hugh has been at the helm of the showroom for 25 of those years, combining his expertise of the jewellery creation process with his natural rapport with clients. While the company’s other showrooms sit in the heart of three of the UK’s largest cities, DMR Altrincham’s market town location is part of the boutique’s
50 YEARS OF DMR
Aftersales & Repairs In keeping with its dedication to customer care, David M Robinson provides a comprehensive aftersales and repairs service to give your treasured pieces a little tender loving care
BELOW DMR’s Master Watchmakers at work RIGHT Rupert Haworth, DMR Liverpool, crafts bespoke pieces from his workbench
Behind each carefully crafted ring, sparkling necklace and intricate timepiece sold in David M Robinson’s showrooms is a story of technical innovation. Whether a jewel created by one of the company’s expert goldsmiths, or a timepiece tuned by an in-house master watchmaker, everything that passes through a DMR workshop is made to stand the test of time. Every day wear and tear, however, is inevitable, and regular servicing is recommended to ensure your piece retains its original sparkle. In each of DMR’s four showrooms, an expert team is on-hand to assist with any queries; whether this be a repair, a routine service or perhaps a modern remodelling of a family heirloom.
It is recommended that watches, in particular, have regular check-ups. Your watchcase should only be opened by a highly-qualified watchmaker with access to the necessary equipment. At David M Robinson, the team provides comprehensive aftersales care and repairs, using only parts provided by the watch companies themselves. Timepieces serviced by Rolex, for example, are covered by a 24-month warranty and, with two Rolexaccredited watchmakers, based in Manchester and Liverpool respectively, DMR is able to offer a service that’s trusted by one of the biggest names in horology. In addition to repairs, the team offers a full maintenance service, timekeeping tests, waterproofing, resealing, battery replacement and strap changes.
“At David M Robinson, we understand how precious any single piece of jewellery is to someone”
Aftersales & Repairs
damage that may have been caused by gels or hand creams. Valuation appointments are also useful for identifying any remedial work, such as worn claws or settings. “At DMR, we understand how precious any single piece of jewellery is to someone,” says John Robinson. “There’s always an interesting story behind every piece. That’s what makes what we do so fascinating.”
Jewellery, too, can benefit from routine maintenance. Prior to sale, all of DMR’s pieces are regularly inspected to ensure the stone settings are ready to be worn – but it is recommended that customers return their jewels regularly to have them checked by showroom specialists. The DMR team will polish and clean hard-wearing metals to remove light surface scratches and any
M A S T E R WATC H M A K E R S GOLDSMITHS IN THE WORKSHOP
“Our workshops continue to excite and our goldsmiths are still very much part of the company’s heartbeat.” David M Robinson
107 A bespoke engagement ring is crafted in DMR Liverpool
50 YEARS OF DMR
Master Watchmakers Duncan Ganley and Mike Brooks, located in David M Robinson’s Manchester and Liverpool showrooms respectively, lend their finely-tuned skills to some of horology’s most treasured timepieces. Here, they explain what makes them tick
Time to Shine
I was inspired to become a watchmaker after seeing an article in a newspaper about the lack of technical staff and watchmakers in the industry. It’s engineering on a tiny scale, and having a technical background myself, it was easy to make the jump. I have worked at DMR for about 16 and a half years.
The industry has change massively over the years. Watchmakers are no longer individuals working just for a shop. They represent both the brands they work on and the company they work for. The highest standards are expected from both – a service level from the watchmaker that equals the watch brand’s own service quality, and a showroom that displays these brands to the highest level in a luxury environment. New techniques and materials are a constant challenge to learn and master.
I love the fact that I can turn an old damaged sentimental watch into something that will be loved and worn for another 30 years. The satisfaction of seeing the finished watch and the customer’s reaction is worth the hard work restoring it. The first watch I purchased was an Omega Chronostop CAL 865 dated 1960-1969, a mechanical handwound piece in steel on a black leather strap. The watch is dated by today’s standards and would now be classed as ‘retro’ and quite collectable. If I could own any watch, it would be a George Daniels Anniversary watch by Roger Smith. It is limited to 35 pieces to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Daniels’ invention of the co-axial escapement. It’s a beautiful example of a truly gifted British watchmaker at his best.
MIKE BROOKS DMR LIVERPOOL
The biggest change I have seen in the past 25 years is the technology involved in making and repairing watches. The quality of watches has risen dramatically due to much higher tolerances being achievable in the manufacturing process. This goes handin-hand with how we as watchmakers have to repair them. As a company, we have invested heavily in the latest
I have been working for DMR for just over 25 years. I am based in our Liverpool One showroom and run an extremely busy workshop. My responsibilities range from supporting the sales team and having direct interaction with our clients to completing a whole range of repairs.
tooling and testing equipment to ensure we have the most modern and up-todate workshops. We also attend regular training and testing by the watch houses to ensure we are knowledgeable about the latest models. I have a couple of regular clients who always pop in for a quick coffee and a chat when they are passing by. I have had one client since my second week of starting with the company. He bought a watch from us which unfortunately developed a small fault. Rather than send it to the manufacturer, I was able to bring it back to full working order within a few days. Since then I am the only person who has worked on his watch, with regular services every five years. The watch I wear every day is the Tudor Heritage Black Bay. I love its retro look and its simple uncluttered dial. The quality of a Tudor watch is fantastic, especially from a price point perspective. It is never off my wrist; I wear it for absolutely everything.
