Designs That Shine
Thirteen gorgeous designs (Watches! Rings! Bracelets—and more!) from five local jewellers.
The current trend towards bright, coloured gemstones is one that easily lends itself to custom-designed pieces, and since carefully crafted jewellery that bears a special meaning for its wearer will never go out of style, a personalized piece made with unique stones is both on-trend and timeless. Likewise, engineered-for-precision, iconic timepieces, can be passed from one generation, and gain meaning when imbued with family history.
Costen Catbalue Goldsmiths + Design
To create the custom jewellery that Costen Catbalue’s Mary Ann Buis says, “transcends the trendy through the personal meaning it has for its wearer,” she and her business partner, Andrew Costen, lead clients through a process to ensure their desires are met in one-of-a-kind pieces.
What begins as an idea develops from a two-dimensional sketch, to a hand-crafted three-dimensional wax model, to a handmade or cast piece that the client tries on one last time before the stones are set. From garnets of all colours, to sapphires in virtually every colour on the spectrum, to harder-to-find spinels, unheated aquamarines, and more, Costen Catbalue’s array of fine gemstones makes the possibilities endless.
If Jason Bosa could give one piece of advice on purchasing jewellery, it would be, “invest in quality rather than quantity: hand-forged pieces are stronger, and quality stones will properly show fire and brilliance.”
It’s not surprising that the bulk of Palladio’s business is in custom-designed hand-forged jewellery. The current trend towards coloured stones fits perfectly with original, personalized jewellery that has a unique meaning for the wearer.
It’s perhaps also not surprising that for Bosa, commitment to quality is a family tradition. He comes from a family whose name speaks for reputation, whether it be in land development, construction, in the food industry, or in the jewellery business.
Bosa elaborates further on the qualities that create timeless jewellery. “When a piece is designed and crafted by a master goldsmith, the piece itself should be flawless and timeless example of quality craftsmanship,” he says. “Before stones are set or engraving details applied, the artistry will show in the craft; this quality never goes out of style.”
Palladio’s commitment to quality and design excellence extends beyond jewellery to a selection of the most prominent watch lines including Rolex, Vacheron-Constantin, Panerai, Backes & Strauss, Raymond Weil, Parmigiani Fleurier, Carl F. Bucherer, Franck Muller and, exclusively in Canada, H. Moser & Cie.
Whether it’s timeless jewellery or a quality timepiece, Bosa has one last piece of advice: “Buy a piece you’ll want to wear in 10 years, that your kids will want to wear. A quality piece will transcend fads or trends and should be considered an heirloom piece.” Sound advice, indeed.
Stittgen Fine Jewelry
Each Stittgen piece tells a unique story. Each of the engagement rings a mother commissioned to be made for her three sons from a ring of her own tells the story of this family’s past, as well as its future.
The pendant-encased bullet that once grazed the pilot as she brought aid to a war-torn area is now a memento she wears as a constant reminder of life’s frailty.
The three very distinctive rings—for three very different granddaughters—that Stittgen crafted from a grandmother’s heirloom piece, so that each would have something unique to remember her by.
There are, says Stittgen’s Selina Ladak, “endless, beautiful stories.”
For 50 years, Stittgen has achieved the balance between au courant and eternal. “A well-crafted piece designed to be timeless will have an aesthetic that pleases the eye forever—it will never look outdated,” explains Ladak.
Stittgen has long embraced the brightly coloured stones and bold proportions that insiders are currently calling de rigeur. Its cabochon rings, pictured here, which Ladak describes as “very colourful, bold, and beautiful,” reflect this trend within an enduring design that can be passed down for generations.
Stittgen’s newly redesigned West Vancouver flagship is a sleek gallery where hand-built black and white displays showcase its extensive collection, and the jeweller’s boutique in the Four Seasons Hotel downtown is a convenient place for world travellers to view select designs. In both locations, Stittgen’s attentive team will continue to enhance personal legacies and bonds for years to come.
On October 6th, the largest Rolex dealership on the continent opened in Vancouver, a testament to the fact that Vancouver’s luxury market is officially booming. This new venture is in partnership with Global Watch Company (GWC), which carries quality Swiss timepieces and jewellery by renowned designers such as Gucci and their own designs.
Rolex Vancouver will be at the heart of Luxury Alley, in the Shangri-La hotel. Not only are both brands synonymous with luxury, but just as Sassan Pourfar, founder and owner of GWC, was looking for the perfect location to house Rolex’s first Canadian store, the Shangri-La was searching for a high-end brand for its lobby.
To hear Pourfar describe it, it was kismet: “It was a match made in heaven.”
Since inventing the first waterproof wristwatch in 1926, the Oyster, Rolex has been the benchmark for luxury wristwatches. “Being number one is one thing,” says Pourfar, “but staying number one is quite another. Consistent quality and innovation have kept this iconic brand at the top.”
The new store will carry 2000 sq. ft. of Rolex stock, and Pourfar names “elevating client service in Vancouver” as one if its missions. Unlike other stores that carry Rolex among other brands, this will be an entirely Rolex environment, with Rolex-trained staff. It will be open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to satisfy clients looking for the absolute best in timepieces.
Since MJ Jewellers first opened its doors in 1986, John Leung has been building relationships, one piece of hand-forged custom jewellery at a time.
As Leung says, “I approach every new custom design as though I were doing it for a member of my own family, and we do frequent repeat business, because my clients are so happy.”
His one-of-a-kind collaborations with clients not only strengthen the bonds between them, but keep those clients coming back, knowing they can rely on high-quality and one of the best selections of unusual coloured stones in Vancouver.