LINLEY: A QUINTESSENTIALLY BRITISH PARTNERSHIP FUSING ROYAL CABINETRY AND INTERIOR DESIGN
22 February 2021
Founded in 1985 by Viscount Linley (born fifth in line to the British throne) to design and manufacture furniture of the highest quality, ‘Linley’ enjoys today a world-renowned reputation for blending innovative design with superlative cabinet-making. A passion for people, design and excellence continues to be the driving force of the business and Linley has grown from private commissions to retail furniture, gifts and accessories, interior design, fitted kitchens, luxury desks, cabinetry and particular renown in marquetry. Epitomising quintessential British style, each piece of Linley furniture stands for inventiveness, meticulous attention to detail, ingenuity, creative spirit, eccentricity, sophistication, wit and charm.
When in 2012 Thomas Mercer partnered Winch Design, the world-renowned but based in London interior designer of superyachts, to create the Classis, there was only one name to apply the finishing touch to this incomparable project: David Linley, the bespoke furniture maker, whose exclusive designs further enhanced this purest expression of British horological distinction. Meaning fleet in Latin, the Classis timekeeper owes its name to twelve of the most vital odysseys of exploration in the history of the navigation of the high seas which are represented on the facets of the cabinet in gold and Linley’s polished Macassar ebony body.
Master Cabinet Maker David Linley himself commented: “We are delighted to be involved with such a prestigious project, and to be working alongside two other companies who share our passion for quality, innovation and superlative skills of craftsmanship. The Classis chronometer presented our designers and the craftspeople who made it with a unique set of technical challenges. Working with the teams at Thomas Mercer and Andrew Winch, we overcame these, and the overall result is a unique achievement celebrating the respective disciplines of horology, cabinetmaking and nautical design.”
Then, in 2018, the collaboration reached the next level with the Aquilo. Meaning North in Latin, named after one of the stars which, through astronomy, underpin and link timekeeping and navigation, it boasted, among other complications, both equation of time and perpetual calendar. Evoking the sea, with wave-proof gimbals, indeed shaped like the bow of a yacht, the multi-complicated astronomical movement can be admired through an all-around view of the case and an elegant open-work dial magnifying its intricacies and embellished by the hands, blued-steel and hand-made. After a scenic launch in the setting of the Monaco Yacht Show, appreciation of the timekeeper reached its zenith the following summer when the Aquilo won the International Yachts and Aviation Awards and was showcased at the Linley Concession in the Luxury Home Department of Harrods London.
Linley again: “Like horology, making furniture is all about precision. With its beautifully crafted pieces meticulously tucked away example, the Aquilo Marine Chronometer is an extraordinary one-off objet d’art that fuses these two universes. Handmade furniture has a character that is utterly individual and bespoke pieces come alive by connecting their owners to the hand and soul of the maker. The collaborations to date show what peerless work is achieved by the synergy of brands of such Britishness, such excellence – just imagine what the future has in store.