NAMM 2022: Martin reveals its 2.5 Millionth Guitar - and it features 436 diamonds

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NAMM 2022: On a starry, starry night back in 1833, Martin Guitar's founder C.F Martin Sr arrived in America; a mind-boggling 2.5 million guitars later his legacy is being celebrated with a very special instrument. 

Martin’s design team created the guitar in partnership with Chris and Diane Martin’s personal jeweller, Gary Werkheiser of Werkheiser Jewelers Ltd., in Bethlehem, PA, to celebrate the milestone for the 188-year-old company. 


(Image credit: Martin)

The detail showcased here is impressive; the top of the acoustic guitar is set with 436 diamonds to 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 on November 6, 1833. 

The guitar's hand-engraved pickguard features a map of lower Manhattan from 1833 with a ruby set at the location of C. F. Martin’s first store at 196 Hudson Street. 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.


(Image credit: Martin)

The headstock and fretboard include a Star of Bethlehem that looks like a compass rose, which aligns with the navigational theme of the guitar. It also incorporates precious metals into the fingerboard, including platinum wire inlay. 

The team of Gary Werkheiser, Kris Franzese, and Doreen Vashlishan spent close to 200 hours setting the stones and hand engraving the features. 

“This guitar is the perfect way to honor C.F. Martin Sr.’s journey to America and to celebrate the Martin family’s continued legacy. We are thrilled to share it with the world,” added Chris Martin.

Martin has also created one replica of this guitar (serial #2,500,001) that will be offered for auction. The replica was crafted with special Brazilian rosewood from Chris Martin IV’s personal collection, which has been in storage for many years awaiting a special project. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.