Shirts with French cuffs are a fundamental part of formal menswear, but they are also increasingly used as a personal touch with more casual wear. Designer cufflinks are a small but effective way of adding a note of style, refinement, luxury, humour, whatever you prefer.
Technically, cufflinks can be described according to their system of closure, such as bullet-back, the most common and easiest to slide into the holes; whale-back, in which the pivoted part has the form of a flat tail; fixed backings, in which the front, post and backing are all in one piece; the chain link system, in which the front and back are linked by a chain; and the ball return, in which the backing consists of a ball of metal, connected to the front by a curved post. Reversible cufflinks have motifs both on front and backing, so that they can be worn either way around.
Many design and fashion houses create their own versions of this classic accessory. We take a look at some of the best cufflinks.
1. Montblanc Fine Jewelry cufflinks (€1,545)
Montblanc's Fine Jewelry cufflinks are in warm red gold, with ebony, creating a timeless and supremely elegant piece, with the Montblanc emblem at the centre.
The same brand also makes the Contemporary Collection cufflinks (below, €370), which have a platinum finish with guilloché black resin inlay, highlighting the Montblanc emblem. A perfect match for a Montblanc pen (such as the Doué series, part of the Montblanc StarWalker collection), or a TimeWalker watch.
2. Harry Winston Men by Thom Browne Diamond Button cufflinks (€25,000)
These cufflinks are supremely witty, with the stitch motif in the centre downplaying the exquisite beauty of these pieces. They have a total of 220 round brilliant diamonds, about 1.37 carats, in an 18-carat white gold setting.
3. Links of London 18-carat yellow gold cufflinks (€1,900)
Links of London make these 18-carat yellow gold classic oval T-bar cufflinks all about understatement. The oval front is ideal for engraving, the perfect method for a personalized product.
4. Elsa Peretti Cabochon cufflinks by Tiffany & Co (€1,850)
The Elsa Peretti Cabochon designer cufflinks by Tiffany & Co are in 18-carat gold with lapislazuli, made to an original design by Elsa Peretti, the Florentine jewellery designer who moved to New York in 1968.
5. Panthère de Cartier cufflinks (€22,400)
Cartier's cufflinks cater for all tastes, from rigorously minimalist designs to sparkling, decorative, figurative motifs that of course include the panther. These Panthère de Cartier cufflinks are in 18-carat yellow gold, with diamond pavé, emerald eyes and onyx nose.
6. De Beers gold knot cufflinks (€5,350)
De Beers has a small range of luxury cufflinks. The pieces shown below, gold knot cufflinks, are in 18-carat gold, pavé-set with 110 round brilliant diamonds, for a total carat weight of 0.96. Each cufflink is 13 millimetres in height, making it without doubt a statement piece.
7. Gucci horsebit cufflinks (€1,750)
Gucci's horsebit cufflinks are in 925 silver with platinum, finished in burnished palladium, with 64 black diamonds for a total carat weight of 0.70.
8. Alfred Dunhill Turbine cufflinks (€275)
Alfred Dunhill creates an impressive range of stylish cufflinks, amongst which these Turbine cufflinks with carbon fibre. They have an engineered look created by the screw-head motifs and the turbine rotor, inspired by a Spitfire engine.
9. Bottega Veneta cufflinks in intrecciato silver (€470)
Bottega Veneta's cufflinks feature the intrecciato pattern that hallmarks so many of their products. In oxidized silver, they have a classy, vintage look, while the design is a neat paraphrase of a shirt cuff.
10. Burberry cufflinks (€235)
Burberry has an extensive collection of luxury cufflinks, including this square-design version with a central stone detail framed by brass.
11. Henry Arlington, Lloyd Gold and Silver cufflinks (€67 approx.)
These eye-catching cufflinks have a diablo-shaped barrel with five indented ribbon stripes. The oval backing is subtly engraved with the Henry Arlington initials.
12. Snake designer cufflinks from Thomas Pink (€135 approx.)
Thomas Pink has presented these Snake cufflinks, ideal for the Year of the Snake which begins in February 2013.
13. Fabergé Stanislav cufflinks (€11,809)
Fabergé Stanislav cufflinks inherit the remarkable story of Peter Carl Fabergé, goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court, with their Belle Epoque opulence. The Stanislav design shown below has champagne and white round diamonds set in 18-carat rose gold.
Also by Fabergé are these lovely Fjodor cufflinks (below, €10,280), with champagne and white round diamonds set in 18-carat rose gold.
14. Paul Smith cufflinks (€125)
Paul Smith designs with delicious touches of irony, and his cufflinks are no exceptions. The spring/summer 2013 collection includes these Match Stick cufflinks.
15. Alexander McQueen gold coin cufflinks (€180)
Alexander McQueen's gold coin cufflinks are in gold-finish brass, with the classic McQueen skull motif that is visible at a second glance.
16. Zilli cufflinks
Paris brand Zilli makes these very stylish cufflinks, part of the 2013 collection.
Other articles you may find interesting:
Well connected - matching cufflinks to your personality
Men - top ten accessories for getting noticed by women
Wolf cufflinks by Powder Hill
Nardelli Gioielli Cufflinks
Wolf London cufflinks for women