There’s nothing worse than a piece of statement jewellery that misses the mark. From chunky, garish necklaces that turn heads for all the wrong reasons, to that ill-judged beaded bangle that’ll have eyebrows raising the minute you slip it on your wrist, there’s a fine line between what accessories are acceptable for the modern man – and what accessories aren’t.
Thankfully, we’re here to help you sift through the depths of diamante studs and novelty necklaces in order to find the five staple pieces of men’s jewellery that you can wear and not look like the flashiest of Flash Harrys around. So step away from the anklets, gents, and educate yourself in the mysterious rules of regalia.
The signet ring
The King of Rings, the signet is less a piece of jewellery, and more a message. And, unlike the ostentatious necklaces and designer rings that shout their intentions at you in 24 carat gold, a signet ring tells a story that only a select few know how to read. Be it with your initials, a family crest, or simply and engraving that holds significance to you, there is a quiet honesty, but nod to sophistication in these rings.
Rebus, a heritage British brand, are one of the only companies who still cast their own rings and hand-engrave. And in this engraving process, another quirk of the signet comes to light: Rather than engraving the symbol or crest as you would expect, it is engraved in reserve, so when you use your ring to make a wax impression, it presses perfectly.
9CT Gold Signet Ring
The silver bracelet
The world of men’s bracelets is a tricky one. There are the chunky, the colourful, and the overly-shined awful examples, that should be avoided at all costs. But, amongst the beaded bangles, the multi-coloured bracelets and leather cuffs, you can find a glint of silver – something simple, understated and destined to become an accessory stalwart in your wardrobe.
Our pick of these bangles is Patrick Mavros’ Zimbabwe Cord Silver bangle. Each of the four Zim Bangles in the range bears one of the mystical patterns worked into the masonry of the famous stone ruins found in Zimbabwe – sites such as the Khami Ruins near Bulawayo and the Great Zimbabwe itself. This, adorned with simple diagonal lines, is our favourite.
Zimbabwe Cord Silver bangle
The golden cufflinks
Step aside novelty cufflinks. You can keep your animals, little cars and – god forbid – light-up cuff fasteners to yourself, and stay simple and stylish. That’s not to say completely plain is the way to go. You can show a little personality and, more importantly, taste, without splurging on cufflinks which overtly tell the world your favourite hobbies or interests.
One such pair, from Kiki McDonough, are these 18t Yellow Gold and Sapphire Knot cufflinks. At first glance, they are inoffensive and simply do their job. But, take a little more interest – as any self-discerning gent should – and you’ll notice the intricate twisted knot pattern, and the delicately-set central sapphire. After all, that’s what a real gentleman is – someone with something to shout about, who manages to get their point across without once raising their voice.
18t Yellow Gold and Sapphire Knot cufflinks
The simple ring
The second ring to grace this list, the simple silver ring doesn’t have the same history or decoration as the signet, but nor does it need it. Instead, the silver ring derives its sophistication from its simplicity. A hint of interest on the hand, a simple silver ring doesn’t make its purpose abundantly clear – but instead adds a little intrigue. Is it a wedding band? Or does it hold an alternative, deeper significance?
To this end, there is no better jeweller than Cartier. With their striking, signature design, Cartier’s simple bands are cast in a multitude of metals – from platinum to white gold – and offer a simple, but incredibly special touch to your everyday style. Versatile, durable and engraved inside with the brands name, this is – once again – a display of interest that keeps itself to itself.
White Gold Band
The tie pin
Some would argue that this isn’t necessarily jewellery. But, when you think about it, jewellery is essentially any small, often shiny trinket with which you adorn your outfit. Sticking by those rules, a tie pin is most certainly jewellery and one of our particular favourites here at Gentleman’s Journal.
Paul Smith, one of the magazine’s latest collaborators, is famed for his British charm, quirky detailing and original designs. As such, when he was crafting a tie pin, rather than going for a simple silver or gold, he incorporated his signature stripe motif into the piece – creating this luxury accessory that we’re clipping to our ties Monday to Friday.
Paul Smith Stripe Tie Pin