Nothing spells elegance more than a well turned-out man in bespoke clothing. Aside from watches and rings, cufflinks are the ideal and most understated way for men to touch up their garbs. Seems too Victorian? Maybe since cufflinks got a boost only during the Victorian era. Image consultant Chetna Mehotra reiterates, “Cufflinks have a historical aspect associated with them, thanks to their French origin. Initially, silk knots were used in their place. Later came cufflinks, which were a favourite among aristocrats. Since kings and nobleman sported it, cufflinks lend an image of elegance and luxury. They are a sign of civility and aristocracy.”
Back home, Karan Johar loves his Tiffany cufflinks as much as Saif Ali Khan likes his Hermes. From Hugo Boss to Mont Blanc, every major fashion brand has a line of cufflinks. Designer Leena Singh of Ashima-Leena likens cufflinks to ties’ versatility. She says, “Cufflinks speak of luxury, plus they do not go out of style, much like ties. What works for cufflinks is that they fit across any formal segment: be it a wedding, or a business board meeting.”
Emeralds, rubies and other precious gems enthralled kings and emperors. Remember when Wallis Simpson gifted King Edward VIII a pair of Cartier cufflinks worth $400,000? Today’s man also needs some precious stones to enhance the way he looks while keeping intact his macho image. Sommelier Magandeep Singh believes that very few things are as lavish as cufflinks. “They make for an evergreen style statement. It’s about the little details. When you invest in cufflinks, or when you match your cufflinks to your shoe buckles, it goes on to show that you’re taking the time and effort to invest in yourself,” he says.
The Jacob & Co. Canary Diamond cufflinks, with an asking price of $4.2 million (Rs 20 crore) per pair is clearly not for every millionaire. Yet more and more men without a care for budget and utility are not hesitating to spend on a dash of bling to go with their clothing.
Another reason why they are a favourite among men is their versatility. Chetna says, “For men, accessories like rings are very tricky since they could turn out to be too flashy; which is why cufflink works for men. They are muted, understated, and yet mark the bracket in the luxury segment.”
So it isn’t uncommon among the gliteratti to splurge anything in the range of Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 15 lakh on a pair of cufflinks. Designer Leena adds that gold and solitare cufflinks are catching on among today’s men and they cost nothing less than a “couple of lakhs”. Magandeep swears by Longmire, Tiffanys & Co., and Ferragamo. “Plus, a lot of designers are making them too,” he states.
An industrialist in Mumbai has his eyes on the Fonderie 47 Cufflinks. It isn’t easily available, but is undoubtedly high on a collector’s list. No it isn’t the baubles, for a change, that make it command a Rs 20-lakh price tag. Only 20 pairs of this particular style have been produced and a connoisseur alone knows the value of the materials involved. Using the same machines that produce Swiss watches, these cufflinks are made from mostly 18k rose and white gold, as well as metal from an AK-47 assault rifle.
Whoever thought only women can run up a hefty bill over their appearance clearly had no idea what de luxe men have had up their sleeves!...