Hemmerle, the renowned 126-year-old German jewelry house, has been a perennial favorite of ours to cover simply because their work is among the best in the world. Always balanced, sumptuous, and employing a unique approach to textures and shapes with incredible attention to detail, the house of Hemmerle has earned its special place among European design houses. Besides, each piece I encounter evokes a deep sense of pleasure and wonder – what else could be asked of a piece of jewelry?
Their latest collection turns to the culture and tropes of East Asia. We spoke with Christian Hemmerle to learn more about what it all means.
JI: So we’ll start with fundamentals. These pieces are incredibly detailed; how much time needed for their production?
CH: We set no limits on the time it takes to make each piece. We make around 200 one-off handcrafted pieces of jewelry a year and each piece is made on site at our Munich atelier by our team of 20 master-craftsmen. It can take years to treasure hunt stones whose proportions fit together and once in production, a piece can take over 500 hours to complete. Usually, the same craftsman will work on a piece from beginning to end drawing expertise and advice from across the workshop.
For over 15 years now we use a very precise technique of setting stones in reverse pavé. The setting adds an unexpected depth as light is reflected from many different angles due to the increased exposed surface area. In these iron and diamond earrings we have reverse-set over 300 diamonds in a variety of sizes to achieve a seamless surface layered behind the cut-out iron structure. Similarly in the earrings featuring Japanese Gods, the reverse of each porcelain panel is reverse-set with over 400 diamonds to add an extra layer of craftsmanship and detail.
JI: Are there any particular creative techniques that has have been used to create these pieces? The house is known for their innovative technical processes…
Each piece is a new discovery for us and we never get bored of experimenting and innovating with design and process. We aim to continuously challenge our craft and push boundaries in what is feasible. In the earrings below the iron used for the lattice over the diamond-set surface has been engineered so it appears curved from the creation’s profile allowing for an elevated aesthetic and unique physical volume to our piece. Similarly, In the copper and jade earrings, the honeycomb structure which fuses the natural zircons and orange jade discs was a challenge technically to achieve but we tackled it through experimentation. We often innovate in our pieces that include technical elements created uniquely as prototypes, facilitating accordingly our creative vision.
JI: Tell us more about the stones used here: how they were sourced and why they were chosen.
CH: We are continually searching around the world for the most beautiful, intriguing stones and materials, both old and new, to add to our creative vocabulary
The pearls in the topaz earrings feature natural melo and conch pearls. Melo pearls are unfathomably rare; found in melo melo snails in the waters of the South China Sea, melo pearls remain unique as only one in every 10,000 snails produces a pearl and, most often, it is small. Conch pearls are similarly hard to come by and it took us many years to find four pearls whose proportions worked perfectly together like this.
JI: These earrings in particular‘Seven Gods of Fortune’ are incredible. What’s the story?
CH: These earrings boldly use porcelain portraits depicting the Japanese Seven Gods of Fortune. According to myth, the Gods arrive on New Year’s Day on a ship carrying treasures that symbolize honesty, fortune, dignity, amiability, longevity, happiness and wisdom. They were chosen from Hinduist, Buddhist, Taoist and Shintoist gods or saints, and settled into Japanese Folklore Gods, believed to have been grouped together around the 17th century. In our earrings, each of the six Gods used face inwards towards the viewer.
Beyond the beauty in the colour of the orange jade used, the material also holds cultural significance intricately woven into Chinese history. We have found much inspiration in the material and have previously used both ancient and antique jade in an array of colours from lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown to white, black, and grey, in each case selected for its unique color and texture.
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Dior’s latest Grand Bal Miss Dior watch collection brings together the gentle beauty of Dior’s flowers and the timeless luxury of the timepiece brand.
The Dior Grand Bal collection has recently unveiled two new pieces inspired by the magic and beauty of flowers.
These two new “Dior Grand Bal Miss Dior” timepieces are equipped with the unique “Dior Inversé 11 1/2” caliber, which features an oscillating weight placed on top of the dial. For these pieces, per the floral theme, they embellished with beautiful flower petals.
With this movement, the weight and the dial take on the allure of a blossoming flower – one in shades of pink recalling the joy of spring, and the second in blue tones echoing the nighttime reflection of moonlight on petals.
These light floral motifs are set off with sparkling diamonds on the bezel. These 3D effect petals give life to the timepiece and evoke the charms of Christian Dior’s famed garden. The matching strap lining and pink or blue sapphire crystal case-backs are final, personal details only known to the wearer.
These two pieces are a fine tribute to Monsieur Dior’s passion for flowers as well as the famous “Miss Dior” dress, one of the Maison’s first Haute Couture dresses. They are available in a limited edition of 88 pieces.