“As a company, we have invested heavily in the latest tooling and testing equipment to ensure we have the most modern workshops”
My interest in watchmaking started when I was eight years old. My father ran a small family jewellers, and he had a watchmaker working for him – a lovely guy called Bert. I would observe him repairing watches and from that age I knew it was the only job I wanted to do.
50 YEARS OF DMR
Just as Mr Robinson started his business moulding precious metals into exquisite jewellery pieces, David M Robinson’s dexterous goldsmith team are the tour de force behind each new collection. From their workbenches in DMR’s Liverpool and Altrincham showrooms, they share the secrets to their craft
On the Bench R U P E R T H AW O R T H
D AW N W E L C H
D M R A LT R I N C H A M
How did you you become a goldsmith? By the age of 17, I had grown somewhat bored of the usual academic education and I decided it just didn’t suit me, so I applied to study at art school. When I was there, I studied a variety of subjects, including jewellery making. An American teacher told me that I could make a career out of it and that was when my passion started.
What inspired you to become a goldsmith? I went to art college to study photography, but discovered in my first year that I loved making jewellery. I changed my focus to do my City & Guilds in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing. After five years, I passed with distinction and I can now say it was the best decision I ever made. As a child, I recall sitting under the counter at my parents’ jewellery shop where my dad was a watchmaker, so I think that may have had some influence without me realising.
How did you come to work for DMR? It was my father who first saw the advert for an apprenticeship at DMR. As you can imagine, demand for apprenticeships was very high in Liverpool at the time, with many people seeking work in the city. I arrived at the old Church Alley showroom, in a suit four times too big borrowed from my dad and saw crowds of people waiting for the interview. Eventually, I was selected for the apprenticeship, where I was trained by Mr Robinson himself, working alongside him on the bench.
Clients often entrust you to remodel family heirlooms, can you give an example? Having our clients entrust us to work on pieces that have been in their families for generations is really humbling. Only recently, I worked on the design of a beautiful diamond pendant, using stones which we unset from two rings that had belonged to a client’s late mother. The client now has a new piece of jewellery that she can wear each day, but that still preserves the memory of her mother.
When did you begin working for DMR? After running my own business for 12 years, the opportunity for me to help DMR with some repair work came my way. It was always my aim to work for Mr Robinson, having spent many study days at college looking at his designs and getting ideas from the shop windows. Twenty-four years later, I am still working my dream job. What does your role entail? My role has many sides to it, from working at the bench making and repairing jewellery, to paperwork, orders, estimates, stone sorting, meeting clients to discuss design ideas, sketching, remodelling items and assisting shop staff with enquiries. I think my job may be best described as a workshop manager role.
D M R A LT R I N C H A M
D M R A LT R I N C H A M
How long have you worked for DMR? I’ve been working for David M Robinson throughout our story, beginning with Mr Robinson 50 years ago. The business has changed hugely during this time, but our core values have remained the same and we are always dedicated to giving our customers the best service possible.
How did you discover that a career as a goldsmith was for you? My first experience of working on the bench was when I was still at school. Back in Australia, my uncle owned a jewellery business and I would train with him while I was studying. I actually had links with DMR from those early days through an associate of my uncle, so have been aware of the brand for many years.
What makes DMR unique in the jewellery world? The fact that we continue to design and manufacture our own exclusive collections of diamond jewellery proves that we still care about what we do. This has remained the same from day one. We are also fortunate to have so many team members who have stayed with the brand for years, which proves it really is a special place to work.
When did you join the DMR team? I began working for David M Robinson in spring 2019, joining the business at an exciting time as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. I’ve quickly become part of the DMR family and I work in our newly-expanded workshop here at DMR Altrincham. What are the key things to look for when buying a piece of jewellery? Very often you can instinctively tell if a piece of jewellery is of quality or not. As soon as you pick up a ring, for example, you will be able to assess the weight which is typically a sign of how it was made. In the case of handmade jewellery, the piece will feel substantial. The quality of settings is also important, after all, you want your precious stones to be as safe as possible.
