Europe has centres; Paris for fashion, London for finance, Ibiza for nightlife, Vienna for music, Zurich for banking. And cities have their centres, too. In London, the centre for jewellery is Hatton Garden, home of specialist jeweller Patrick Wyatt
Hatton Garden was originally the site of a bishop’s palace, chapel and grounds. In 1576 at the instruction of Elizabeth I, the land was ceded to one of her favourites, Christopher Hatton. Hatton became Lord Chancellor in 1587, and the area subsequently adopted his name. In the 17th century, Hatton’s garden was overbuilt with workshops and houses. Medieval London had areas dedicated to specific trades and Hatton Garden became the centre for London’s jewellery specialists. Four centuries later it still has an international reputation as a world centre for jewellers and fine jewellery.
Nearly 300 of the businesses in Hatton Garden are in the jewellery industry and over 1000 of Britain’s finest jewellers, cutters, polishers, gold and silversmiths, gem dealers, craftspeople and designers are based there. It’s also the home of Patrick Wyatt, a sought-after designer with the contacts and know-how to get any item of jewellery made quickly, professionally, and beautifully. Patrick works only on commission from his customers; people who want a unique piece of jewellery. With generations of expertise available just outside his office door, Patrick Wyatt can get jewellery manufactured quickly and competitively, at prices that high street retailers find impossible to match.
More than a job
Jewellery is not only Patrick’s profession; it’s also his passion. When he talks about jewellery, he sparkles. “Great jewellery means more than just what the eye sees. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when news broke of archaeologists uncovering Neanderthal jewellery, pre-dating our arrival on earth by 10 millennia. It’s proof that jewellery has always been intensely important to societies and individuals. It confers status and marks respect. Status is obvious – think of the royal jewels, or jewellery worn by film stars. Respect is less tangible, an eternity ring given from a father to a mother on the birth of a child, for example.”
“Jewellery is the most intimate gift that can be given between friends, family, partners, lovers. It’s a way of saying things that many of us hesitate to put into words. That’s at the heart of my philosophy. If a gift is intimate, it must be personal. The relationship between two individuals is unique. Any symbol of that relationship should also be unique. That is why I believe that the care taken in designing and making a piece honours the intimacy of the personal relationship.”
Patrick doesn’t just talk a good game, he makes great jewellery too, as the few pieces shown on this page demonstrate. Each item is a one-off, custom-made for a particular client. The designs result from meetings with his customers, where the main topic is not precious metals, gemstones or settings, but who the jewellery will be worn by. His clients are global; people visiting London find time to fit a visit to his offices into their schedules. For them, the time taken is worth it.