The Royal Jewellers S03 ep10 : Hemmerle Jewellery [Munich]
Interview with Christian Hemmerle
In today's world where craftsmanship, individuality and authenticity are increasingly rare, Hemmerle is one of the last pillars protecting a unique family heritage of superior craftsmanship. The tradition was established in the 19th Century when the brothers Joseph and Anton Hemmerle were appointed by the Bavarian Court as purveyors of Medals and ornaments. In 1904 Hemmerle opened its doors on the Maximilian Strasse offering traditional designed jewellery of exceptional quality. 1971 bore witness to the re-invention of the Hemmerle brand under the direction of Joseph's grandson Stefan, a visionary with a sculpture's eye. Today the house remains a fourth generation family business with Stefan at the helm his wife, Sylveli, his son Christian and daughter-in-law Yasmin by his side. The entire family is involved with each intricate design and is immersed in every detail to give a unique stamp of personality to every piece that leaves the Hemmerle atelier.
It’s a family business which has been around a long time and which is a heritage but heritage
doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to do always the same thing, it’s always evolving and
that’s what today very important in my opinion in the world of jewellery that you create new
things you try out new materials and that you’re not scared to stick what’s been around for a long
My great grandparents who started it who were the pervaders of the Royal Bavarian Court and took
care of Court medals, ornament and the royal jewels but then later on it evolved and it’s really my
father who changed the business to the direction where we are leading today.
My father said once that his father always brought gemstones home and so did mine. At an early
age I was inspired by the beautiful things but then later on I actually wanted to become something
very different and only through by chance I realised that my true passion is lying in jewellery and
creating jewellery and handling beautiful things.
I started to work actually as a diamontier in New York and I had a wonderful trainer and after that
I became a gemmologist and but I think mainly my training is in the fields by the years of
I am very happy that I ended up in a creative field where you are actually in control of what you’re
going because you don’t have to represent anyone else, you only have to represent what you do.
I don’t necessarily think that the next generation always has to do things different, you just have to
be aware of what your parents did and you have to follow the time.
All our collections are one of a kind and this year … really we’ve done the first time they’ve
presented a collection of 12 pieces which are similar in idea but very different, our vegetable
collection but all of them are one of a kind and some people are really upset that most of them
have been sold.
Here we have this painting of Pen Votier which says art is for sale and when people ask me I
always feel much more closer to the arts than closer to the jewellery. But we still do jewellery.
I always look for something special. Selling a paper is not what we do, we look for the beauty and
sometimes the beauty is not the flawless, flawless is something perfect but not necessarily an
unperfect or an imperfect stone is not a beautiful or a dream diamond there can be so many old
cuts which are just cut in a different way when there was so much passion and I love these kind of
We try really and search and scatter all over the world for the old cut diamonds because I think
they have a very special atmosphere, they have a magic surrounding, they have a very good aura.
The old cut Europe, especially the old European or the old cushions.
You always have to look in the past to go, to walk into the future because there’ve been so many
good examples and you can’t invent everything new every day. But I think our inspiration just lies
in the world and the beauty of beautiful things when you walk with open eyes you might get
inspired at every point and it might be on a flea market where you find an interesting piece of jade
or at the jewellery jam show where you find that the special item we’re looking for.
When you create jewellery or when you make jewellery you always have to think of multiple
angles, you can’t follow just one road so you cannot only think of fashion, you cannot only think of
sculpting you cannot only think of the person who might wear it, you have to combine it all
together and then the customer will always find to the piece.
I was once sitting with my father in a plane, and I don’t remember where we travelled to, there was
a newspaper article about different salads and he said how wonderful they look they were so
beautiful in itself so we said we might have to do something with them one day and time has past
and we went to the workshop and my wife and I we sat down with one of our goldsmiths and we
talked about how we could make actually a vegetable collection and show something which has
never been there and we went through books and we looked at different models and we played
along and one day we were nearly ready and we had a few models and had coloured them and then
the hardest thing was actually to succeed them to make them into real jewellery.
You know when you work as a family together I think everything is a collaboration because
everyone inspires the best in each other and so only the best designs really pass but for sure my
father has the longer experience so we give him the head up.
What we’re famous for is using un-noble materials, we’re using a lot of copper we use old
patination techniques out of the turn of the century we like to use aluminium, we like to use
different woods to there that gives us a wide spectrum of wonderful colours.
My father went jogging one day in Central Park and he actually found acorns and he liked them so
much so we made an earring with an acorn earring design. The workshop made them sustainable
and long lasting and it really looks great.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Hemmerle Jewellery