How David M Robinson personalises its bespoke jewellery

For David M Robinson, the customer is at the heart of design

Style 20 Jun 2024

Yellow gold round brilliant-cut diamond ring, £1,700; yellow gold pear-cut diamond solitaire ring, £11,100

Yellow gold round brilliant-cut diamond ring, £1,700; yellow gold pear-cut diamond solitaire ring, £11,100

At David M Robinson’s three main jewellery workshops located in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Liverpool, master goldsmiths perform high-precision tasks with rock-steady hands, dextrously shaping precious metals into lustrous forms and setting them with outstanding diamonds and gems for a timeless expression of strength and radiance. ‘There were goldsmiths in Roman times, so we do feel part of a long line of craftsmen who work with noble metals,’ says Liverpool-based Rupert Haworth, who creates subtle sweeps and curves in 18k gold and platinum using traditional tools for melting, flattening, hammering, sharpening and polishing the metal, along with modern technology like lasers for micro setting and welding.

A family-owned business, with a new showroom in London’s Peninsula Hotel, DMR maintains traditional craft knowledge and artistic heritage with the aid of innovative technologies, as centuries-old methods of gold-making and gem setting are facilitated and given fresh acceleration with the support of CAD (computer-aided design) for precise sculptural imaging and 3D printing to create accurate casts and models.

However, the brand’s bespoke service doesn’t begin and end at the jewellery bench. Reinforcing this commitment to quality and craftsmanship is DMR’s belief in the personal meaning of jewellery. This is coupled with the desire to extend the idea of luxury beyond the physical object, thanks to a personalised approach that allows the client to feel truly involved in the creative process. According to in-house jewellery designer Vicki Smith, creating a bespoke piece – be it a custom-made engagement ring, a one-of-a-kind gem-set jewel or a remodelled heirloom – involves embarking on a close, collaborative journey.

A laser is used to weld a piece of jewellery
A laser is used to weld a piece of jewellery

‘Our clients talk, we listen,’ she says of this process that puts the customer at the heart of the design, allowing the creative team to innovate according to the insights they gain. Engagement rings, in particular, embody this rapport between tactility and emotion. ‘Stone shape, metal type, band width, textures, finishes and settings are deeply personal choices because they symbolise a couple’s unique love story, but we also encourage clients to talk through their modern lifestyle demands, so we can strike the perfect balance between individual style, wearability, comfort and durability,’ explains Smith.

A David M Robinson ring being crafted

This detective work sparks the imagination and enables the designer to produce a selection of drawings that help to bring a vision to life. These sketches are then transformed into a CAD file so clients can fully take in the form, stone configuration and proportions of the proposed design. The leap from screen to hand is softened with a silver master that the bride-to-be can try on. Then the hand-forging, hammering, carving, engraving and stone-setting can begin. DMR will even record the process should a client want to see their design come to life, or they can watch the artistry unfold in person at any of the workshops.

One of DMR's expert jewellers making a piece
DMR’s jewellers use their expertise to transform ideas into unique personal pieces

‘The simplicity of the process is key,’ says John Robinson, the driving force of DMR’s bespoke division. ‘Having something totally unique designed and made solely for you by the best goldsmiths, who are happy to let you watch and be involved in a workshop where we never compromise on quality… well, that’s a story to tell if ever there was one,’ he says.

On the horizon is the ultimate immersive shopping experience for jewellery enthusiasts. ‘We are currently undergoing a six-month closure and refit in our Altrincham showroom to create one of the UK’s most exciting jewellery showrooms, which will feature not only an in-house designer, but a new workshop visible from and incorporated into the showroom itself,’ Robinson explains. ‘From our perspective, the bespoke adventure is always a moving one,’ he adds. ‘We see a lot of happy tears. The sentimental aspect is a pleasure to observe.’