Unique and innovative, our SHOTGUN CUFFLINKS boast pioneering mechanisms and manufacturing techniques that are a first in the jewellery world.
With hunting season in full swing, the familiar sounds of pheasants calling and startled partridges emerging from cover are highly evocative of this time of year. If you listen carefully, you might also be able to hear the satisfying click of a pair of Deakin & Francis shotgun cufflinks.
The groundbreaking cufflinks are unique in their design and manufacture. They are a faithful representation of a 12-bore shotgun with a stunning rose-gold-plated outer and black rhodium barrels, detailed side-lock engraving and gold-plated cartridge caps. An ingenious mechanism means the barrels open by way of repelling magnets concealed in the breech. When the top leaver is engaged, the barrels spring open with a pleasing thud. They then snap back together with a smooth and sturdy action.
It’s well known that we make a myriad of intricate and beautiful cufflinks, some of which incorporate some form of movement, but the shotgun cufflinks take this idea to a new level.
Director James Deakin, who runs the company alongside brother Henry, explains the idea behind the innovative product: ‘Our clients have come to expect an added twist to our cufflinks. We are trying to push the boundaries, so creating a simple movement was not enough for us, we wanted to add power – something that reacts to the user.‘
Far from being a generic shotgun design, the cufflinks are based on a specific gun – one that holds much sentimental value for James. ‘I shoot with a William Evans sidelock that belonged to my great aunt Faith and then was passed to my father,’ he says. ‘Faith was quite a woman and barely went anywhere on the farm without her gun, so the cufflinks are based on Great Aunt Faith’s English sidelock shotgun – but with our added Deakin twist.‘
To create such a unique item, it is essential to explore new and innovative manufacturing techniques. Unusually, the shotgun cufflinks have no cast components. Each piece has been milled from brand new metal to ensure crisp lines and a long life. Deakin & Francis craftsmen machine all the pieces and assemble the cufflinks after post-prep, polishing, plating and quality control. The final detail is applying the engraved 12-bore cartridge caps to conceal the repelling magnets. Four craftsmen take approximately three days to create one pair of these special cufflinks.
‘There are certainly aspects like the repelling magnets that have not been used in jewellery manufacturing before to our knowledge, and the use of CNC milling is more commonly used in high-end watch making and the automotive industry than in jewellery making, where casting and stamping are more common.’
Innovation and craftsmanship aside, the end goal according to James Deakin, is to create intrigue, delight and put a smile on the face of all who behold these unique pieces. ‘They are bringing people great happiness, which is always what we aim for.‘
The Shotgun cufflinks are part of the Fundamentals collection and come beautifully packaged in a Deakin & Francis presentation box.