All that glitters: Feadship celebrates 70 years with The Jewels in the Crown

After making its shimmering debut in Monaco, the phenomenal composition in glass known as The Jewels in the Crown is now making its way across the Atlantic to be presented at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.

Feadship’s majestic tribute to the boundless imagination of its clients features well over 300 of the 450-plus Feadships launched over the past seventy years since the brand was launched in 1949.

Like precious gems, no two Feadships are the same and each is a work of art. This industry-defining fact was the inspiration behind the glittering The Jewels in the Crown presentation, a pure custom creation made to mark the 70th anniversary of Feadship’s foundation.

The product of many months of design and development, the display comprises hundreds of individually pressed pieces of circular glass, each containing a Feadship profile that was screen-printed on the glass by hand. A kaleidoscope of colours and gradations reflects the changing hues of the water as seen from a moving yacht, while the different sizes represent the various dimensions of Feadships.

Visitors to the Monaco show were stopped in their tracks by the spectacular first impression made by the overall piece, then paused to find their favourite Feadship among the featured fleet. ‘Spectacular’ and ‘breathtaking’ were just two of the superlatives regularly overheard by those manning the Feadship stand. In addition, a number of owners were presented with their very own ‘jewel’ in Monaco, custom-made to feature their Feadship.

Unique grandeur

The initial designs for The Jewels in the Crown were loosely based on the Fibonacci sequence, frequently found in nature including in the patterns of sea shells. Elements of waves have also been incorporated, with depth being given to the glass in the form of gems. After first choosing a beautiful blue in line with Feadship branding, seven other related colours were developed to reflect the changing hues one sees when sun hits the water.

The circular pieces of glass in The Jewels in the Crown range in size from 80 mm to 140 mm. Liquid glass was poured into a mould custom-made by cast bronze experts, then pressed down using a piece of graphite until it became a solid piece of glass. The top layer was ground down to ensure a completely flat surface on which the profiles of more than 300 individual Feadships were carefully glued. The profiles were each added by hand into a ring inside out so as to conceal the sides. A lovely faceted finish to each ring and profile adds to the precious gem feeling.

A crown for the jewels

Last but not least, the different pieces of glass were added to the collective whole of the display in the final stage of a meticulous process that required significant investments in tailor-made equipment to complete. The resemblance to a crown is very intentional, reflecting the fact that both the yachtbuilding families involved in Feadship have the right to use the term – and do so in both the English (Royal Van Lent) and Dutch (Koninklijke De Vries) forms.

This rare designation is only bestowed by the Dutch royal family on companies that have met a wide range of stringent conditions, including being a leading exponent of the business sector concerned, being a company of national importance, and serving a vital function within the community.

Art of glass

“This Royal designation is the definitive recognition of a company’s good standing and reputation,” explains Feadship’s marketing & brand director Farouk Nefzi. “The Jewels in the Crown presentation showcases the pride that everyone at Feadship feels at our heritage. The choice to create something special to celebrate Feadship’s 70th birthday in glass was not a random one. Partnering with and encouraged by avant-garde clients, Feadship has consistently pioneered the use of this material on superyachts in the most imaginative ways.”

Right on cue, The Jewels in the Crown presentation was unveiled just after the launch of SYZYGY 818. The superstructure of this 77.25-metre Feadship is made almost entirely of glass in order to bring the outdoor environment into intimate contact with the interior at all times. The advance of technology related to the use of glass is radically changing the look of superyachts in the same way that it transformed land-based architecture. And it has now also been used to great effect in the remarkable work of art that is The Jewels in the Crown.