By Rachael Taylor
If the tiny Swiss town of Schaffhausen sounds familiar to you, it is probably because you’ve seen it tacked on the title of a very famous watch brand, namely IWC Schaffhausen. And indeed, while the watchmaker is a major force in this Medieval town on the river Rhine, less than an hour’s drive from Geneva, there is another busy workshop in Schaffhausen, that of 159-year old jewellery manufacturer Furrer Jacot.
Its small but industrious workshop is situated just a short walk from the centre town, next to an abandoned steel works (which is in the midst of being regenerated into a mixed-use residential and commercial development; its cavernous 400m-long hall once sized to accommodate steel beams to be turned into an urban garden). Here a team of about 35 artisans work using traditional methods, with the aid of some modern highly precise machinery, to create luxury wedding rings in a manner that mimics the practices of the once bustling steel works.