Milan-based brand Buccellati recently celebrated its 100th year. On a recent trip to Hong Kong, Maria Cristina Buccellati, who is the maison’s global communication and marketing director, met with Asia Tatler to discuss her family's heritage and future, as we look to other high-end jewellers that are celebrating big anniversaries this year.
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2019 is a big year for Buccellati.
It is–this year we celebrate our 100th birthday and we have a lot going on. We’ve created the Vintage collection, which we’ve been working on for two years. We bought back a lot of antique pieces that are dated from before the Fifties and we’re restored them in time for the anniversary. A lot of these pieces were handcrafted by either my father or grandfather.
We’ve also created a new diamond cut called the Buccellati cut, which has a very special shape, which was presented in Paris this July.
Tell us about the Vintage collection.
We've recovered about 70 pieces and it was very time-consuming to source them all. The collection is very varied and features all the hallmarks of Buccellati, including beautiful craftsmanship and exceptional engravings.
Your family must feel a great sense of accomplishment?
They say that the first generation creates, the second maintains, and the third destroys. So we’re very happy that we’ve kept our family business successful for the fourth generation and beyond.
What are the benefits of being a family business?
We all think and work the same way. We’ve been brought up with the same education and have the same philosophy.
How do you see Buccellati evolving?
We try not to think too much about the future and, instead, live in the present. For us, it’s about living day-to-day, which means we can focus on what we've set out to do, which is to create exceptional, handmade jewellery.
Is it important to you that Buccellati stays true to its Italian roots?
Absolutely. Italy has an incredible reputation when it comes to jewellery, and certain cities are famous for their goldwork and artisanship. As such, many of our craftsmen and women are the children and grandchildren of artisans.
This is very rare, and so we're very proud of it. We don’t use machines, everything is handmade and every piece has personality.
Yesterday, I was out with two ladies and both were wearing pieces that featured the honeycomb design Buccellati is now famous for. I instantly recognised which of our artisans in Italy handcrafted each jewel.
Tell us about your grandfather, Mario Buccellati.
He was somebody who could see into the future. He was the first jeweller to open in New York in 1952. He was a visionary, and we have followed in his footsteps.
My father was similar, and first opened a boutique in Hong Kong in the Seventies.
Keep reading to see which other jewellers are celebrating landmark anniversaries this year...