In an age where quantity so often wins out over quality, it’s refreshing to slip an Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen “Lotus” ring onto my finger. The sphere of polished red coral at its centre was picked by hand and the band itself moulded and etched by a single artisan. Although there are others similar, this ring – in materials and markings – is completely individual.
“No two pieces are alike,” says Søren Lynggaard, the company’s CEO since 2003. “Craftsmanship is everything.”
Established by Danish jeweller Ole Lynggaard in 1963, the company revolves around family. Søren, Ole’s son, began working for his father in a production role before moving to his current position; his wife Hanna works in sales; his sister Charlotte is one of the company’s two designers (the other being Ole himself); and Charlotte’s husband Michel Normann is CCO. “Over the last 10 years, we have grown a lot. There’s a belief in Danish companies,” says Søren, who has seen the brand branch out from Denmark to more than 20 countries, including New Zealand as well as Australia – home to the company’s first flagship boutique outside Europe.
The CEO’s enthusiasm for all things Antipodean – Søren took time out of school when he was 17 to work as a jackeroo on a farm outside Sydney – has paid off and Ole Lynggaard pieces are fast becoming some of the most covetable jewellery items in Australia and New Zealand.
“Our design is still distinctly Danish,” Søren says. “Our designers are very inspired by nature, but the Danish comes in by way of making jewellery you can wear. Although it’s a luxury piece, it’s very usable. It’s not something you wear once then lock up in your safe.”
The creative process at the Lynggaard headquarters in Copenhagen is still extremely hands-on and interactive. In fact, the company’s some-45 artisans sit in the middle of the building while other staff go about their daily duties. “We believe it’s important we’re all in the same space. When you go into the company, you walk past production and see how much work goes into each piece. We have lunch together every day; one day you sit with finance, one day with jewellers. Everyone mixes and knows what is going on. It’s good to be reminded what goes into it. It’s very inspiring for staff.”
While many other jewellery companies discontinue lines with the passing seasons, Ole Lynggaard is more about evolution and timelessness, Søren says. “People want quality and they want things that represent something. And they come to us because they want something special.”