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Italian Fine Jewellery – The story of FOPE

Italian Fine Jewellery – The story of FOPE

Published by Charlotte Gatward on 20th Apr 2022

The story of Italian fine journey makers FOPE, and why we love them so much. 

Italian fine jewellery by Umberto Cazzola 

FOPE was established in 1929 by a jeweller called Umberto Cazzola. Initially he started making his Italian fine jewellery in a small workshop with about 20 employees in Vicenza Italy. However, thanks to the strong economic growth that involved the whole country after World War II, it became a cutting-edge factory.

Post-war production of watch straps 

FOPE invested in modern technologies which allowed them to develop revolutionary products, such as flexible metal watch straps. The company became a supplier to the leading Swiss watch makers with the straps as they were able to satisfy their high standards of quality and craftsmanship. 

Focus switches to jewellery 

At the end of the 1960s the focus changed from watch straps to fine jewellery, and in the decades that followed, FOPE poured all their innovation into making exquisite pieces of gold jewellery. In 2000, they inaugurated their new headquarters in the centre of Vicenza, which is still the home of FOPE today. 

“Flex-It” concept is born 

By 2007, the innovative “Flex-It” concept arrived. The Flex’it lines feature stretchable bracelets and rings crafted solely in 18 carat gold, and rendered fully flexible thanks to tiny gold springs hidden between each link. FOPE invented this ground-breaking system a few decades ago, then patented it and applied it to its signature gold mesh chain in 2007. Since day one, the “Eka” range has represented a true revolution in the way women wear their jewellery, with the original roll-on mesh chain becoming a new must-have to keep on the wrist around the clock. 

The Responsible Jewellery Council Membership 

FOPE has been a Responsible Jewellery Council member since 2013 and became a certified member in 2014. The provides further guarantee of the quality of the FOPE jewellery and the ethics of their production process. The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international not-for-profit standards and certification organisation with more than 500 member companies that span the jewellery supply chain from mine to retail. 

FOPE at Gatwards 

We are proud to have been a FOPE stockist for nearly two decades. We first took the brand on when they launched Flex-It and feel they have gone from strength to strength. 

Their commitment to high quality and craftsmanship as well as their membership of the Responsible Jewellery Council makes them a trusted partner that fits with our values. We have more exciting new FOPE lines arriving in-store in April/May 2022. 

Find out more about FOPE on their website, or make an appointment to come in to store to try some on »