Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Henley jeweller's rings hit the big screen

A JEWELLERY maker from Henley was thrilled to see his creations in the new film The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

A JEWELLERY maker from Henley was thrilled to see his creations in the new film The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Antony Reineke, who runs Studio 35 in Duke Street, was approached last year by Warner Bros film studios to make a Romanov-style engagement ring for the Sixties spy thriller, which was released on Friday.

The studios were so impressed that they then asked him for a second silver ring with jewels and an oversized black pearl, which doubles as a bugging device.

In the film, this ring is worn by Gabby Teller, played by Alicia Vikander, after she is given it as a mock engagement ring by Russian spy Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer).

Mr Reineke saw the film at the weekend and now has posters in his shop featuring Vikander wearing the rings.

?To see your work in a blockbuster is strange,? he said. ?The rings are integral to the plot, which made us feel special and a real part of the movie.

?It?s nice to work on something different with global exposure. We are very proud.?

Mr Reineke, of Berkshire Road, Henley, has been making bespoke jewellery for more than 20 years and has owned the store in Duke Street since 2008. Before that he ran a workshop in Bell Street.

?We make a lot of jewellery, such as wedding and engagement rings, and we know those pieces are special to people,? he said.

?The studios came to us because we have a specialist skill and could make what they needed. First of all they approached us to make one piece, which was an engagement ring, and then they came back for the bigger ring.

?It needed to be big because it was supposed to be a bugging device, which was added using computer-generated imagery.

?We didn?t actually know too much about it other than it was big, five to 10 times the size of a normal ring. But you can?t mention too much or you give away the film?s twist.?

The rings each took a month to make and Mr Reineke had to make two versions of the smaller one for use in filming at two separate locations.

He said: ?Jewellery always goes on recommendations so we have to thank the studios for putting faith in us. They were a pleasure to work with. It makes you realise how many people with creative skills are involved in making a film.

?You only realise how much work it is when you?ve done a tiny thing for them and then seen in the final movie.

?Lots of creative people around the world have contributed to this movie.?

The film, which is directed by Guy Ritchie, has received plaudits for its stylish presentation and use of authentic Sixties fashion from designers across the world.

Mr Reineke, whose wife Laura runs Henley Music School, agreed with the critics.

He said: ?I thought it was a good movie but I might be biased! I?m glad because it would have been disappointing if the film wasn?t very good.

?Guy Ritchie paid a lot of attention to detail and it was a big budget movie.

The Sixties were quite a funky time and everyone involved with the film did a great job sticking to the era.

?It reminded me of an Eighties Bond film. David Beckham is actually in it ? he?s hard to notice but I spotted him.?

Mr Reineke added: ?Of course, if we were approached again we would do it but whether we will get another chance for our rings to be that involved in a storyline of a film I?m not sure.

?We will treat this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and carry on making our jewellery.? * The founder of Henley luxury watchmaker Bremont made a cameo appearance in last year's spy caper Kingsman: The Secret Service. Nick English, who founded the firm with his brother Giles, was approached by director Matthew Vaughn to make a chronograph for the characters in the film, which starred Michael Caine, Colin Firth and Samuel L Jackson.

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