When he was just nine years old, Blair Davis knew he wanted to become a jeweler. He broke the news to his family, hoping that they’d offer some guidance. Instead, he found that there was no concrete advice, no specific path. “But my mother was an avid jewelry fan, keen for me to pursue it,” he recalled.
Davis’ mom placed a few calls and was told to phone Asprey—the established British retailer of jewelry, leather, silver, and other luxury goods—for counsel. They offered some advice and stayed in touch throughout Davis’ early years. Once he completed his studies, Davis started as a sales executive in Asprey’s Silver, China, and Crystal department.
At the beginning of his career, he covered most areas of the business from a retail perspective. That, he said, “gave me the best possible footing for my role in jewelry production.”
“I developed a passion and understanding for the brand—and for our exacting client base,” he explained. More opportunities came along, and he rarely said no. Among them was the chance to plan extensions on jewelry collections, which can be challenging and rigorous work. Still, he jumped at the occasion, explaining, “It is so rewarding to be creating something for someone to cherish.”
After nearly 15 years with Asprey, Blair Davis is currently the brand’s jewelry production manager.
“No two days are ever the same,” he wrote over email. (When he writes, his text is even colored in Asprey’s signature purple.) Some days, for instance, he is sourcing precious stones or diamonds to quality control. Others, he may be finishing off the fine points of a new collection. “Or even replicating a lost earring purchased fifty years ago.”
Asprey’s jewelry designs are known to be modest. Many reflect an elegant or regal aesthetic, one with an understated British sensibility. This, says Davis, “allows pieces to be worn every day and passed on from generation to generation.” Much of Asprey’s jewelry can, however, be cleverly played up—he suggests, “layering several necklaces together or stacking rings.”
But the brand also has a lighthearted, quirky side, especially when it comes to its accessories. Animal heads sit on top of colored crystal decanters. There are even cufflinks and cocktail shakers shaped like rockets. (It’s easy to get distracted browsing their website.)
“When we launched the rocket cocktail shaker—we had a waiting list,” Davis remembered. Despite being a simple form—in terms of shape, that is—it was incredibly difficult for Asprey’s silversmiths to create. Yet they did, and it is now as popular as their famous Tell Me How shaker, a vintage piece created in the 1930s that reveals recipes for eight different cocktails on its outer sleeve. Davis enthused, “It’s great to have fun with barware.”
Asprey has resided on Bond Street in London since 1847. (It has been in existence since 1781, and they have a location in New York City on Madison Avenue as well.) Today, at its Norman Foster and David Mlinaric–designed flagship on Bond Street, many of its historical features are still prominently showcased. Like the antique lift and the onsite workshops. There are several modern features, too: an incredible spiral staircase and the dramatic glass-roof atrium that feeds off to rooms full of treasures. “The space,” tells Davis, “allows us to create special client experiences and private shopping opportunities.”
Asprey has also had a long and established relationship with British royalty, dating back to the 1800s. Currently, the brand holds a royal warrant for HRH Prince of Wales, as jewelers, goldsmiths, and silversmiths.
If you’re new to the world of Asprey or haven’t visited in a while, Davis says, “Be prepared to be surprised and delighted.”