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Manufacture

Naturally, we all benefit from the fact that VICTOR MAYER has been manufacturing precious jewellery for 125 years. We have passed on the knowledge and the skills of traditional goldsmithing from generation to generation. And we have worked to develop it further.

However, the unique aspect of our jewellery remains embedded in precise, patient craftsmanship. Today we are one of the few remaining manufactories in Europe. With regard to some techniques – such as guilloché work and fire enamelling ‑ we are the only company in Europe to produce at this standard of quality. To ensure that these techniques are preserved for the future, we provide apprenticeships in them.

 

 

 

 

Guilloché engraving

In the guilloché process we engrave the finest, specially-designed geometric patterns onto a piece. They lend our jewellery its fascinating depth. The silky, shimmering effect of guilloché work soothes the eye. The process creates tiny facets on the surface of the precious metal, making it sparkle like a gemstone. Dexterity and concentration are essential prerequisites for the guilloché craftsman. In addition, the guillocheur must possess patience and a range of different talents: he requires the understanding of an engineer, the creativeness of a designer, the rational thinking of a mathematician, practical intelligence for the realisation of his ideas in the reality of his working environment and the precision of a watchmaker. In guilloché work, a complicated process results in the creation of a precisely-worked piece on a hand-guided guilloché device. Today, modern industry is only capable of producing such precision machines as one-off pieces with a great deal of effort and expense. And these do not match the historic guilloché devices that helped bring company founder Victor Mayer success as a jewellery manufacturer. There are therefore good reasons why, after 125 years, we still rely on machines from the late 19th century and can justly claim that the venerable craft of the guillocheur can only be learned and preserved for posterity with us.

Enamelling

The art of genuine fire enamelling is another near-extinct tradition that dates back over millennia. The brilliant, radiant and sparkling colours of VICTOR MAYER are quite literally born of fire. The original enamel recipe comprises mineral substances and is carefully applied and fired, layer for layer. Only when the temperature is exactly right can the colours reveal their optimal shine.

Genuine fire enamel displays a number of characteristics that lend jewellery enduring value: its colours have the radiance and permanence of gemstones: It is splendidly smooth, easy to clean and extremely resistant to direct sunlight or heat. Jewellery made from fire enamel is always carefully and painstakingly composed from natural substances before being carefully fired in multiple layers. VICTOR MAYER guarantees this. Before buying a piece of enamel jewellery ask your jeweller if genuine fire enamel has been used, or a short-lived artificial surrogate ‑ it is worth the enquiry! 

In addition to skilled craftsmanship, the profession of the enameller requires extensive experience, creative enthusiasm and the willingness to experiment. Anyone looking to achieve outstanding results must be aware ‑ and allow for the fact ‑ that each layer of enamel applied brings with it the risk of failure. For each layer he is required to examine whether the high quality standards that VICTOR MAYER sets itself are satisfied. If not, the whole procedure must start anew. Only carefully-examined pieces leave the workshop of the enameller. Tiny inclusions in the enamel do not constitute faults, but are instead characteristic of hand production. They make each piece of jewellery unique.

The Goldsmith

Since ancient times, adorning ourselves has been a basic human need. Goldsmithing is therefore one of the most significant and oldest crafts in the world. At VICTOR MAYER many passed-down techniques and methods are still in use that were replaced elsewhere by soulless industrial production before slipping wholly into obscurity. Aficionados are aware of the difference.

Goldsmiths work with surgical precision. They hammer, bend, drill, solder and polish. In the process they work with premium, delicate material that requires the highest degree of dexterity.

With a careful hand and precise skill they work the form created by the designer perfectly from an unworked piece of gold. The resultant jewellery should be both supple and pleasant to wear. It is carefully worked from all sides and displays an even, immaculate finish. This work is particularly difficult when the jewellery has functions. Photo lockets, invisible necklace clasps and freely-movable individual parts require the highest level of skill and mechanical understanding.

This is why our goldsmiths know that, even after completing their training, they will have to hone and develop their skills their whole lives long in order to satisfy the high quality requirements of VICTOR MAYER and our customers.

Perfect surfaces only exist where clean and solid work has been undertaken from the very beginning. Throughout the course of the creative process we monitor each individual piece for its precise finish and quality. We have been guaranteeing this for over 125 years. Before a piece of jewellery leaves our establishment it is polished to a high sheen. You look into an immaculate, perfectly-even mirror. 

The Jewel setter

Gemstones and brilliant-cut diamonds also only achieve their true splendour when they are treated with dignity and care. Our setters are aware of this and act accordingly. Their hands create perfect diamond patterns and artistic free forms that are seldom found, even in the world of truly premium jewellery. A high-quality seat conceals the gemstone as little as possible. It underscores the beauty of the natural stone. Of course, we place great emphasis on ensuring that the stones are obtained from ethically-sound sources.

In the 18th century gemstones and diamonds were still being set by the goldsmiths that produced the jewellery. Today, quality requirements have increased significantly. The jewel setter has now become a specialist profession in its own right. His task is to anchor gemstones into a piece of jewellery securely and effectively, thus underscoring the concept dictated by the designer. The jewel setter works almost exclusively under the microscope. He grinds, drills, hammers, chases and forms with great dexterity, expertise and experience.

One of the most common setting techniques is micro pavé, in which the brilliant-cut diamond is held by tiny gold beads. In so-called chaton settings, another common method, the diamond or coloured gemstone is adjusted from below via a weave of fine gold wires and stabilised with small, individually-formed, artistic claws. 

Setting gemstones is a difficult and physically-demanding craft in which highest precision is required in the tiniest of dimensions. For example, a micro pavé consists of numerous individual diamonds, each of which may have a diameter of less than one millimetre, but that are nonetheless cut with 56 facets.

When adjusting the settings and securing the gemstones it is important to work in a concentrated and precise manner, as even small mistakes and inaccuracies can result in damage being caused to the gemstone or seat. The finish, which involves working the seat with tiny files, also calls for maximum concentration. We only accept perfectly smooth seats, as when they are worn the finest fabrics must be able to pass over our jewellery without snagging.

If premium jewellery is a subject close to your heart, then you share our respect for the artistry of the jewel setter. Enquire whether a stone has been expertly set by hand. 

Made in Germany

Authentic handcrafted jewellery made in Pforzheim - the city of gold.

We guarantee the authenticity of our unique jewellery, which we design and manufacture exclusively in Germany as one-off pieces or strictly limited editions. Number and edition size are engraved in each piece, together with the "VM" master's mark. Each item of jewellery receives a photo certificate, as well as being documented in our company archive.

We guarantee highest quality in all dimensions and utilise the best materials exclusively, worked to the highest level with outstanding craftsmanship.

With our certificate of authenticity we assure you that the piece is a genuine masterpiece from our manufactory.

Jewellery and watch repairs

Service for jewellery and watches from VICTOR MAYER and FABERGÉ:

For your VICTOR MAYER or Fabergé jewellery and watches we offer you a vast range of services such as re-enamelling and re-sizing. This includes items made decades ago: we repair defective items, replace lost parts and clean and refurbish your Jewellery with great pleasure. This refers to our VICTOR MAYER creations as well as Fabergé jewellery and watches made by VICTOR MAYER under license. The masters mark „VM“ will help you to identify works from our manufacture. Please send us a picture of your item to info@victor-mayer.com. We are going to inform you if we can confirm that the piece was made by us. Furthermore we are going to make a suggestion for the shipment of your jewel to our workshops
. We can also direct you to an authorized agent in your vicinity to assist you. After a close inspection we would then present a cost estimate and with your approval we would execute the necessary repairs in our renowned quality.