The ascendancy of high-visibility “name brand” jewelry has surged, like Hermès luxury goods, with the increased influence of social media. Thirty years ago, high-end jewelry by designers like Cartier, Bulgari, and Van Cleef & Arpels were very well regarded but also rarely seen, especially during the daytime. Now, much like the Birkins and Kellys we see anywhere and everywhere, we are also seeing Clover Perlee, Love and Serpenti Bracelets, Rolex and Patek Phillipe watches, and Vintage Alhambra everything nearly anytime, anywhere, on pretty much every stylish person we see.
This isn’t surprising; these names have risen concomitantly for the same reasons: quality, design, brand history, exclusivity (whether actual or perceived due to pricing), and a certain amount of retained value. However, most jewelry and watch brands generally stick to their metier, while Hermès is, of course, not just a leather goods brand.
Over the last decade or so, Hermès has deepened and expanded its lines of fine jewelry offerings, moving well beyond the popular fashion pieces like the very collectible enamel Clic Hs and scarf design-themed bangles to well-designed lines like the Niloticus, Punk, and Galop, in addition to the various Hermès-motif themed lines including the Chaine d’Ancre, Farandole and Amulettes.
Fortunately, many of these innovative and design-driven Hermès pieces can hold their own with the collections of popular fine jewelry designers and serve as a nice alternative to coordinate with those, to sprinkle in amongst a stack, or to even wear on their own.
1. A Bracelet to Add to Your Stack
The Kelly and Collier de Chien pieces are arguably the most popular Hermès fine jewelry lines. The bracelets for these lines are made in rose or white gold, come in several widths (although the medium and large models are less popular), and can be plain metal, sprinkled with diamonds, or pave. Recently, Hermès added a chain version to the Kelly bracelet line. The Kelly and Collier de Chien bracelets are similar enough for it to really be a matter of personal taste when choosing one over the other; the Kelly is a more subtle, elegant style while the Collier de Chien has a more trendy look, but they are equally popular, their proportions and dimensions are similar, and either will go nicely in a bracelet stack (which is why I’m counting this as one!).
The Kelly bracelet bears an elongated Kelly-style closure as the design focus. This season it is being produced in plain sterling silver, rose, or white gold, which is simple yet elegant, and also in several diamond versions from the subtle four-diamond all the way to full pave.
The Hermès website gives slightly varying dimensions for the Kelly bracelet in different metals (the listed interior circumference varies from 6.2” to 6.7”). Still, the small model Kelly bracelets (stackable size) are almost 1/4” wide.
Collier de Chien Bracelet
The Collier de Chien (CDC) bracelet has similar dimensions to the Kelly bracelet and is also perfect for stacking. However, the CDC has an edgier design featuring studs and a ring like a classic dog collar. While also produced in plain metal versions, Hermès produces more of a variety of CDC bracelets in terms of the number of diamonds used, giving you “blingier” options, and currently (as with the Kelly), there is also a spinel alternative.
2. An Elegant, Blingy Ring
I’ve long been a fan of the Alchimie jewelry, rings, and bracelets comprised of several pieces, each in a different jewelry style and made to give a layered appearance. The ring has three layers: a Chaine d’Ancre piece, a CDC piece, and a Kelly piece, each with diamonds. It’s impactful without being too big, has a nice amount of sparkle, and the layering style of the ring makes it look a bit less like an Hermès logo and more whimsical. The bracelets are knock-out phenomenal (there are a few variations, but the premier version is comprised of 6 diamond-covered pieces), but they need to be worn on their own. The prices are very high, whereas the rings are more reasonably priced and can be mixed with your other jewelry. Currently produced in rose gold with diamonds or black spinel.
3. An Everyday Masculine Ring
Ex Libris Ring
Everyone loves a chunky ring, and the Ex Libris gives a traditionally-masculine shape some feminine touches; the result is a super-cool and very wearable piece. Produced in sterling silver with rose gold and bearing the Ex Libris motif like a crest, this ring is versatile and relatively inexpensive for a fine jewelry piece.
4. Stylish but Sparkly Earrings
While Hermès has long produced many wearable rings and bracelets, it always seemed like their earring options were a bit lacking. Often, they were either quite small and delicate or a bit too big and logo-y. A recent addition to fine jewelry is the Chaos line, which strikes a balance between design and wearability; it utilizes Hermès’ iconic Chaine d’Ancre, but subtly, as a design motif rather than an anchor (pun intended). There are several different versions of the Chaos earrings; while all are produced in rose gold with diamonds, there is a long pair with pearls, a long mismatched pair with a pink opal or black jade drop (also available in white gold), two shorter pairs with a chain, and a single left earring featuring a chain and ear cuff.
5. A Necklace That Goes with Everything
Clou de Forge Lariat Necklace
There are so many great necklaces to love from Hermès; it can be hard to choose just one, as they vary from very delicate and airy to multilayered and chunky. However, if you’re mixing your pieces, the Clou de Forge Lariat Necklace will hold its own among pieces by the usual go-to brands.
Simple, elegant, and a perfect casual-sexy, day-to-night design, the Lariat is a long thin chain with each end bearing a ring and a long drop; one drop is plain gold, and the other is covered with pave diamonds. You loosely tie the ends to your preferred length. There is also a plain sterling silver version.