Maxime Leysen grew up surrounded by jewels. Today he heads up the family business, maintaining the importance of tradition with a few special modern touches.
Without a doubt the blue diamond. It appears in the history of many great royal houses. The famous Hope diamond is a good example. Another reason for my choice is that a blue diamond saved La Maison Leysen after the war. One of my forefathers had buried jewels in several silos to hide them from the invaders. When they were recovered at the end of the war, they were used to re-establish the family business. The key piece was a beautiful blue diamond.
A piece of jewellery?
A drop necklace made in one of our ateliers in the 1950’s. It is an incredible piece, the result of thousands of hours of work by artisans at the time. It is set with diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires forming a pattern that is both exquisite and enchantingly original.
I’m a huge fan of James Bond. He manages to perform such incredible feats without even creasing his suit; it astounds me. Given the success of agent 007’s exploits, I don’t think I’m the only one who dreams of jumping out in front of beautiful women in my tux.
After my wedding I was lucky enough to spend several months travelling around the world with my wife. I have so many precious memories from this trip, particularly of the mountains and desert plains of Nepal. The silence that reigns there transports you to another world. You find yourself lost at the epicentre of a landscape made of ice and stone. I love that feeling of insignificance in the face of nature’s power.
I started my career as a jeweller with Cartier in London. A man named Vincenzo Marsico managed the team I joined. Under his tutelage I learnt two key points that still inspire me in my work every day: an eye for excellence and the importance of team work. In the world of fine jewellery you simply cannot survive without an eye for perfection and good co-workers.