Krementz and Cufflinks: A Lifetime of Antiques
There are few institutions that define excellence throughout their history, surviving global crises, thriving, and changing the landscape in which they create their wares. Krementz is one of those legendary companies that maintained such a standard of ingenuity that they’ve flourished for more than a century. It was founded by German immigrant George Krementz, the adventurous and ambitious young man who led the charge that forever changed the cufflinks and shirt stud industry.
George immigrated from Germany with his parents when he was 8 or 9 years old. He ventured to New York City as a teenager to follow his hungry ambition and become a jeweler’s apprentice. His cousin and soon-to-be co-founder, Julius Lebcheucher, lived across the river in Newark: the thriving New Jersey city was a hub of jewelry manufacturing since the early 1800s and would continue to be for decades. Krementz and Julius worked well together by sticking to their talents. Julius was a talented salesman and George a gifted manufacturer. While their business catered to buttons that would fasten the once-popular detachable collars on shirts, they expanded to include cufflinks and studs.
George wasn’t a static-minded man, he always kept an eye out for new trends and designs. For example, Krementz Co. was among the first to notice the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements before the rest of America did. He and Julius began crafting the art of tomorrow for the suit of today. This creative thinking wasn’t just limited to staying ahead in adornment: Krementz Co. also led in the use of machines. They replaced hand-soldering methods with a welding technique and developed a new approach to gold overlay.
Krementz and Company would advertise that their gold overlay was 30x thicker than competitors, a claim that turned out to be true. Though jewelry that has an overlay and is made with “cheaper” materials may be considered costume jewelry by some, that wasn’t the case in Krementz’s heyday: rings, earrings, cufflinks, and tuxedo studs that weren’t pure silver or gold were not considered fake or less of an adornment. This held especially true for Krementz: the combination of their ability to flood stores because of their superior production techniques, their impressive designs, and their attention to detail ensured that Krementz and Company were never a low-class item. Krementz and Company were so confident in their products that they offered a lifetime guarantee that extended until they closed. So if you bought an item from 1915 in 1994 and needed it repaired, just get a hold of Krementz for it to be fixed up brand new.
Krementz and Company did much to expand men’s jewelry with their widespread and international ad campaigns. They successfully sold the idea that a man’s bejeweled accessories were for every occasion; cufflinks and studs, watch bracelets, and collar buttons became more than just evening wear adornments. “Buy Krementz, for every hour is an occasion!” became the battle cry for these antiques.
Krementz is still considered some of the highest quality and is in higher demand now that its 147 years of existence has ended. For men or women, no matter the style or decade, Krementz is a must-have for any collector or lover of style. Here at the Missing Link, we have collected hundreds of Krementz cufflinks and studs. Below you’ll find some examples of this incredible craftsmanship.
From the heyday of Krementz, this platinum and gold filled with black enamel displays the work that made this company famous. It’s a complete tuxedo stud set with matching cufflinks and vest studs. The technique mentioned earlier was surely used on the gold overlay, making it fair to say that this cufflink and stud set is fashion history.
This rare Krementz set is perfect for the modern-day shirt. As mentioned in “From 3 to 4,” this period usually had 3 shirt studs in a set. This cufflink and shirt stud set is an exquisite example of the meticulous craftsmanship that was the Krementz and Company standard: mother of pearl set within a platinum rim and another pearl in the center of more platinum: truly beautiful.
This Art Deco tuxedo set comes with 4 studs instead of 3 and with matching cufflinks. Crafted with gold, a platinum inlay, and a blue glass stone, this set brings delight to the eyes of any onlooker. Once again, Krementz demonstrates its ability for spectacular adornments ready for any shirt that requires such magnificence.
The Missing Link appreciates fine craftsmanship and collects history, with many examples of Krementz and Company’s incredible contributions to fashion for both genders. Explore the many pairs of cufflinks and stud sets we carry, become inspired by this great company, and display these antiques on the canvas that is you.