Image: Furrer Jacot's carbon and millgrain wedding bands
Luxury Swiss jeweller Furrer Jacot has been in the business of producing handcrafted, artisanal wedding rings and bands since 1858, so it’s no surprise that they know a thing or two about creating wedding jewellery that’s well-loved and everlasting.
We sat down with Furrer Jacot’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Walter Häusermann, and Chief Designer Lucas Ruppli; for a conversation on wedding jewellery – on picking the right rings, evolving traditions and timeless ring styles.
Image: Furrer Jacot’s Chief Designer Lucas Ruppli (L) and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Walter Häusermann (R)
Do you havew tips for men who are searching for an engagement ring? How do they find something that their partner will love?
Walter: I always say, “Listen to what she’s saying”, because when couples go shopping together, as soon as the displays come out, the men tend to look the other way, and aren’t interested in the shopping, (laughs).
They should be attentive when their partner is looking at jewellery. Normally, women won’t want to openly say what they want, but in some ways, they do point out what they like.
Lucas: [But] we can help the men with designs that tell stories they can relate to. For example, if he knows his partner loves flowers, he can choose a design inspired by the petals of the flower.
Image: Sketch of a diamond engagement ring from Furrer Jacot's award-winning Lucienne Collection
Meaning, instead of being overwhelmed by the technical aspects of the ring design, he can also rely on the stories behind them?
Lucas: Yes, that’s right. But of course, the technical specifications should be taken care of as well. He should also go for something of good quality. A diamond is something pretty expensive so the stone quality is something he should take note of and pick the best.
Why is it so important to pick wedding rings that are of good quality?
Walter: It’s an important piece of jewellery for the couple and it's often being the first piece of jewellery for the man. Flowers wilt in a day, the cake is gone in an hour but the wedding bands stay with you forever.
Don’t underestimate the value of the wedding band - because you wear it every day, and it’s a symbol of unity and eternity. So that’s one important thing to remember while you’re purchasing your rings.
So how does Furrer Jacot maintain its high quality and standards behind each design?
Image: Furrer Jacot's Snakebone wedding bands
Walter: We’ve been around for 160 years and we’ve been continuously in business. So if a bride buys a ring from us, she can be sure it’s not a marketing fad. She can have the confidence that it’s been properly made in our atelier at Switzerland. Each step carried out exclusively by hand, and followed by careful inspection.
We are so sure of our craftmanship that we are the only jeweller in the world that offers a lifetime warranty on our products. We also only produce the pieces after we received the order, so each piece is specifically made for you, and is truly unique.
Wedding ring trends and traditions, what have stayed the same and what have changed over time?
Walter: The tradition that wedding rings should look the same for both the bride and groom - I won’t push so much for it. We have had couples who chose different rings, but with the same metal combination or design element. Be relaxed and choose what you like. What’s important is that you have a ring that symbolises your marriage and unity. The other things are secondary.
Lucas: Everyone is their own person, so they should pick a ring that suits their individual taste. For instance, women like to go for eternity bands to pair with their diamond rings, but men prefer our carbon fibre rings as they are solid yet lightweight. We think it’s a direction and trend that has gained pace – to choose according to your own taste.
Having been designing wedding rings for over 30 years, what are some of the wedding ring styles you think will remain popular with couples?
Lucas: I started in the early 1980s and at that time the wedding bands were very simple bands with a lot less space for design. At the end of the 1980s, we were one of the first to provide more design-specific wedding bands, and they became more personalised and interesting.
How about the choice of precious metals? Has platinum or white gold always been the go-to choice?
Lucas: Yellow gold was popular when I started out. Then it went to white gold and platinum from the 1990s, and both have remained popular. Rose gold is also coming up as a popular choice, as well as the option of having narrower bands.
Walter: At Furrer Jacot, all our rings are made of compressed gold; we do not cast our rings. This gives them a solid, heavy feeling and are hard to break – which is important for a ring that symbolises your marriage. They are also very comfortable against your skin as we hand-polish them.
Quality, brand identity and popular ring styles – how does Furrer Jacot juggle all of these?
Walter: Everyone can do simple rings, but we like to make things a little different, with an edge to design. For example, the milgrain design is popular with European and American couples and Lucas made our own milgrain that was shaped to resemble the outlines of the Swiss mountain, the Matterhorn, using a mix of carbon and other metals.
We like to be one step ahead, by making the design unique to us while offering 100 per cent Swiss Made quality and craftsmanship.