Icarus Originals - John Mercer & Alan Lock

Icarus Originals - John Mercer & Alan Lock

Icarus Originals are a UK based company who specialise in supporting aircraft restoration projects and charitable causes through the production of giftware and collectibles made using surplus airframe materials.  From their inception in 2017 to date, Icarus Originals have successfully completed projects in conjunction with Duxford Aviation Society (Concorde G-AXDN), the Vulcan to the Sky Trust (Vulcan XH558), the Ministry of Defence (The Red Arrows Aerobatic Team), the Royal Netherlands Air Force (F-35A AN-02) as well as several independent organisations covering a range of iconic platforms such as the Tornado GR4 and F3.

Icarus Originals was co-founded, and is jointly owned, by two individuals with extensive service backgrounds:

John Mercer is an Engineer Officer and Squadron Leader supporting the UK’s Typhoon force at RAF Coningsby. Having followed his grandfather’s footsteps into the RAF, John’s military career has encompassed service in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries – earning him the Accumulated Campaign Service Medal. Along the way he has become a Chartered Engineer and completed a Masters in Business.

Alan Lock, seen here on the left, was a member of the RAF University Air Squadron before embarking on a career as a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Navy. After losing his eyesight in service, Alan was medically retired though remained an active ambassador for the Armed Forces – completing several challenges including rowing the Atlantic, conquering the South pole and swimming the English Channel to raise money for Blind Veterans UK and X-Forces.

Where it all began

John describes the bond you form with aircraft in the RAF: “It sounds weird, but they become like little metallic children. Everyone feels that way.” When the news came that the Tornado GR4 was to be retired from service, it sparked an idea. “There was no plan to commemorate this aircraft that had been so integral to people’s lives, taken them overseas, amassed two million flying hours.” To give RAF colleagues the chance to own a piece of the story that had defined their last 15 years, John started a project to make a tornado cufflink using material melted down from the aircraft itself.

Unbeknown to him, someone else had already had exactly the same idea. Alan’s latest goal was to produce a tornado cufflink – and it’s at this point John got in touch following a tip off from a colleague. The rest, as they say, is history.

Where it all began

Following a phone call in 2017, the pair decided to join forces and collaborate on the tornado cufflink. Icarus Originals was born and the duo have been working together ever since – John the design and engineering whiz, Alan providing the operational nous. The company has produced a growing catalogue of giftware and collectibles – designed and manufactured in the UK – raising vital funds for charitable causes as they go. 

“Working with the Royal British Legion has been an absolute gamechanger for us in terms of the support they offer,” concludes John. “It makes me really proud to fly the flag for the RAF. All the things that I’ve achieved is really because they’ve given me the opportunity.”


Sea Land and Air Range


The three arenas of physical military engagement are the inspiration behind the new range of products from Icarus Originals. And true to their founding ethos of upcycling military surplus, the range features material recovered from three iconic military vehicles. Sea is symbolised by the Royal Navy’s EH-101 Merlin Mk 4 Helicopter. Land is represented by the British Army’s FV102 Striker armoured personnel carrier.   And the RAF’s legendary Panavia Tornado represents Air.

Material from each of these iconic vehicles is included in every item in Icarus Originals’ 2021 range, giving collectors, gift-givers and eclectic fashion lovers the chance to own a piece of military history while supporting the RBL. Launching very soon, the range will include a poppy lapel pin, bracelet, a necklace and a brooch.

Sea Land and Air Poppy Lapel Pin

Crafted as a 3-part construction comprised of a circular outer ring, raised leaf profile and central stamen, the poppy will measure 27.5mm across the diameter and extend to 4.26mm at the widest section (stamen).

This stylish pin is constructed from plated brass for the outer ring, enamelled brass for the raised poppy petals, and the stamen is cast from the aluminium bronze featuring material from land, sea and air icons.  It measures 27.5mm across the diameter and extends to a width of 4.26mm across the widest section at the centre.

Sea Land and Air Poppy Lapel Pin

Sea Land and Air Poppy Lapel Pin

Tornado GR4 Cufflinks

These cufflinks are made using authentic reclaimed aluminium from Tornado GR4 ZG750, affectionately known as 'Pinky' and have been designed in conjunction with the crew that flew the aircraft. The iconic Tornado served the Royal Air Force for nearly 40 years and saw active service in a number of campaigns.

Finally withdrawn in March 2019, the Tornado GR4 will be remembered as one of the RAF’s most famous aircraft. The cufflinks are presented in a luxury gift box completed with a certificate of authenticity. Miniature Tornado GR4 model also available.

Tornado GR4 Cufflinks

Tornado GR4 Cufflinks

Vulcan XH558 Cufflinks

These cufflinks have been designed in conjunction with the Vulcan to the Sky Trust and manufactured using aluminium reclaimed from Vulcan XH558; the last example of this legendary aircraft to grace the skies.

The most famous of the RAF V-Bomber force, this remarkable aircraft has been beautifully rendered, cast and hand finished in the UK.  Each set comes in a high-quality hinged presentation box with a certificate of authenticity.

The Vulcan XH558 Cufflinks are made from the genuine airframe aluminium of the last flying Vulcan.

Vulcan XH558 Cufflinks

Vulcan XH558 Cufflinks

Official Red Arrows Cufflinks

Crafted from the genuine airframe aluminium reclaimed from a former Hawk T1 that served with the team, these striking cufflinks commemorate the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows. These cufflinks are a truly unique piece of contemporary aviation history. Superbly designed, made and hand finished in the UK by master jewellers and craftsmen; these products showcase the best of the British jewellery industry.

The cufflinks are presented in a luxury gift box with official Red Arrows sleeve and come with a certificate of authenticity.

Official Red Arrows Cufflinks

Official Red Arrows Cufflinks