It is an exciting time for Japanese fans of Gaboratory silver jewelry at the moment, not only is the Gaboratory shop in Ebisu selling a new G.Links brand, but Maria Nagy will actually be coming to Tokyo next March and bringing a couple of new designs with her as well. It seems like things are finally back on track with the brand after altercations following Gabor’s passing far too complicated to go into here, and while old fans of the silver will indubitably lament that “it is just not the same”, the important thing is that it keeps the brand and message alive. This is especially important as Gaboratory just doesn’t have the currency it should with young silver fans raised on a diet of Chrome Hearts and the cheap Thai fakes that have flooded the market. People need reminding that this is where it all started and that any serious appreciation of silver should begin right here.
I am fortunate enough to count amongst my friends a man who arrogantly refers to himself as “a Professor of Gabor” who has kindly taught me how to spot the difference between first and third generation skulls, where items are hand-chiseled to mark authenticity and any number of anecdotes about his dealings with the man himself back in the 90s. While this is all very well and good for committed fans of the brand, there is only so much made that can be considered “real” Gabor silver and most of the stuff you see, outside of some of the private collections I have been lucky enough to see, is the core designs over and over again.
That is why I am so glad that Gaboratory, under the leadership of Maria, has began putting out new designs once again. Well actually, I would not be right to say that they are “new”, more reworked or custom versions of established designs. Obviously this will appeal to the core fans of Gaboratory who will never be sated with silver, but the important thing is that it will create a buzz and hopefully bring in some young fans to Gabor or drag them away from zirconia encrusted frippery at the very least.
If you are new to Gabor then just enjoy the designs, but I will be pointing out the changes to the designs for the hardcore fans:
Precious stone customs are now available on request.
They have re-done the leather clasps on the leather braiding to make them significantly sturdier.
This is the crown that was originally used above the G on wallets – here they have recast it and used it as a pendant.
The classic large skull with jaw has been beefed up, given a graduated bale and made into a huge pendant.
The bolo tips have been redesigned to resemble something halfway between the classic noodle and macaroni links.
There are also a huge amount of different combinations of classic links that are sure to please fans (and they have even re-released the bike chain bracelet).
This is a custom job not far off what I am wearing now – Sculpted oval with two crowns and two skulls. It virtually makes the design a bangle, but either way I love it.
A nice bit of stamp work for those who want to keep it simple.
Wire bangle with redesigned tips and optional additional plates.
A hugely over the top custom order – not sure about the happy skull with the crown, but otherwise this is superb.
One for the old-school fans – classic T-bar (without skulls) and you can even have the chiseled links once again.
I know it is hardly a wind-tunnel of change, but for people like me who are aware that they are never going to trip over the perfect combination of links in a vintage Gabor bracelet, knowing you can order one that will be made from the original molds along with any other custom work you might fancy is a really nice thought. Yes it is will never be “the original” but that is a label that those lucky enough to own vintage items can enjoy treasuring – it just does not mean that anything new can’t be a respectful nod to the master.
Stick around for coverage of the brand from Gabor’s son and the Japan tour and if you speak Japanese then head on over to the new official blog which makes for a really insightful and funny read.