Bombay Sapphire 250th Anniversary



Designed by Webb deVlam, London | Chicago.

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE LIMITED EDITION – Webb deVlam create luxurious prestige packaging.

Webb deVlam have completed a remarkable project for Bombay Sapphire – a Limited Edition prestige presentation pack featuring a handcrafted bottle, presentation case and a booklet describing the history of the brand and the design and development of the Limited Edition. The stopper was designed by Garrard under the direction of its creative director Stephen Webster. The luxury bottle and gift pack celebrate the 250th anniversary of the secret recipe on which Bombay Sapphire gin is based.

Bombay Sapphire will present a limited edition bottle, hand crafted in high quality crystal and set with crystal stones, in a bespoke gift box. Just 350 of these exclusive bottles will be available for sale through luxury retail outlets in the UK, Europe, and USA before Christmas 2010 with a further limited worldwide distribution in 2011. The limited edition bottle, hand-filled with Bombay Sapphire gin will retail for approximately £1250.

Webb deVlam’s team of 3D product, packaging and graphic designers have brought the project to fruition in just under 12 months. It is a remarkable achievement, co-ordinated by Webb deVlam’s design director Dominic Burke. The Bacardi Global Marketing Team commissioned the consultancy, having been impressed by the award-winning solutions Webb deVlam created for Bombay Sapphire travel and retail packaging.

The stunning bottle design is appreciated by connoisseurs and its iconic bottle is of course integral to the brand. Webb deVlam summarised the concept as ‘the window to the soul’ and took this as the direction for the design development.

The luxury packaging has a ‘bottle inside a bottle’ effect, achieved by a glassblowing technique that creates a blue inner vessel suspended inside a diamond faced, clear crystal glass decanter. The outer form emulates the shape of the Bombay Sapphire bottle, whilst the internal blue optic hints at the soul of the brand. Another first for luxury drinks packaging uses a laser etching process to create 3D images of the 10 botanicals and the Queen Victoria brandmark which appear to float in the inner glass walls. The impact is extraordinary, and gives a sense of depth and substance that the design brief was determined to achieve.

The stopper is also made of fine crystal, in the shape of a crown and hand set with a band of blue crystals around the neck. At the apex is a double diamond shaped blue crystal that plays off the facets of the crystal stopper, catching the light in a dazzling, fractural manner. As each bottle is handmade, so each is slightly different and Webb deVlam has designed a bespoke sealing ring that accommodates the broader tolerance of the hand blown bottle neck which was a particular challenge with this process. (From a practical perspective it eliminates evaporation and securely seals the contents.)

The limited edition bottle is presented in a prestigious gift box, shaped again to reference the original Bombay Sapphire bottle. It has a soft touch Corvon finish and uses foils and embossing to carry the branding cues. Inside there is deep protective casing to hold the bottle in place. Once opened however, the bottle is the undoubted hero, presented on a plinth to display the bottle inside the bottle and the encrusted stopper to full effect. The case has been designed with retail merchandising in mind as much as the individual owner’s desire to display.

Webb deVlam has also designed a gift booklet that serves to authenticate the limited edition bottle and records the design and development process, celebrating the experts and the expertise that has created the bottle and the famous gin. It features Stephen Webster’s original sketches and photographs of the skilled glassblowers; it describes the special aromatic ingredients and the vapour infusion process that gives Bombay Sapphire its unique taste.

“This is surely the ultimate prestige spirit packaging and branding project’, comments Dominic Burke. It is utterly unique. We used new experimental processes and adapted technologies from other industries. The result demonstrates and communicates the underlying sense of the soul of the brand using intriguing visual effects to impart the prestige proposition.”

Press release from Karoline Newman of Articulate Communication, United Kingdom.