It’s no coincidence that the colourful, almost audacious collection in modern Art Deco style bears the name ‘Carneval’. “This work was a truly courageous undertaking,” says Carlo Mutschler from the Beyer Goldsmith’s Department. “We combined colours and materials that actually don’t go together at all in the eyes of purists.” A large, almost-square rectangle with rounded edges serves as the ring head for the finger jewellery. The earrings have the shape of a dangling hexagon. Enthroned in its centre is a dominant aquamarine, flanked by sparkling gemstones in green, white, purple, yellow and blue. And everything is set in the darkest red gold alloy possible.
When Mutschler presented his creation to long-time regular customer Marion Stadler, she was immediately fascinated by the spectacle of the rectilinear design and the characteristic aquamarines. However, she didn’t associate it with the exuberance of carnival celebrations in Venice or Rio de Janeiro. Rather, she felt transported back to India, instantly reminded of the hustle and bustle of the streets of Rajasthan, the smell of the spice bazaars, the colourful clothes. And she felt something else: “The aquamarine symbolises water, the element that flows through my life like a recurrent theme. I feel most comfortable in, on and around a body of water and some days go swimming in the lake for up to two hours.”
Nevertheless: at first, she was not at all happy with the red gold setting. “I usually almost only ever wear platinum, so it was just too colourful for me, not plain enough.”
“IN FACT, WHAT THEY REQUESTED
WAS AN ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE
TASK FOR US.”
And yet the geometric impression, the reference to Art Deco, haunted her. Each time she was in Zurich, she had the jewellery shown to her, and liked it more and more. “And then my husband and I decided that we would buy it,” Marion Stadler says. “But only as a set, so with a matching bracelet, to give the jewellery a coordinated look. Carlo Mutschler remembers: “In fact, what they requested was an almost impossible task for us.” Because despite the spiky design, the bracelet would need to nestle organically against the wrist: countless variations were designed and rejected in the studio. The entire team racked their creative brains – until the perfect flexible bracelet saw the light of day.
It comprises nine hexagons set with aquamarine and colourful gemstones that echo the theme of the ear jewellery. However, this time the geometric shapes were not positioned standing up, but lying down. They are held together by squares balancing on their corners.”
Straight lines and angles: The ‘Carneval’ collection is out of the ordinary. Its style is as spectacular as its colourfulness.
The technical complexity was a tour de force, but sourcing the perfect gems proved almost more difficult. “The matching aquamarines in particular were nowhere to be had for a long time. This incredibly high iron content, which makes the blue shade appear cold and pure, is extremely rare; it is found practically only in Mozambique,” Mutschler explains. Sometimes the stones were too yellow, sometimes they had a greenish tinge.
In the end, however, they found what they were looking for at a Swiss gemstone dealer and were able to complete the set. “I was really thrilled with the final result,” Marion Stadler recalls the moment of handover. But the ensemble was not yet complete. She still needed a matching timepiece in this same dark red gold.
The answer was found in a Jaeger-Le- Coultre model, but unfortunately it was no longer available. Once again, it became clear that Beyer really doesn’t leave any wishes unfulfilled when it comes to watches and jewellery: after intense negotiations, Mutschler managed to get Jaeger-LeCoultre to build one last copy of the watch for Marion Stadler.
“Our patience paid off,” says the vivacious woman with a penchant for unusual design. She loves her unique piece of jewellery and wears it above all for festive occasions or to the opera. And especially often in summer: the aquamarine is really shown off to advantage on gently tanned skin. “The ensemble radiates lightness and joie de vivre,” Marion Stadler is pleased to note. “I’m comfortable in my jewellery because it’s extremely pleasant to wear: it’s so well done, you hardly feel it; it becomes part of you.”
She enjoys reminiscing about her honeymoon in Bhutan or beautiful moments spent in India, holidays in Sri Lanka and an expedition to the eternal ice in Spitsbergen. Whenever Marion Stadler is overcome by wanderlust, she puts on her jewels and brings an extra dose of exotic energy home to her home on Lake Lucerne.
PASSING THE BATON
Carlo Mutschler, founder and long-time head of the Beyer Goldsmith’s Department, is stepping down and handing over the reins to his former deputy. To find out who Željko Gregurek is, what makes him tick and what impact he wants to have, read the next issue of beyond in November