Icons of the Exchange: Tateossian
Inspired by the inner workings of mechanical watches, Tateossian’s Square Gear cufflinks showcase the brand’s unconventional aesthetic and innovative design ethos
In a year of relatively little social activity and in-person meetings, the art of dressing smart has felt somewhat redundant. But putting on an outfit in the morning (and losing the dressing gown and joggers) is a powerful tool in helping us look and feel our best, setting us up for the day ahead.
In the Zoom age, where our friends and colleagues mainly see us from the waist up, accessories have become a failsafe way to add pizzazz to your daily ensemble. Whether it’s a pair of statement earrings or a glimpse of a stylish cufflink or timepiece, a well-chosen accessory can pull an outfit together and add an instant pop of personality.
Nobody knows this better than City financier-turned-jewellery-designer Robert Tateossian. The former banker saw a gap in the market for designer cufflinks that showcased more expression and character than what was readily available, and so set up his eponymous business in 1990.
Tateossian started as a small collection of finely crafted sterling silver cufflinks, inspired by Robert’s many travels and a desire to stand out from the crowd. His designs gained a cult following in Japan, Hong Kong and China and – 31 years later – Tateossian now retails in more than 70 countries.
Aside from unusual and imaginative designs, what sets Tateossian’s cufflinks and accessories apart is the unconventional materials they are crafted from. Gold, silver, semi-precious stones and leather are the mainstay of many designs, but others incorporate truly avant-garde materials such as pieces of meteorite, copper nuggets and even dinosaur bones.
Jewellery and accessories have often been regarded as solely a woman’s domain; the extent of a man’s jewellery collection being a plain wedding band, cufflinks and watch. Deviating from the norm – whether it was George Michael donning a dangling cross earring or even David Beckham’s diamond studs – was seen as a bold statement of self-expression. But Tateossian has long eschewed gender stereotypes. Many pieces are unisex by nature, and male customers are encouraged to indulge in traditionally ‘feminine’ styles and accessories that incorporate gold, diamonds and precious stones to express their individuality.
Tateossian has grown from a small cufflink business to a global brand offering a wide range of jewellery and accessories, including tie clips, watches, keyrings and bracelets. Everything is finely crafted with the same intricate attention to detail, unconventional style and materials that customers have come to know and love.
No matter how far the company has evolved, however, the humble cufflink remains the cornerstone of Tateossian, and nothing epitomises the brand better than its bestselling Square Gear Cufflinks. Inspired by the intricate movements of mechanical watches, the design’s signature ‘transparent’ appearance showcases the inner workings of five individual multicoloured gears, three of which rotate by touch.
The Square Gear Cufflinks are available in a number of finishes, including dark gunmetal stainless steel and eye-catching rose gold. Striking and modern, with a traditional touch, they’re a talking point accessory and effortlessly stylish.
‘The Square Gear cufflink has come to represent Tateossian’s design ethos, bringing together moving elements, innovation and a hint of surprise, all in a piece of jewellery that is, above all, wearable,’ explains founder Robert Tateossian. ‘This is why I believe it has not only stood the test of time but has become a bestseller. Each piece comprises small gear elements, impeccably combined by our expert craftsmen, to create an effect that has since evolved further into its own collection of mechanical designs within Tateossian.’
Tateossian Square Gear Cufflinks start from £179; Tateossian
The Royal Exchange celebrates its 450th anniversary this year. Our Icons of the Exchange series pays homage to the exceptional array of retailers that call The Royal Exchange home, with a look at the heritage, design and craftsmanship of products that epitomise the essence and excellence of our celebrated brands.
We look forward to welcoming you to The Royal Exchange during 2021, for a considered shopping experience in spectacular and historic surroundings. Please visit our boutiques page for regular updates on our retailers’ opening information and hours, as well as details about virtual appointments and click and collect services.
Visit our heritage page to learn more about the history of The Royal Exchange, and keep an eye on our 450 Years site, journal and Instagram for more fascinating facts and insights about its past and present as we commemorate this special milestone throughout the year ahead.