The Royal Jewellers S01 ep3 : Adler Jewellery [London]

Interview with Carlos and Franklin Adler

Carlos & Franklin Adler
He would say, “You will go at the top of the counter during Christmas period
and watch the hands and if you see anyone slipping something into his pocket,
you will come and tell me in my ear.” And I did, I did see a lady put something
in her pocket, she was a very rich lady but she was a kleptomaniac.

Carlos & Franklin Adler

Adler is a family business more than 100 years, 114 to be exact. We are the
third generation.

My grandfather started it and he had his apprenticeship in Vienna. He went
there to have another style another view, another outlook on jewellery. He
came back to Turkey and so he had his culture from the Byzantine Empire and
he had his acquired culture from Vienna, from Hasbourgh and together he
came out with a product that was very, very successful.

Vienna was the centre of all art at that period; you had everything that was
happening in Vienna.

The Turkish jewellery at the time was quite different because they had more
baroque, heavier pieces and he came with very defined pieces.

Adler Jewellery ,Geneva,

My school was right above the shop and every night, because he offered me
chocolate cake, I would go down after school. But actually it was his way of
getting me into, there, and already vaccinating me.

My grandfather was a Prussian he was like a soldier. He was a man that said
O.K. today we have made 100 liras that is enough, close shop.

He wasn't at all ambitious, no ambition.

KM – And your father?

My father, much more by reaction already, he was going crazy when he saw
the way my grandfather acted. Because my grandfather if he didn't like a
customer well he threw them out. It was as simple as that.

Adler Jewellery ,Geneva,

The first thing he did, the moment my grandfather died he changed the
architecture, which was black.

What he actually did was take an axe and break the shop, to pieces.

KM – He demolished it?

With an axe!

He had such strong feelings, and he was trying so hard for such a long time
and the shop was black.

KM – It was oppressive!

He took a good architect; he was Swedish architect leaving in Turkey and
changed the whole idea. He completely made a total modern concept of a
shop and that is when we had immediately other customers than the Turkish

Adler Jewellery ,Geneva,

I came back from Brighton and I immediately started working in the workshop,
which was run by an Armenian craftsman who was very good. That was where
I learnt how to make jewellery. I actually worked two years, I never became a
great artisan because two years is far from something but I got the basics. And
the basics allowed me to see later in life if the pieces were finished or not.

When did the concept of Adler leave Turkey and become international?

In 1972. Geneva was the place where my brother was and Geneva was a
place that I visited very often, Geneva was a wonderful little city with lots of
craftsman and jewellers and watchmakers and really the centre of Europe.

Adler Jewellery ,Geneva,

What is jewellery?

I consider jewellery as the ultimate way of showing ones style, ones taste and
it is the finishing touch to a beautiful dress or...

I think that jewellery is really a form of art and has existed since the cave man
times. You know the same time we find drawings on cave walls at the same
time we find jewellery. It exists, shells, rocks that exist from that time and it is
a matter for the artist of express himself.

Jewellery is an art in many stages, because when you see a finished piece of
jewellery, it is not only one craftsman that has worked on it; there have been
four or five.

It starts with the man who actually cuts and patterns the stones, then you go to
on to the man who thinks the jewellery who draws it: the designer who designs
it. And then this is taken down to the craftsmen who actually have to create the
object from two-dimensional and change it to a three-dimensional. Then you
have the setter, he is also a very important craftsman so that the stones are
set correctly and give the right impression. You see it is a co-operative effort.

Being a small company you are flexible, you can change with the wind, you
have feed back all the time. You hear the customer then they say something I
cannot get all the time and then if we don't like something we are small enough
to stop production and go in a totally different direction.

But we had one of the princesses who was going to have a child and she knew
it was going to be a daughter and she wanted everything in Pink. She had the
whole hospital wing painted in pink, she had pink tulips come from Holland to
decorate the wing and she had pink outfits and she wanted pink jewellery. Pink
- We had to use coral, pink pearls and diamonds. Well she bought us a piece
of material, a piece of silk, and she said I want this piece of material as a
background and on top I want the pink pearls come in and…. And we made a
design with that and it was perfect.

We asked where she bought the material, she gave us the address of the
place in Paris, we called and it was August, it was closed. We tried to get to
the factory the factory was closed. They told us they had someone in Italy, we
tried in Italy, Italy was closed. We really went crazy, we went all around looking
for it and we couldn't find it. One day we were just lucky and we found a
beautiful pair of underpants, women's underpants and we made lace on the
back and the material in the front and 600 Swiss Francs and we immediately
bought it, we cut the underpants and made the piece.

KM – Tell me the truth Franklin, Do you still wear those underpants?

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Adler Jewellery ,Geneva,