Jewelry is a realm that crosses borders of culture, race, age, and gender, allowing its wearer to make timeless statements.
From 150,000 year old Moroccan necklaces to the peak of present-day jewelry craftsmanship, jewelry has enabled expression on so many levels for so long. However, in recent years, men have been stepping up their jewelry game; today, we’ll dive into some of these iconic pieces.
Foundrae, Cartier, David Yurman, and Graff are just a few of the many designers redefining what it means to wear jewelry. The status, luxury, and quality of these designers’ work allows them to discard preconceived notions and create pieces that are truly unique, not only in the world of jewelry but in the world of luxury goods as a whole. From pendants to rings, designers are using every avenue possible to not only make high-quality jewelry but to rethink what jewelry is and how it represents its wearer.
Men, the following are some iconic, forward-thinking pieces. These beauties are bold and surprising, whether that’s present in shape, finish, or heritage, and they might be just perfect for your repertoire.
Whether you’re wearing it as a statement piece or to complement the matching Cartier Santos timepiece, this small Cartier pendant evokes an industrial, functional vibe. The pendant’s two-toned, blocky structure gives it a weight and presence unique in the world of Cartier. It takes on a personality of simultaneous heft and elegance, almost as if a piece of a larger machine. This pendant functions as a much more substantial centerpiece than some more delicate alternatives, but its fine construction and precious metals retain a Cartier sense of luxury.
This Foundrae piece’s personality and story are incredibly unique. It’s a classic, round medallion, encircled by a golden snake’s finely-engraved body. The snake glides inwards across a sea of pure white enamel, and gazes towards a golden moon with its eye of diamond. Against a white background, the moon and snake appear suspended in thin air; the piece utilizes its materials and construction to create this enchanting illusion. With its two pure, vibrant diamonds, the medallion is bold. It not only catches the eye, but asks the viewer to spend some time absorbing the scene it communicates. This is the piece for the man that wants a true piece of artwork hanging from his neck.
From David Yurman
Similarly to the David Yurman Chevron cufflinks, this pendant’s deep black color gives it a visual weight that exceeds its physical size. However, instead of communicating swift, agile movement, it leans on its visual weight at a source of solidity and constancy. Its long hexagonal shape and its vertical posture lend it a monolithic personality, reflecting the stature of the man who wears it. It also doesn’t need precious gemstones to make a statement; the pendant’s rubber gives it a free-spirited modernity unique in the world of fine jewelry. This is the pendant for the forward-thinking, no-frills man with an eye for simple elegance and power.
From David Yurman
This bracelet, with its sleek, blue-and-black leatherwork tied together with sturdy silver hardware, evokes a sense of agility while remaining grounded and classy. It can be worn casually with ease, and transition seamlessly into a more formal setting. This duality sets it apart in the world of men’s bracelets; its playful, forward-thinking coloration and immaculate design make it a very versatile piece. With subtle branding in the form of a soft-spoken “DY” mark, it doesn’t make any desperate calls for attention, but when one gets up close, its class and finesse become obvious. This is the bracelet that adds an athletic, modern touch to any formal setting, and can integrate ultra-luxury motifs into an everyday outfit.
Ah yes, the Cartier LOVE bracelet. This cornerstone of modern jewelry design uses extreme simplicity to communicate its luxury, becoming a testament to the extreme, unbridled class that Cartier embodies. Aside from its repeated circle-and-line motifs, the bracelet isn’t flashy in form or function, but instead focuses on the quality and beauty of its gold. By perfecting the basics and nothing else, the LOVE bracelet is the essence of what a bracelet should be. This bracelet adds a timeless, confident touch of luxury at its purest to any scenario.
From Van Cleef & Arpels
This Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet focuses on the color and beauty of its centerpiece stone. Its small, simple chain leaves room for the presence of the red-brown stone, and that presence is a powerful one. Shaped in Van Cleef’s classic clover motif, the stone adds a meaningful stroke of vibrant, sturdy color. The color’s depth balances the delicacy of the chain perfectly, calling attention to what matters most. If you want to go beyond wearing fine metals and add some color to your rotation, this bracelet is perfect for you.
This masterpiece communicates one central theme: fluidity. Composed of three separate bands in three warm tones of gold, the piece is a testament to the wearer’s relaxed, fluid opulence. As opposed to the Cartier pendant from earlier on in the list, this ring lacks any screws, excessive engravings, or sharp edges, and instead elaborates on the natural elegance found in slim, round curves. It has a mature intricacy about it, not because of extreme construction techniques or near-impossible metalwork, but because of the interlocking of three incredibly simple circles. Its complexity and beauty are natural, which brings a refreshing contrast to the bold, hefty cuts we so often see in men’s watches and jewelry. If you want to have pure opulence on your hand in a casual, relaxed way, this is the ring for you.
From David Yurman
Sitting at the other end of the spectrum, this David Yurman ring communicates centered, hearty strength. Crafted from sterling silver, it has a machined, heavy utility feel that gives both tactile and visual power to the wearer. The quality and luxury of its make and material are visible in every angle and groove, and its geometric nature adds a heft that is unique in its field. This is the ring for the man that wants both strength and delicacy embodied equally in one ring.