Three brothers returned home to the United States after World War II to found what would become one of the nation’s finest jewelry manufacturing and design houses.
A Heritage of Old World Craftsmanship
Benjamin, Bernard, and Hyman were descended from an Eastern European craftsman who excelled in the art of watchmaking. Before serving in World War II, the brothers worked in the Bowery in New York City, which at that time was a significant diamond center. Once their service ended, the trio decided to go into the jewelry business for themselves. The year was 1946; the place was New York City.
The brothers began by setting up a jewelry manufacturing company. They quickly gained a solid reputation, producing fine jewelry using high-quality materials, including exceptional diamonds and gemstones, 18K gold, and platinum. Over time, their business expanded with the addition of the Kelman Casting Company and the Bermont Diamond Company. These acquisitions meant the majority of the process and supply could be done in-house.
The Business Grows
Benjamin Hammerman patented the design in the 1950s for a ladies’ bracelet that also happened to be a timepiece. Thus, he took a useful accessory and elevated it to an exquisitely crafted piece of fine jewelry suitable for eveningwear. Over the ensuing years, Hammerman expanded its selection of ladies’ bracelet watches to include platinum and diamond styles, designed by Bernard and brought to life by the Hammerman artisans. These watches have begun to appear in prestigious auction houses worldwide, their enduring value assured.
In the 1960s, Hammerman Brothers began to manufacture gold bracelets for Bulova for their Accutron models, the world’s first fully electronic watches. It was gratifying for the Brothers when Bulova asked them to create a unique bracelet for the Accutron watch that was given to President Eisenhower.
In the following decade, Hammerman gained recognition by designing one-of-a-kind earrings for Totie Fields. The female comedian was voted 1978 Entertainer and Female Comedy Star of the Year by the American Guild of Variety Artists. Fields was a pioneer for comedians to follow, including Joan Rivers and Amy Poehler.
Hammerman Brothers created a buzz in the 1980s with their 25.5 Carat One-of-a-Kind D Flawless Heart-Shaped Diamond, which was featured in a Town & Country Ad Campaign sponsored by Tiffany & Co.
Hammerman’s jewelry can be discerned by the HB maker’s mark stamped inside each piece.
Hammerman Brothers Today
Their business acumen grew the jewelry company into one of the largest and most profitable manufacturers in the U.S., supplying jewelers in their own country as well as in Europe and the Middle East.
For the 70+ years, they’ve been in business, the Hammerman Brothers’ shop has been a boon for many independent jewelers, who enjoy the convenience of using Hammerman’s workshop capabilities and jewelry artisans to create their own designs.
To this day, the Hammerman Brothers is still a family-run concern, located at the New York City address on West 57th Street.
Hammerman Brothers created jewelry collections that covered the entire spectrum, from everyday pieces to eye-catching designs suitable for red carpet divas.
Past Hammerman Brothers collections have included:
- The Classic: As its name implies, these designs were meant to be timeless, featuring contrasts of yellow gold and platinum, with diamonds and, often, emeralds.
- Hammerman Sport: More than simple tennis bracelets, this collection was designed to be fanciful and fun, combining semi-precious gems and diamonds with intricate settings.
- Haute Joaillerie: Circles, spheres, and natural motifs were at the heart of this collection. These styles were created for special events and nights out.
- Les Boules: The French game of “les boules” is similar to lawn bowling. In the case of Hammerman jewelry, it referred to the small spheres that populated each piece in this collection.
- Royal Ascot: This Hammerman’s collection was designed for men and featured such accessories as cufflinks.
- Royal Pavé: Diamonds and gemstones were showcased using the classic pavé methods.
- Tavannes: This collection featured nature-inspired floral themes and intricate workmanship and employed traditional jewelry-making techniques,
- H2 at Hammerman: Designed for comfort and wearability, these styles for women encompassed a variety of themes and materials.
Today, Hammerman has simplified their collections, calling them out as “Fun” (elegant, playful designs), “Fantastic” (employing colorful gemstones in inventive ways), and “Fabulous” (definitely diva material).