According to New York City-based jeweler Mateo Bijoux, a good set of tools can not only sort out your dripping sink, but tune up your sense of style as well. Bijoux’s latest collection of silver and gold pieces re-imagines iconic functional items that you’d find in a toolbox as jewelry pieces. So, a mini hammer or saw become necklace charms, a pair of screws are flashy cufflinks, a bent nail (that’s admittedly more than a little familiar to Cartier connoisseurs) turns into a bracelet.
Bijoux’s “All That Works” line came to the Jamaican-born designer while he was moving out of his Brooklyn apartment. “I was taking down a painting and a screw fell off the wall,” he recalls. “Immediately, I thought, ‘This is great for a collection…why not make use of the everyday?” With little experience as a jeweler but a firm understanding that “the American man wants to take risks with style – but still play it a little safe,” Bijoux melded the concept of a man’s work with men’s jewelry.
The highlight for us is the Monkey Wrench Cuff, a pure silver bracelet that twists around the wrist without a clasp. It may look simply like a twisted box wrench, but Bijoux and his team spend hours on each piece, first carving a model out of wax, then molding a cast, and finally hand-polishing and -brushing the end product. It’s an eye-catching piece of men’s jewelry, and, at 40g (about 40 paper clips), nearly as hefty as its real-world inspiration. “I wear it with a well-cut suit, to complement the silver Rolex on my other wrist,” Bijoux says. But it is, after all, a garage implement on your wrist, so don’t worry about wearing it with a pair of jeans and a T too. “I made it rugged enough that a man can get down and dirty with it, too,” adds Bijoux. Just remember not to get confused and refer to your toolbox as a jewelry box. [$875; mateobijoux.com]