Rotary Club of Belfast

The John Lunn Story

JohnLunnClub speaker Monday 08 December, John Lunn, spoke about the history of his family jewellers which started in Queens Arcade, Belfast and 3 generations later is proudly celebrating 60 years as a company. He noted that in 1954 his grandfather John opened a store in Queens Arcade. It was a much smaller store consisting of the first two pillars of the present shop. In 1955 John Lunn was asked to design and manufacture the silver freedom casket which was presented to Sir Winston Churchill. He was also appointed in 1973 as personal Jeweller and Goldsmith to Lord Grey of Naunton, Governor of Northern Ireland. The warrant was awarded to John Lunn as an individual and allowed Lunn's to use the Governor's crest.

It was featured prominently in the company's advertising, packaging and stationery until the 1990s. Lord Grey was the last Governor of Northern Ireland, as such the appointment finished with his stewardship.

John himself, he advised, has worked in Spain and London learning his trade with Cartier and Christies and returned as MD in 2007. His father Peter is still Chairman and in his 51st year. He highly complimented their 81 employees and pointed out that they have an after-sales team with watch-makers—a rarity! One milestone in their history was the launch in 2004 of their own diamond Portfolio brand and other UK jewellers wanted to get involved and it is now in 11 stores. He also proudly highlighted another milestone celebrating their Diamond Anniversary celebrations and the watchmakers Patek Philippe's 175th Anniversary, they have joined together in a once in a lifetime opportunity. Patek Philippe produces a small number of dome clocks every year, each features a unique design and is a highly sought after one-off piece. 4 years ago with the launch of the Titanic Centre, Thierry Stern, President Patek Philippe, made his first visit to the UK and Ireland and was given a tour of the Titanic Quarter and brought into the rarely seen Drawing Offices of Harland and Wolff. The tour renewed a fascination Thierry had in the Titanic and its legacy and he wanted to create something to mark his visit. It was suggested that a domed clock would be created using Titanic as a theme and it would be launched to coincide with the two special anniversaries. Design began in early 2011 and it was completed in mid 2013 - one of only seven clocks made that year. The clock (shown right) was unveiled to great acclaim in March 2014 at Baselworld in Switzerland, the world's most prestigious watch and jewellery fair and in Belfast on Tuesday 20 May 2014. It will form the centrepiece of the arcade until end December as it has now been purchased.

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