Let's meet our favourite brands... Today : Sabre Paris and it's founder Francis Gelb

Posted by Sonia Greig

Today: Sabre Paris and it's founder Francis Gelb - a superb collection of flatware, porcelain and more.

At Lemongrass & Aubergine, we started working with the company Sabre Paris in 2010, and we have been grateful for our collaboration since then. We love their wide range of flatware, both stainless steel and acrylic, and their colourful porcelain. Quality is our priority at Lemongrass & Aubergine, and Sabre products are always been at the very top.

Their flatware collection is stunning and can please all sort of tastes, from the Bambou collection with its exotic Asian touch, the Gustave Glitter for festive and girly get togethers, the Aquarelle line with it's delicate paintbrush shape, to the printed handles Decores with elephants, Tiare flowers, stripes or dots and much more... you will find for sure a match made for you, in the 36 different models and the 46 different tools offered in their catalogue.

From a display in our store at  Lemongrass & Aubergine - Cluny Court # 02-26 Singapore.

Sabre acrylic salad servers and serving spoons model "Old Fashion", printed handles from the models "Decores", porcelain plates, mugs and cups from models " Numero 1" and "Pois Blancs"

After this little introduction, I "give the pen" to Francis to present his company.

"In 1993 after seven years in the family silversmith company, Francis Gelb has establish Sabre with the support of Habitat, the famous English chain store, created by Sir Terence Conran.

With every euro made with Habitat, Francis was investing in his own collection of printed handle flatware. The fabulous "mix and match" concept was born, and became quite a revolution in the very classic tableware world.

Pascale and Francis Gelb - founders of Sabre Paris

The difference and the attractiveness of the product lies as well in the way of merchandising the product. It is very visual, and colours and designs are emphasized. This approach immediately seduced the three major French department stores _ Galleries Lafayette, Le Bon Marche and Au Printemps, and also worldwide with always these key guide lines : Happy - Simple - Elegant.

A few notions are very important in the Sabre policy : flexibility, made to order, two aspects that our customers do appreciate in particular.

Having done this break-away from the style of the traditional world, Sabre also has the consciousness that timelessness and trends need and can work together. Timelessness in the world of Sabre does not mean boring - don't forget : Happy - Simple - Elegant in any circumstances.

It is with this subtle distinction that Sabre has succeeded in business now for 22 years.

In order to move forward and keep it's philosophy of Happy-Simple-Elegant, Sabre (meaning it's owners Francis and Pascale) always submits any product, and any decisions to their approval. It must fulfill the 3 qualifications of HSE.

Although present in department stores and retailers in many different countries, Sabre has as well its own stores.

Today, with this big world move, Sabre questions itself on what to tell to its customers, what are the customers' wishes, what do they expect... again and again, Sabre is questioning. Never satisfied you may think ? No ! A lot of requirements are appropriate.

Sabre is making its way in Japan, thanks to our Japanese agent who opened a cafe together with Sabre. The concept is fairly new but has had a good response. The cafe, as a meeting point for our customers in association with a store, is a great experience. Sabre may think of duplicating this in the near future. And more ideas are in the air... Francis and Pascale are always searching for innovation, and nothing is taken for granted...

Follow the link to view some of our famous customers worldwide : http://www.pinrest.com/sabreparis/retailers-with-sabre/ "

What is a piece of flatware made of ?

A piece of flatware is made of three components : the handle, the connector and the functional part.

Handle : ours are made of acrylic or laminated wood.

  1. Acrylic is used for Baguette, Natura, Gustave, Tortoise, Katmandu Grey,Nature Horn and Old Fashion, Ice and Charm. Acrylic is not injected but crafted as you would do for a wood handle, meaning it does not have a seal all around the handle due to the molding. It also gives a much smoother feeling to the handle. This allows us to have a much richer effect than injection.
  2. Laminated wood is used for Nature Wood and Katmandu, made of birch and oak, and each ply of wood is laminated. You can see that from the side of the handle. Then the plies are glued and pressed together. Aquarelle is a combination of laminated wood for the most part and the tip is made of acrylic.
  3. Les Decores : we start from an injected white handle made of polyethylene, best known as Nylon. Then we cover the handle with inked paper and cook it for 20 minutes. At the end of the process, the handle is coated in order to make it dishwasher safe.

Connector : as opposed to most of our competitors, ours are made of stainless steel with the exception of Baguette. The durability is much better than cast connectors. Concerning the Baguette, it is made of Alpaca (white metal) and then Silver Plated.

Functional part : you have to distinguish the cutting and non-cutting piece.

  • Cutting pieces : are made of Carbonium Stainless. If you look at our blade from the side, you will see that the shape is conical - it is called "enamouture", meaning, it can sharpened as many times as your customer would need. Also the cut is better than a serrated blade. Serrated blades rip the food, while our blades cut. For the record, do you know why a plastic knife for picnics is serrated ? Because plastic blades do not cut.
  • Non-cutting blades : there are three key criteria to determine the quality of the stainless steel: thickness and polishing. We use 18/10 stainless steel, 18% chrome, 10% nickel. It's the standard for quality stainless steel and in fact, the only standard in the world. Thickness is 2 mm thick for dinner and serving pieces and 1.5 mm for teaspoons. It does not bend and does a nice job . Concerning the polishing, when you remove a Sabre piece from the polybag, it is absolutely without scratches, and very shiny. 
  • Now, let's shuffle the cards :
  1. 13 % chrome + very thick + very well polished = nice to sell but not nice to use, as it will shortly become dark grey after few times in the dishwasher -
  2. 18/10 + thick + NOT polished = not nice to sell because it will look unfinished
  3. 18/10 + very thin + well polished = you cannot use it, it will bend.

So, as you can see, the combination of the three criteria is very important: some look good and are not, some do not look good but are Ok.

Sabre is like Rolls-Royce : good on every criteria.

I believe you know now as much as I do on the flatware.

Production of Sabre flatware in process​

Our dinnerware is made in the Czech Republic in the Bohemia region (Eastern Europe, next to Germany). They have a very long tradition of Porcelain since the 18th century, and the Kaolin mine is part of the factory we are working with. This guarantees a very sturdy quality over the year.
The decal is cooked at the high temperature of 1400 Deg. Celsius. At this temperature, the glaze melts and the decal goes under the glaze. This is the best durability you can get, with no scratches, and no colour alteration. This is the quality used for hotels and restaurants.

Porcelain expresso cups from Numero 1 collection


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