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DIOR WATCHES: INTRODUCING THE DIOR VIII MONTAIGNE CLAIRE DE LUNE
Inspired by the different phases of the moon, these three additions to the Dior VIII Montaigne collection take time pieces to the celestial heavens. The lunar patterns are exquisitely drawn on the dial with gold threads and diamonds, and the result is extremely cool. My absolute favorite? The filigreed elegance of the crescent model.This is an amazing marriage of craftsmanship with technical innovation. What a fine tribute to Monsieur Dior’s passion for the starry firmament.
Set off with a black alligator strap with a yellow gold prong buckle set with round diamonds, the watches are available in a limited edition of 88 pieces.
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LUNA SCAMUZZI”S JEWELRY CREATION IS OPEN, CREATIVE & COMPELLING. HER AESTHETIC IS DIFFERENT THEN OTHERS OF OUR TIME, AND HER BACKGROUND IS TOO.
We had a chance to talk to Luna Scamuzzi of Lucifer Vir Honestus about what drives her jewelry creation. She’s an incredible woman. Formerly an architect, she brings a shape-and-structure driven eye to her work, but has dispensed totally with the strict rules of architecture and allowed herself to explore the boundaries of jewelry freely and without many of the aesthetic constraints of her contemporaries. She’s like an Alice in Wonderland. Luna – whose name itself grounds her to natural forces – is inspired completely by nature, looking to the stones she’s working with to lead her to their best possible presentation. She follows her instincts and the deep origins of her designs is reflected in her work.
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Sometimes you fall in love with something and just can’t shake it – which is what happened to me with these splendid earrings.
I’ve been waiting for this earrings while they’ve traveled all around the world with their designer, and I’ll finally receive them in January. [ Materials: Rose & black gold aquamarine]
Since I was so enchanted, I figured I would ask Federica Rettore where she got the inspiration for these, but her answer intrigued me even further! “Eleganza e leggerezza ispirati alle onde che si rifrangono sulla battigia e portano tesori in superficie dalle profondità del mare.” – I started to translate this into English but realized how difficult it would be to translate such poetry.
The Italian language definitely has its “fascino” (charm), and it’s no wonder that the language has its share of admirers. But here’s my best effort at describing her inspiration: “Elegance and lightness inspired by waves that refract on the shoreline and bring the treasures from the bottom of the sea to the surface.
“Still, not satisfying. Federica is a poet of words and jewels. Her pieces make me daydream. We are lucky to have so many talented young artists around us. As far as Federica goes, her pieces are all handmade in Italy, one of a kind, and can be engraved just for you. Feel free to reach out for more information.
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HOW I LOVELOVELOVE La Mini D de DIORr SATINE….
The intricate stiches of the Milanese mesh steel bracelet invoke the supple threads of a satin ribbon. And as ever with the artist Eleri Mills you can see how the landscape of her rural Welsh childhood has inspired her work: the threads here recall the summer fields of Powys, where she was born, and import them into a watchmaker’s vernacular. From afar, they look like a painting. Close up, the detailing will take your breath away. The watch’s delicate ornamental stone dials are beautifully embellished with gold bezel and crown. In short, this timepiece is a beautiful marriage of Swiss watchmaking expertise with Dior fine jewelry.
Here I wear the watch with a Chaumet Ring Serp from Terres d’Or collection: an oval-cut yellow sapphire weighing 12.36 carats from Ceylon round yellow sapphires, lacquer, and brilliant-cut diamonds.
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People talk a lot about being happy, seeking happiness, what makes them happy…but if we were to ask you, how would you reply? We presume the question would prompt some silent contemplation, going into the wilds of your mind and deep into your heart, asking yourself a hundred questions in the course of a few minutes. But then, the answer we most often find simplifies things: it focuses in on the few things in life that bring us joy. Often, we can leave the rest behind.
I’ve been asking myself this question lately too, steering away from big, glamorous goals and looking instead at the little things that bring me joy in my daily routine. I’ve found that my beauty routine in particular brings me a lot of simple joy, which I think can be the case for a lot of women. One comforting thing about it is that it makes us feel beautiful!
Here are a few things from my beauty routine that bring me joy.
I discovered this brand quite recently but have fallen in love. They make beautiful makeup products, but I’m also very drawn to their brand philosophy: naturals over synthetics, conservation over all else, and offering beautiful products. I especially love their Rose de Mai face oil. I follow it up with some tinted moisturizer and follow it up with their Cheek Gelee for a friendly, natural look.
For me, eyes are key – and Tom Ford is a master of eye products. He makes a couple of items that are central to my routine. I always start with his eye base, which makes shadow stay longer and brightens the overall eye area. And the Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Brown has all of the right colors – they work together perfectly! You know how usually if you buy a set there’s a color or two that you don’t use? Not the case with this quad. It’s perfect!
No beauty list is complete without a mention of Nars. I particularly adore their bronzers – it’s just a great and versatile product – and their blushes have become iconic, but their body oils are sometimes overlooked but also very special.
In the end, being 100% happy is about what you do for yourself. Treat your body with love and respect no matter what.
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