Vatche rings – Ring settings design by Vatche
By Devorah Isenberg , Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Harry Winston. Charles Lewis Tiffany. Neil Lane. Lorraine Schwartz. It’s time to add another name to this list of legendary engagement ring designers of the past and present: Vatche. A legend in the bridal jewelry industry for over thirty years, Vatche Aghajayan, known simply as Vatche, is one of the foremost designers of engagement rings and wedding bands working today, and one of the world’s most skilled jewelers working with platinum.
What makes a Vatche ring different than your average diamond engagement ring? It all starts in Vatche’s New York City office, where the famed designer spends most of his day creating the designs that bear his name. Unlike some celebrity designers who diversify their brands so much that dozens of assistant designers end up creating the majority of their products, Vatche has kept his focus only on engagement rings and wedding bands, and still imagines, sketches, and crafts the prototype for each Vatche ring design by himself, on a jeweler’s bench he keeps in the corner of his office. As a result, every Vatche engagement ring reflects the unique design sensibility and meticulous attention to detail that has given the Designs by Vatche name its international renown.
Compared to some other top engagement ring designers, Vatche’s designs are surprisingly affordable. One reason for this is that Vatche chooses to create settings for average-sized diamonds of high quality, not for the kind of oversized multi-carat diamonds used in engagement ring settings of other top jewelry designers. As the designer himself explains, the trait he looks for most in a design that will become a signature Vatche setting is balance. Rather than surround an obscenely large diamond in equally garish pavé stones, Vatche prefers to create elegant, restrained engagement rings that sparkle and delight with subtlety and class.
Another feature that distinguishes a Vatche ring and simultaneously makes it affordable is the relatively short supply chain between the designer and the consumer. After creating the initial design prototype, Vatche enlists his small team of in-house bench jewelers to put the ring into limited commercial production. When it comes to retail sales, Vatche trusts only a small group of online and bricks-and-mortar retailers to stock, set and finish his signature Designs by Vatche rings. That way, every customer who purchases a piece of Vatche jewelry can rest assured knowing that every step of the process between design, production and finishing has been approved by the designer himself.
Vatche engagement rings routinely win the industry’s top design awards—not for jaw-dropping feats of jewelry sculpture—but for their classic styles that are somehow fresh and unique while still being timeless and easy to wear.
But as the designer himself is fond of saying, the real test of the quality of a Vatche ring, or any other ring for that matter, comes not at the moment that the couple decides to purchase the ring, or even at the proposal, when the bride excitedly slips the ring onto her finger. It is only years later, when the ring holds up to the rigors of daily wear and continues to sparkle and gleam, that a purchaser will begin to realize that they are not just holding a ring, but a new family heirloom.
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