On Monday 28 May 1866, James Hamilton opened Hamilton & Inches with his nephew Robert Kirk Inches. For the first two years, Robert slept under a counter in the Edinburgh shop as they could not afford a night watchman.
A mere 21 years later, in 1887, the company was awarded its first Royal Warrant and was appointed as ‘His Majesty’s Clockmaker and Keeper and Dresser of His Majesty’s Clock, Watches and Pendulums in Palaces and Houses in his Ancient Kingdom of Scotland’, a post said to date from the reign of Stuart King James VI (James I of England). Over 130 years later, Hamilton & Inches holds the Royal Warrant as ‘Silversmiths and Clock Specialists to Her Majesty The Queen’.
The ethos from the beginning was that Hamilton & Inches’ jewellery and watches, whatever their price, should be of high quality and good value and that the company name would stand proudly for service and craftsmanship.
This philosophy still exists today, as manifested by a very loyal customer base: the company is delighted to be a jeweller for generations and happy to see customers’ children and grandchildren step through its famous doors to mark special moments in their lives.
In 1952, Robert Kirk Inches’ grandson and owner, Ian Hamilton Inches, purchased 87 George Street, a former Edinburgh residence, designed by celebrated architect David Bryce in 1855. The showroom is an iconic Georgian structure, boasting original cornicing and pillars as well as a rare Adam fireplace dating back to 1787. Situated over five floors, the workshops are housed in the three floors above the showroom.
Since the beginning, Hamilton & Inches has run its own silver workshops, one of the last of their kind in Britain, alongside with the retail side of the business. This allows the company to handcraft most of the silver in the showroom and to create unique commissions on the premises. The most notable feature of Hamilton & Inches’ silver is that it is designed to last for several lifetimes, created in a structurally sound gauge of silver that can withstand future repairing and cleaning. They also source sustainable coloured gems
of magnificent quality.
Hamilton & Inches’ prestigious reputation has been established over more than 150 years of craftsmanship, quality and heritage. While the master craftsmen remain the linchpins of the workshops, a new generation of skilled experts is evolving among the goldsmiths, silversmiths, engravers, showroom and service people and the collection continues to reflect new generations of consumers.
This year Hamilton & Inches was proud to make the most significant announcement by the Scottish jewellery industry for generations: they will
be the jewellery retailers of the first refined batch of Scottish gold and will be developing the 22 karat yellow Scottish Gold, from the Cononish gold
and silver mine near Tyndrum, into a prestigiously designed collection.
HAMILTON & INCHES 87 GEORGE STREET, EDINBURGH, EH2 3EY +44 (0)1312 254898