“We live for today and tomorrow, while building on our heritage”
What’s the most treasured piece you’ve worked on? It is really lovely to see pieces come back to the workshop for some TLC after being created by us many years ago. Recently, I worked on the resizing of a client’s engagement and wedding ring that I made for them around 40 years ago. This piece was distinctively 70s in its design, with a bark effect pattern applied to the metal. All those years later, it is still enjoyed and worn every day.
Craftsmanship TONY DUFFY
50 YEARS OF DMR
The David M Robinson brand began life in the workshop – so for the jeweller’s 50th anniversary, a refurbished space for the craftspeople at the heart of the company made for a fitting tribute
Behind the Scenes
In David M Robinson’s Altrincham showroom, sparks fly – literally. Tucked behind the cases of dazzling jewels and timepieces, the resident workshop provides a breeding ground for innovative and striking creations. Goldsmiths Dawn, Tony and Alex hammer, weld and mould new jewels, envisioned by Mr Robinson and the design team. Their nimble fingers restore heirloom pieces and family treasures, bringing heritage gems into the 21st-century with contemporary settings. This is where the magic happens – just as it did 50 years ago. The David M Robinson story started in the workshop, with just one jeweller perfecting his craft, and today it remains the beating heart of the brand. With DMR celebrating its 50th anniversary, it seemed appropriate to honour the occasion with a new workshop. The Altrincham hub has been expanded to allow for more space and a third member – Alex joined the company in 2019 – providing ample opportunity for the goldsmith team to carry out their craft. Equipped with modern technologies, the workshop combines contemporary techniques with traditional crafting methods – making for the perfect homage to the craftsmanship at the heart of the David M Robinson story.
In the Workshop
ABOVE David Robinson receiving an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Mooreâ€™s University in 2005, with son John (left), wife Christine (right) and daughter Kate (far right)
“I recall bumping into a well-respected figure in the jewellery business in London many years ago and he said: ‘DMR is the jewellers’ jeweller’. I’m actually not sure where to start here as final thoughts go. Is it with the designs, the collections, the watches? Or rather with the goldsmiths, their workshops, the watchmakers, our colleagues in the showrooms, or the team at Head Office, making it happen? I have to mention it all, for we recognise that without great product, the kind of product people dream about, work for, covet, collect and without colleagues who are passionate, not just about gemology and horology, but also about sharing that knowledge and love with their customers, we would not exist. But there’s something else going on here, because I need to explain that my dad founded a company that was based on trust. A small word with huge significance. Trust in his ability, in his eye for design and form, trust to always pay colleagues and suppliers, trust in “pressing on”, in being creative, always being honest, caring and doing the right thing. Trust in developing others, in training, in humour, humility and human nature and lastly, trust in kindness, in giving back and helping others. I guess our lovely mum, Christine Robinson (née Ormsby), must have trusted him to give up her job and start out in business with him too! We put this book together to share our journey with our customers (far and wide these days) and our colleagues, to mark five decades of a family company, an independent company, which has a wonderful reputation for both creativity and integrity. Dad, on behalf of Kate and I and all of your grandchildren, we don’t know how you coped at times but thank you for inviting us all along on this amazing journey.”
John and Kate
S H O W RO O M I N F O R M AT I O N & C O N TA C T S
C A N A RY W H A R F
A LT R I N C H A M
4-6 South John Street Liverpool L1 8BJ T: 0151 708 1140 email@example.com
28 St. Annâ€™s Square Manchester M2 7JB T: 0161 834 0217 firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Jubilee Place Canary Wharf E14 5NY T: 0207 538 2332 email@example.com
14 Railway Street Altrincham WA14 2RE T: 0161 928 7487 firstname.lastname@example.org
Showroom Manager: Alisha Duffy
Showroom Manager: Lee Chadwick
Showroom Manager: Sandy Madhvani
Showroom Manager: Hugh Pottle
Monday-Saturday: 10am-5.30pm Sunday: 11am-4.30pm
Monday-Saturday: 10am-5pm Sunday: 11am-4.30pm
Monday-Friday: 9am-8pm Saturday: 10am-7pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Monday-Saturday: 10am-5pm Sunday: Closed
Thank you to those who collaborated in the making of this 50th anniversary publication Photography: Jamie Scott-Gobin, John Rowley and Jay Mawson Models: Leeny Ivanisvili, Premier Model Management Georgina Howard, Models1 Styling: Nisha Grewal and Libby Cook Make up: Collette Casey With special thanks to Suzanne Neville London, Joseph Massie Flowers, Dakota Hotel Manchester and Soughton Hall Chester
ÂŠ COPYRIGHT 2019 DAVID M ROBINSON LIMITED. All material strictly copyright and all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior permission of Luxury London Media Ltd and/or David M Robinson is strictly forbidden. All content believed to be correct at time of going to press. For repair, servicing and valuations, please see our website for details. All prices are correct at time of going to press. Prices are subject to change without notice. E&OE.
A look back at 50 years, through the eyes of our colleagues, partners and friends.