An iconic design since transformed into a bracelet, ring, hoop earrings and other watches, the Anchor Chain in the last century marked Hermès’ entry into modernity.
Hermès and Normandy
At the dawn of the 1940s, the saddler Hermès has long been known and recognized for embodying the quintessence of chic and refinement, particularly in terms of sports and travel equipment.
Largely inspired by the equestrian environment, Hermès pieces are not yet the ones we know today. But then in 1937, Robert Dumas, son-in-law of the son of founder Thierry Hermès, brought the house into modernity. And it is during a trip to the Normandy coast that it will all start.
Hermès, as we know, likes to reproduce in its lines the purity and elegance of elements that are often little appreciated.
When Robert Dumas spots the singularity and the tangle of the links of the chain connecting a boat to its anchor, he surely suspects the impact of such inspiration.
The idea for the legendary Anchor Chain Bracelet does come from this chic and complex tangle. But now, if Robert Dumas wanted to transform this idea into jewelry, no jeweler of the time wants to work on its realization. None were ready to follow.
It must be said that Robert Dumas insisted that his bracelet be designed in silver. While the era swears by gold and platinum. Finally, it is a certain Monsieur De Perçin who accepts to work this metal a bit folkloric for his time.
The Anchor Chain Icon, A Hermès Signature
In 1938, therefore, the Chaîne d’Ancre bracelet was born. Jewel with a natural balance, with a chic and easy look. The Anchor Chain is not long in becoming the jewel to own.
And like many icons of the house, Hermès liked to make them reappear where we do not expect them.
We then find the Anchor Chain declined in pattern. Here and there, lines of porcelain plates with the Nantucket timepiece. Printed on the silk square. Serving as a cut-out pattern on sandals. This game of shapes and volumes embellishes and magnifies a number of Hermès objects. Besides, deposited in 1970, this design is a signature belonged to the only house!
In 2011, it was from the Chaîne d’Ancre links that Henri d’Origny created the Hermès Cape Cod watch.
The same year, Pierre Hardy was inspired by the clasp of the Chaîne d’Ancre bracelet to design hanging earrings. Gold, silver and paved with diamonds. Pierre Hardy even worked on a whole collection of fine jewelry around the Anchor Chain and its links – for him “a permanent creative anchor”. Among these pieces, this bag made of a total of 1,160 diamonds, or 33.94 carats.
Yes, the pattern is both versatile and ultimately refined. Robert Dumas was right!
To the point that the Anchor Chain is more current than ever. Seen on a men’s jacket from the Hermès Spring/Summer 2018 collection, or showcased for Spring/Summer 2020, around a punk-inspired Chaîne d’Ancre necklace. The design embodies the poetic and facetious spirit of the Hermès house!