C. F. Martin & Co. has been family owned and operated since the first guitar came off Christian Frederick Martin Sr.’s workbench in 1833. Since then, 2.5 million guitars have been produced and to celebrate this milestone, the brand has partnered with with Chris and Diane Martin’s personal jeweller, Gary Werkheiser of Werkheiser Jewelers, to create the dazzling Custom D-2.5 Millionth.
Crafted with a heavy dose of Martin history, the guitar was designed to represent Christian Frederick Martin Sr.’s transition from Germany to America.
The top of the guitar is set with 436 diamonds that depict the map of the stars that C. F. Martin and his family would have seen in the sky the evening they arrived in New York City, while the inside of the guitar features inlay designs that includes a coat of arms for C. F. Sr.’s hometown in Germany, the sailing ship he arrived on, and the storefront of his first shop in New York City.
It also has a hand-engraved, palladium pickguard that features a map of lower Manhattan from 1833, with a ruby that marks the location of C. F. Martin’s first store at 196 Hudson Street.
For the back and sides, Belizean rosewood from Hearne Hardwoods was chosen by the Martin design team. Sticking to the instrument’s navigational theme, the Custom D-2.5 Millionth’s headstock and fretboard include a Star of Bethlehem that looks like a compass rose.
Precious metals are also incorporated into the fingerboard, and the guitar comes with a custom pyramid-belly hybrid bridge specially created for this model. A stainless-steel plaque on the inside of the guitar briefly explains the instrument’s history.
The Custom D-2.5 Millionth — which sports a whopping 21 carats worth of gems — will live in the Martin Museum in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
As for those looking to own a slice of history and have some serious cash to spare, a replica of the bejewelled instrument — serial #2,500,001 — will be offered up for auction. The replica was crafted with Brazilian rosewood from Chris Martin IV’s personal collection, which has been in storage for many years awaiting an extraordinary project like this one.