In June of 2022, C. F. Martin & Co. (Martin Guitar) unveiled the 2.5 millionth guitar made by the 188-year-old, family-owned company.
Martin’s design team created the breathtaking instrument in partnership with Chris and Diane Martin’s personal jeweler, Gary Werkheiser of Werkheiser Jewelers Ltd., in Bethlehem, PA, to celebrate the milestone.
The theme of the guitar represents Christian Frederick Martin Sr.’s transition from Germany to America. The top of the guitar, set with 436 diamonds, depicts 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 on November 6, 1833.
The pickguard is made of palladium, and it includes a map of New York City from the 1830s showing the area where the original shop was located, with the shop’s location marked with a ruby.
The bridge is also unique, combining a pyramid bridge that would have been used in the past and a modern belly bridge that is used on our modern instruments.
For the back and sides, the team selected special Belizean rosewood from Hearne Hardwoods that includes birds’ eyes throughout the grain, which, in essence, replicates what you might see in the sky.
The team decided to let the natural beauty of the wood stand alone on the back of the guitar.
On the inside of the guitar, the design features inlay work 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.
There is also a stainless-steel plaque on the inside of the guitar that provides a brief background of the instrument.
The headstock and fretboard include a Star of Bethlehem that looks like a compass rose, which aligns with the navigational theme of the instrument. It also incorporates precious metals into the fingerboard, including platinum wire inlay.