Anchor Chain, an iconic piece of jewelry for Hermès
If the collection of jewelry
Chaîne d'Ancre is now part of the iconic models of Hermès, its history remains singular. As we know, Hermès is above all references to the world of horses, all the more so in the late 1930s. Now, Chaîne d'Ancre
is inspired by the world of boats, and here's why...
In 1937, it had been about ten years since the House began creating jewelry, spurred on by Emile-Maurice Hermès, grandson of Thierry Hermès
. During a stay on the Normandy coast, his son-in-law Robert Dumas was inspired by the chains that link boats to their anchors, seduced by their singularity and elegance, to draw in his travel notebook the sketch of a bracelet.
Chaîne d'Ancre was born. It was not only the first Hermès jewel
inspired by the marine world, but also the brand's first silver bracelet. At that time indeed, jewelers worked exclusively in gold and platinum.
A timeless bracelet, with generous curves
The story goes that Robert Dumas had the greatest difficulty finding a craftsman who agreed to set his sketch to music. It was finally a certain Mr. De Percin who took up the challenge, to design the Silver Chaîne d'Ancre
bracelet, the generously curved bracelet that we still know today.
Robert Dumas could rejoice in the almost immediate success of his creation, which propelled his bracelet
to the rank of cult jewel of the House of Hermès, and the Chaine d'Ancre
motif as one of its emblems: it can be found on lines of plates, on the case of the Nantucket watch, on squares of silk...
The links of the marine chain, the chic and sporty bracelet of the 1930s, have in turn inspired many Hermès designers. Following in the footsteps of Robert Dumas, the links were polished, twisted, beaded, to give rise to bracelets, necklaces and sautoirs
, rings and earrings.
A motif constantly reinvented by Hermès designers
In 2020 again, the Hermès Réponse collection took up the Anchor chain bracelet, in a larger version. The 2010s, in particular, saw the modernization of this timeless motif with the creation of silver jewelry
For example, designer Pierre Hardy creates earrings
inspired by the original bracelet clasp. The Kelly Double Tour bracelet takes the anchor chain motifs and combines them with the Kelly bag clasp. The TGM Anchor Chain 24
bracelet, followed by rings, tie necklaces, brooches and earrings from the Punk Anchor Chain
line, are other examples of reinvention of the iconic design.
The anchor chain motif is still identifiable in Hermès jewelry lines
such as Farandole, New Farandole and Hermès Réponse. The original bracelet, meanwhile, is still part of the House's catalog, sold new for €910 for the small model, €935 for the medium model.