We sit down with Maria Cristina Buccellati, the granddaughter of jewellery house founder Mario Buccellati, to discuss her family's business

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.

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Above From left: Lucrezia Buccellati, Andrea Buccellati, Maria Cristina Buccellati and Luca Buccellati. (Photo: Courtesy of Buccellati)
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Above Asia Tatler meets with Maria Cristina Buccellati of Italian jeweller, Buccellati. (Photo: Courtesy of Buccellati)

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.

See also: Tiffany & Co. Celebrates “Vision & Virtuosity” With Its Largest Ever Exhibition In Shanghai

Keep reading to see which other jewellers are celebrating landmark anniversaries this year...

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Above Engraving methods are frequently used to create Buccellati's distinctive designs. (Photo: Courtesy of Buccellati)
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Above Each jewellery piece is still handcrafted using techniques that date back to the Renaissance. (Photo: Courtesy of Buccellati)

Bulgari celebrates the 20th anniversary of B.zero1

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Above B.zero1 rings by Bulgari. (Photo: Courtesy of Bulgari)

The Colosseum-inspired B.zero1 collection by Bulgari has turned heads ever since it was first released in 1999.

Over two million B.zero1 rings have been sold worldwide, and the collection's now be reimagined to coincide with its 20th anniversary.

Available in yellow, white and rose gold, the anniversary B.zero1 pieces are restyled with a thinner structure to allow for stacking, and all come with a special anniversary engraving.

Dior Joaillerie turns 20

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Above Mimirose rings, bracelets and necklace from Dior. (Photo: Courtesy of Dior)

Artistic director Victoire de Castellane of Dior Joaillerie celebrates the maison’s 20th anniversary with the release of Mimirose.

This elegant collection brings together two of de Castellane's favourite Dior signatures: the fine chains seen in the Mimioui line and the twisted rice grain settings of Rose des vents.

See also: The Dior Watch With 20 Million Possibilities

Wellendorff celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Brilliance of the Sun Rope

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Above You Are Perfect necklace by Wellendorff. (Photo: Courtesy of Wellendorff)

In 2019, Wellendorff celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Brilliance of the Sun Rope collection, which takes its inspiration–in true Wellendorff form–from romance.

Founder Christoph Wellendorf first created the line to gift to his wife on their 25th wedding anniversary.

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