Always on the look out for interesting talks, seminars and workshops to attend, I thumb through the trade magazines and have a phrases programmed into Google in case anything is listed on the internet. Well, a couple of weeks ago, an email arrived in my inbox with details of a talk to be held by David Callaghan in Thatcham, Berkshire. Now any talk by David is bound to be of interest to me and his talks are guaranteed to be good! My next thought …. ‘What was he talking about?’ ahhh …. René Lalique. The chance to hear the great man talk about the legendary René Lalique was not to be missed!
As a valuer and an unapologetic watch ‘nut’ I often despair when people say they can’t see the logic of owning and collecting fine timepieces because they ‘only tell the time’. My stock answer usually is that if that was true of all things then everyone would drive Nissan Micras because the only function of an automobile is to get you from A to B!
But I digress (as I often do). In order to illustrate how important watch and clockmaking is I thought I’d share with you all the story of John Harrison and his marine chronometers. This mans ability to produce a compact and accurate timepiece is probably responsible for saving thousands of sailors lives and allowed Britain to become the formost sea power in the world.
As an independent jewellery valuer I have the pleasure of appraising beautiful jewellery every day, and I meet some very interesting people along the way. None more so than a gentleman by the name of John Alderson, who had a very special diamond ring for me to value recently. You see, the diamond was no ordinary diamond; this round diamond was cut in a way I had never seen before. When I mentioned this to John I noticed a little twinkle in his eye, ‘that’s because I designed the cut and cut it myself’ he said. Now my ears pricked, how fabulous, a unique experience for me, how many people can say that they designed and cut a diamond all by themselves? Not many for sure! So we embarked on a trip down memory lane, John remembered everything like it was yesterday.