The Traveler Jewelry
The Traveler Jewelry
Silver is alive. “I could never use a different metal. The main reason why we chose to call us “Nove25”, as the chemical composition of the alloy, is that silver allows you to dream in contrast with other noble materials” says Roberto Di Benedetto, founder and CEO of the Milanese jewelry brand. In 2005, they opened the first mono brand store; such as many others, the family-run company counts now fifty employees between designers and artisans. They didn’t start as a trademark: back in 2003, Nove25 was just a boutique or “a very little shop” as Roberto recalls. The first collection only came up after a long study around various craft fairs, especially Indian and Mexican ones. The strong passion for every kind of silver jewelry, expensive or not, led Roberto to start his own brand. He was born in Milan and according to him “it’s impossible not being influenced by fashion”. Recently he started to work with a designer: “Team working with young talents is the key for new ideas and inspirations. I’ve started to think about contemporary jewels.
Which is exactly what Nove25 stands for. But how you define it? “When we needed to define it, we called it “urban”, which is the word that matches our idea.” This team is constantly searching for new challenges and, of course, being ahead of its times. For example, tattoos are a permanent inspiration for Roberto “since we started to use our first cursive lettering, or graffiti ones”, which are now considered an art form. The new collection is based on esoteric symbolism, thanks to Mirko Satta from design’s group Satatttvision, that gives a big recall to engravings, an old school jewelry favorite.
Another goal for Roberto is custom-made: since
the first opening, the client could customize the pieces, from shape to letters and materials. “For his custom-made piece, our client usually starts from a preexisting model, soon adding his adjustments. But there are few more which ask for unique pieces just showing us their ideas. I remember an order containing a gold-pleated ear entirely made of silver that we made for a graduation ceremony.” For this special requirests they make a 3D sketch that must be approved by the client in order to proceed with the production.
The manufacturing industries are both in the Milanese headquarter and in three of the most important cities for Italian jewelry production − Arezzo, Vicenza and Valenza. For every Nove25 jewel, they start with a freehand sketch, later transformed into a graphic design. “The process we use is called lost-wax casting. After creating this digital rendering, we produce a rubber mold using the 3d printer, just to be sure that proportions are correct and everything’s in the right place; then a wax model is obtained with injection into the rubber mold. The wax is gradually sprued and fused onto a rubber base, called a “sprue base”. Once is cooled down, we put the sprue base under a bell jar, to make a gypsum negative, the real mold in which we pour silver. Melting is the only step of production we don’t do by ourselves.
We can’t do it in our Milan headquarter because of the waste disposal and transports. Nowadays there are machines that print metal or gold objects − just like 3d printers − but they’re not worthy yet.” When silver’s baked, they pull out the jewels which are ready for shaving, unless the result needs to be more rough, as well as for the last collection. Filings are done with both files and emery cloths in order to obtain the perfect shape.
“Goldsmith’s skills are the most important part: we work with the best artisans for high score results.” Next step is burnish, which is a well-known Nove25’s feature. Rings become darker thanks to a reagent that is brushed away right after: only grooves remain dark, giving that lived-in appearance known as Nove25 trademark. “Even if it looks easy, it’s difficult to find in Italy. We had to get the knack from Indians and Mexicans. We’re kind of self-taught people, we learned by doing and took the companies we work with through our experience. We’re constantly testing ourselves, and so are the companies that work with us.” Some of their pieces are welded at the stand with a micro-flame: artisans can do every finishing step, while polishing is done using rotor brushes and glossy paste, both built up by themselves. “Our “secret recipes” are customized and tested by us; on one hand we learned the techniques, on the other we mix them with new technologies like Plexiglas cutter machines − to use Plexiglas as a substitute of rubber.” This incredible and non-stop research for materials and craftsmanship allow them to sell custom-made high jewelry at a very competitive price. “We’re the right mix between handcraft and technology”; for sure we trust his words, as they count 8 mono-brand stores and a few corners worldwide even if it’s just they’re 12th birthday.