“It shall stand the wear of the eye”
Couple of weeks ago I was surprised to be approached by Daniel Ingdahl, the man behind D.C.I Sweden, a Swedish company producing high-quality accessories for men. They wanted to know if I was interested to give one of their bracelets a try.
As I had been seeing pictures of them (have actually posted some pics of them myself as well) and as I had been willing to see how they would be in person for a time now, it was easy for me to say yes.
D.C.I has been running for several years (designing kitchens, producing bicycles etc), but began creating hand-made bracelets and other accessories for men a couple of years ago.
At the moment they offer a collection of six different bracelets (Jasper, Obsidian, Black Lava, Bronze, Blue and Onyx) all handmade in Stockholm - Sweden by using natural stones and sterling silver. The boxes where bracelets are delivered are made in Denmark of recycled paper, glued together with water based glue. D.C.I wants their techniques used to produce the bracelets to be both environmentally friendly and effective. As they say by themselves, they want their collections to be true to the production process in its form and material - simple, honest and elegant.
When asking Daniel how he would describe their products, the answer that comes up is pretty simple one. D.C.I does not try to make or follow trends, but they’re just trying to make classic, and long term usable pieces. “For us it is important that our products are designed and produced in Sweden so we can control the whole manufacturing process and really deliver on the quality we state that our products have.”
To speak about inspiration Daniel brings up the rule stated by the German architect Mies van der Rohe "Less is more", that’s still applicable and a successful recipe when it comes to design. I agree. I was also happy to hear that we share the same way of thinking when I asked to describe D.C.I shortly - “Whatever you wear - always dress to kill”.
Finally though as said by him, it is the receiver of the product who defines D.C.I. through his feelings about it.
D.C.I Jasper Bracelet
Then, to speak about the bracelet Daniel sent me - The Jasper. At D.C.Is website it says that the Greek origin of the word jasper, iaspis, means “spotted stone.” Jasper contains microscopic “grains” of crystalline quartz and agate has microscopic “fibers” of crystalline quartz. Although the term jasper is often applied to unidentified stones, true jaspers are metamorphic rocks. Jasper derives its colorful patterns from other minerals present, and is often named according to its pattern.
The first impressions and feelings of the bracelet are definitely positive. The stones seems to be of high quality, the details such as the engraved anchor logo are finished with care and what I especially like, is the kind of sturdy feeling that the bracelet evokes when you look at it or when you take it in your hands.
The main reason for this "sturdy" feeling is probably the sterling silver used producing the bracelets. Many of the bracelets offered nowadays are made on rubber bands which are elastic and in a way lighter and easier to use but at the same time you need to be pretty careful with them not to broke them. I probably will still take this off when I go to play with my one-year-old nephew, but otherwise I’m pretty sure it will withstand even in a bit challenging circumstances. Also the silver makes the bracelet to feel a bit more “precious” and venerable.
The second thing that jumps on the eye is the richness of colors in the stones that are used. In real the finish of the stones is fairly matte and the colors are “deep” and intense.
If I had to find one negative aspect of the bracelet it would be the stiffness (also mentioned as a positive side above) as it makes putting the bracelet on your wrist by yourself pretty laborious and something that really can’t be done in a hurry. At least it took me quite many tries at the first time… And well, it still do.
The bracelets come in three different sizes and as my wrists are pretty small, I picked the smallest choice (S - 19,5cm) which turned out to be pretty perfect. If you are pondering between two sizes I suggest you go for the bigger one. It’s also good to keep in mind the fact that you really can’t stretch the bracelet while putting them on.
Many people argue that bracelets are not something for men to wear and that you shouldn’t wear them aside with your expensive watch for example. I wouldn’t wear any bracelet in the most formal occasions but when it’s about going casual, my honest opinion is that bracelet like this D.C.I “Jasper” will definitely compliment more or less any watch on your wrist.
D.C.I bracelets are equipped with a price tag of 125 euros which is a bit above the average when taking a look of some other brands on the market. But from what I have seen, with the materials used and attention paid to the details, D.C.I stands up for it’s price.
It’s not cheap and I leave it for you to decide whether or not it’s worth the price but one thing I can say is that you’ll definitely get what you pay for.
Future of D.C.I Sweden
In spring 2013 D.C.I will come up with two new models of bracelets that will according Daniel’s words fit together with their current designs, and be usable both with a suit or a t-shirt.
In the future D.C.I will also take a step into a totally new league. Next year they will introduce a briefcase, made in collaboration with one of Europe’s finest tanneries, TÃ¤rnsjÃ¶ tannery in Sweden. The briefcase will be hand stitched in Sweden, it will follow the same principle as the other D.C.I products (high quality, minimalistic design, traditional) and based on the picture below, it will be something to look forward to.
Hat tip and thanks to Daniel & D.C.I Sweden!