Work of art

António Teixeira only discovered his love of jewellery a few years ago. Colourful and unique it must be. Just like the latest one-off creation from the Beyer jewellery atelier.





A beautiful spring morning at Lake Katzensee near Zurich. The sun is playing hide-and-seek with the fast-moving clouds, the first flowers exude optimism, and António Teixeira drives into the car park in a mint-coloured Porsche GT3 RS. His good mood is obvious as he gets out. His famous-label jacket matches the colour of the car, as does Teixeira’s latest acquisition: a stunning ring with a greenish-blue shimmering Paraiba tourmaline from the Beyer jewellery atelier. He likes things colourful, Teixeira will say later: black and grey only make you look old. 

And yet his fascination for jewellery is fairly recent, he says with a grin: “I used to have nothing but work on my mind. I didn’t even wear a necklace.” Teixeira was born in Portugal, in a small village south of Cavez. After school, he trained as a topographer before love took him to Switzerland, where his career path led him into the crane business. His company, Interkran, which he runs together with his three sons, is now the largest of its kind anywhere in the world.

Teixeira has been a regular guest at Beyer on Bahnhofstrasse for a number of years. During this time, several colourful one-offs have been created. He describes the mutual trust and family atmosphere at Beyer as unparalleled. Generally speaking, António Teixeira loves the unique, the individual, whether in his furniture, his sports cars in bold colours or his jewellery.

Asked about his favourite colour, he replies: “Traffic blue” – just like his cranes. In fact, he has a fascination for all shades of blue. The team at the Beyer jewellery atelier knew of this preference when they presented him with a selection of extraordinarily bright tourmalines from Mozambique during one of his visits. Teixeira laughs: “I wasn’t actually planning to have another ring designed. But when I saw these extraordinary gemstones, I couldn’t resist.” The team headed by studio manager Željko Gregurek produced some initial sketches. Once Teixeira had decided on the materials and precious stones, the goldsmiths began work on this exceptional work of art.

Started up 20 years ago as a one-man operation and now rules over 400 cranes and 15 trucks: António Teixeira.


The result is an arresting bijou in white gold. A Paraiba tourmaline of 3.98 carats sits enthroned in the centre; its intense luminosity is due to its copper and manganese content. It is flanked by aesthetically set sapphires and diamonds that form a colour gradient on the ring rail. The ring also owes its unique character to the use of various setting techniques.

As António Teixeira – to the delight of the goldsmiths – wants to wear his ring every day, it was clear from the outset that the precious Paraiba tourmaline should be protected by a bezel setting. To give the ring lightness despite its size, the setting was soldered only on the underside. So if you look at the gemstone from above, a shadow gap around the setting makes the Paraiba tourmaline appear to float. The work was a challenge even for the professionals in the Beyer atelier. For example, the so-called lustre cut around the gemstone had to be carried out ‘in one go’. In other words, they only had one attempt to get this step right. If it failed, the lustre from the setting to the gemstone would be interrupted, which would distract the viewer’s gaze and draw it away from the gemstone. 

A setting technique developed a few years ago in the Beyer jewellery atelier was also used. It creates a unique look on the ring rail: whereas precious stones usually follow an ordered path or fill in pavé-set areas, in the Beyer setting technique, the sparkling gems are set on different levels to look aesthetically pleasing. In the end, the arrangement looks as if the gemstones have been scattered onto the ring rail with a wonderfully loose hand.

The refracted surface structure reflects the light in a playful way, further emphasised by the wearer’s movements. Another element that brings out the archaic character of the ring involves small square indentations that were worked into the rail by hand, millimetre by millimetre, using a special tool.

The ring for António Teixeira was another commission in which the Beyer team was given free hand with respect to creativity. “This trust is an honour for us,” says Željko Gregurek. “In a process like this, we hit top form and channel maximum inspiration.” And so, on a creative impulse, a brilliant was added at the fork of two axes on the underside of the ring – for perfection’s sake. A little gesture courtesy of the atelier.

“Of course, we were also very pleased that a man decided in favour of such a design,” says Željko Gregurek. “The ladies are still ahead when it comes to commissioned work with coloured gemstones. But the gentlemen are catching up: today’s trend is making it easy for them.”

António Teixeira turns his ring pensively. Yes, he’s extremely happy with it and looks forward to putting it on every morning so that it can accompany him through the day. He is also a firm believer in the power of gemstones: “Stones are life, a gift of nature! I’ve read somewhere that Paraiba tourmalines help with decision-making, but also ensure good sleep and good dreams. Maybe I should wear it at night too.”

When you hold the ring in your hand on this wild spring day at Lake Katzensee, turn it to and fro and examine its carefully crafted details, it is easy to understand what Željko Gregurek, the head of the atelier, said about the ornate precious items they create: “Our work involves the interplay of different levels, axes and points of reference, breathing life into the jewellery and triggering emotions. And when you then play with the jewellery and it catches the light, the sheen never jumps, but always glides over the surfaces – as if guided by magic."

Beyer has operated its own jewellery atelier since 2002. Above the shop at Bahnhofstrasse 31, four to six goldsmiths and jewellers produce their own collections and commissioned pieces.

Beyer Chronometrie