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History of René Sim Lacaze and Franz & Maximilian Hemmerle

The history of René Sim Lacaze

René Sim Lacaze, grandfather of Maximilian Hemmerle, was regarded as one of the foremost jewellery designers of the 20th century and the company RENÉSIM is named after him.

Born in Paris on 27 July 1901, René Sim Lacaze learnt to love and appreciate fashion at an early age in his mother's dressmaking studio. He found his professional vocation as a jeweller and jewellery designer. The gifted artist joined Van Cleef & Arpels in 1923, where his exceptional talent for drawing was discovered; as a result he was appointed joint artistic and design director of the jewellery magnate, sharing the position with Renée Rachel Puissant, daughter of Alfred van Cleef. From then onwards hosts of jewellers including Mauboussin, Cartier, Harry Winston and Sterlé commissioned him to design supremely elegant jewellery creations. His clients for these masterpieces included Marlene Dietrich, Michèle Morgan, Maurice Chevalier and the Duchess of Windsor.

For more information please see the Wikipedia article on René Sim Lacaze. In addition, we can supply the unpublished memoirs of René Sim Lacaze (in French) on request.


René Sim Lacaze, approx. 1937

Joyaux & Confidences: Unpublished Memoirs of René Sim Lacaze

René Sim Lacaze, 1937 Joyaux & Confidences: Unpublished Memoirs
of René Sim Lacaze


For Franz and Maximilian Hemmerle, RENÉSIM is the continuation of 180 years of family tradition extending back to the mid-19th century. Franz and Maximilian Hemmerle are now the fourth and fifth generations of their family to directly continue the profession of jeweller.

Franz Hemmerle qualified as a goldsmith and jewellery designer. After completing his apprenticeship and journeyman years, he joined the family company, the well-known jewellers "Gebrüder Hemmerle", where he was co-owner for 33 years. The company was founded in 1893 by Josef and Anton Hemmerle. Shortly afterwards the brothers were appointed jewellers to the Bavarian court and moved their main office to Maximilianstrasse in Munich, where they can still be found today. Since the 1970s the jewellery company has established its status as one of Europe's premier addresses for exclusive jewellery, supplying the most discerning clients in the world with unique creations. After leaving the family company, Franz Hemmerle worked for various companies including Bulgari S.A. His work was influenced by his father-in-law René Sim Lacaze, with whom Franz Hemmerle regularly exchanged artistic ideas.

Franz Hemmerle introduced his son Maximilian to the jewellery industry from an early age, taking him along on visits to customers and suppliers and teaching him an extensive range of expert knowledge. However, before treading in his father's footsteps Maximilian Hemmerle first earned his spurs in the field of online marketing and e-commerce. With his business partner and experienced Internet and IT entrepreneur Georg Schmidt-Sailer, he now combines the rich tradition of his family history with his own e-commerce experience and that of his partner. In early 2012 they founded RENÉSIM, the first luxury jewellery brand to operate exclusively on the Internet. Franz Hemmerle today provides support for the two Managing Directors, supplying consulting expertise and jewellery designs.



Pièces de tonnere: Sketches for a bracelet in white gold with rubies, diamonds and emeralds with black enamel; drawing by René Sim Lacaze, 1936

Royal choker by René Sim Lacaze, 1938

Pièces de tonnerre: Sketches for a bracelet in white gold with rubies,
diamonds and emeralds with black enamel; drawing by
René Sim Lacaze, 1936
 Royal choker in platinum with large teardrop diamonds,
diamond navettes, brilliants; drawing by
René Sim Lacaze, 1938




The following topics may also interest you:

The RENÉSIM company, its philosophy and origins of the name
The vision of the two founders Maximilian Hemmerle & Georg Schmidt-Sailer
The unique "New European Art Déco" style of jewellery designers Franz & Maximilian Hemmerle
Jewellery production by the designers and how jewellery is created
The exclusive RENÉSIM service: All jewellery can be personalised

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T +44 20 351 466 05

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As an online jeweller, RenéSim combines the benefits of a modern online-based business model with 180 years of family-run traditional craftsmanship in the jewellery industry. Gemstones such as diamonds are the central focus at RenéSim; we supply high-quality, thoroughly individual pieces such as engagement rings in addition to loose diamonds. We offer unique diamond post earrings, diamond rings, memory rings, engagement rings and much more. Consult the jewellery experts at RenéSim!

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