Tuesday, 05 March 2024
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Master jeweller on a Roll

Master jeweller on a Roll

Companies producing luxe, handcrafted and bespoke works with heritage dating back to the late 19th century, are few and far between.
Rolls-Royce - the high-end British motor vehicle manufacturer - is one. Curtis Aus- tralia - the bespoke watch, jewellery and pen company in Bairnsdale - is another.
The parallels are strikingly similar. With more than a century of experience, both companies push the design envelope on the world stage, and both have a customer-first focus while staying true to their roots.

Glenn and Heather Curtis explored these parallels at the Melbourne launch of ‘the ‘Rolls-Royce of SUVs’ - the Rolls-Royce ‘Cullinan’ last month.
Mr Curtis, a master jeweller, was guest speaker at the launch held at the Carousel, Albert Park, attended by about 120 guests.
Mr Curtis said the theme of his address was exploring the parallels of the two companies and their handcrafted works.

“I spoke about how we’ve passed down, from one generation to the next, traditional hand skills and how, like Rolls-Royce, many of the hand skills we use are either lost or simply not used by our competitors,” he said.

“We’re seeking to create a really high-class, world-class product and that’ s what Rolls-Royce does.

“Rolls-Royce, for example, still hand pin-stripe their cars by brush and we do all our diamond setting by hand, all in- house. I went through all that - the 68 steps for each diamond to be set.

“Our watches and pens are bespoke works of art just like a Rolls-Royce and we blend these hand skills with innovation.
“Rolls-Royce is known for its innovation over the years. For example their new car has forward-looking technology (for gear selection and traction). We are bringing out a new watch (with hands, not digital) with smart movements that will help you find your phone in the event you lose it.”

Curtis Australia jewellery, pens and watches were on display at the Rolls-Royce event and the reaction was “very positive”.

“People coming over saying ‘I can see why Rolls-Royce has asked you to be involved’, ‘I haven’ t seen your work be- fore, it’ s beautiful, world-class standard’.”
Mr Curtis had books from his grandfather and great grandfather’ s watch-making days to help set the tone.

“I was talking about their stories, how our family goes back to the 1890s with grand- father and great grandfather, and how that’ s similar to Rolls-Royce having these heritages,” he said.

And while the Rolls-Royce and Curtis relationship will continue, including the potential for some bespoke Curtis items to be made for the vehicles, the Curtis family has a deep “pride” for the local community and local customers, some spanning generations.

“I’m proud of where I’ve come from and I’m proud to maintain our business in the community I’ve come from. It’ s the community that started me off and it’s the community that I’ m passionate about,” Mr Curtis said.

“Pride, it’s absolutely wonderful,” Mr Curtis said of when a local customer comes into the Bairnsdale studio with a Curtis piece.
“This job gives you some re- ally nice things and you get to see people happy. It doesn’ t matter what I make, I just love making things as best I can for whoever it is I’m making it for.”


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