William Henry (Est. 1997) William Henry is an American luxury brand that designs and creates jewelry and accessories for men. The brand’s collections integrate form and function into exquisite and unique pieces. This seamless integration of natural materials, precious metals, gemstones, and state-of-the-art alloys is a hallmark of the company’s work.
William Henry is based in Oregon-and was first recognized for its award-winning pocketknives including one that sold for $75,000. Over the years it has expanded its product lines to include men’s jewelry plus matching men’s accessories that also include writing instruments, money clips, cuff links, key chains, and more.
Designer and entrepreneur Matt Conable founded the company in 1997 and is now the sole owner. The company name was derived from the names of the original partners, Matthew William Conable and Michael Henry Honack. When the brand launched, it was with fewer than 200 products, all made entirely by Matt, who started making knives at age 19, apprenticing for David Boyle in Davenport, California.
It was there that he learned the fundamentals of knife design and performance. Later he moved to Arizona with his wife where they worked together as a team crafting, designing and creating custom knives. When he was 27, Conable returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and in 1997, with his original partner, founded William Henry.
Today, Conable runs William Henry in a location established in 2004: a 6,400-square-foot shop in McMinnville, Oregon, in the state’s wine country, and Michael Honack continues to provide business advice and direction. The brand’s products are made in the US with materials sourced worldwide and crafted by artists who work for William Henry and share its dedication to excellence.
William Henry is more than a jewelry brand. Its pocket knives, money clips, key chains, and writing instruments are distinctive examples of craft and design. Celebrities including Jared Leto, Matt Goss, Jamie Alexander, Harrison Ford, Pierce Brosnan, Laurence Fishburne, Luke Bryan, Billy Gibbons, and Zac Brown have all owned and been seen wearing William Henry pieces.
What makes the brand so distinctive is that it has retained the aura and feel of an artisan workshop, where every piece is designed and created exclusively in small, limited, often unique editions.
“For many premium watch brands, an edition of 1,000 numbered pieces might be an ‘exclusive’ offering,” says Conable. “At William Henry, that would be the largest and least exclusive offering in our history.”
According to William Henry’s official website, “Hand-forged tapestries in metal, chisel carved silver, hand-burnished gold inlay, fine hand engraving, exotic materials, and inlaid gemstones are interwoven into stunning pieces of timeless stature. The distinctive character of the artistry and the personality of the materials make [the] brand’s every creation truly unique. No two pieces are alike.
“I like the idea that William Henry’s creations strike a personal chord in our clients,” says Conable. “Every now and then, it is important to invest in objects that are personal, immediately useful, yet timeless in their appeal and relevance – these rare pieces are imbued with the personality of their owners, and become part of their living legacy.”
The brand earned its fame by creating exclusive and award-winning pocket knives and transforming the archetype of all tools into superb pieces of functional jewelry for men.
William Henry’s pocket knives remain one of the mainstays of the business. Its eight different collections are Gentac, Kestrel, Lancet, Monarch, Persian, Pikatti, Spearpoint and Vetana. Each knife takes more than seven months to produce and often incorporates the work of more than 300 artisans across 800 individual operations. These cutting instruments boast unmatched performance and can be found in the finest collections worldwide.
There are also lines of bold, unusual, robust, dramatic, but still refined masculine jewelry. All William Henry merchandise is built to the brand’s original vision of building the finest tools in the world that seamlessly integrate classic natural materials and state-of-the-art alloys.
Many things set William Henry apart: Apart from the facts that only limited-edition offerings are produced and that no two pieces are alike, the company’s creation come in elegant gift boxes with recommendations for care. Buyers get a lifetime warranty because the brand stands behind everything it makes.
William Henry products let a man define his character and showcase his personality. Sterling silver bracelets feature onyx, turquoise, colorful fossil inlay sapphire and leather. Pendants include shield, cross and guitar-pick styles.
With a William Henry rollerball pen made of exotic woods like ebony, cocobolo or spalted tamarind, one can write a distinctive chapter of his personal history. Keychain motifs include a skull, dragon, and eagle. Money clips are designed to harness form and function. The company mainstay – pocket knives – is perfect to collect and house in a collector’s display case.
It takes six months to two years to produce a William Henry product. Whether knife, functional jewelry, pen, money clip or golf tool, all William Henry products use natural materials, precious metals, gemstones, and state-of-the-art alloys.
These classic natural materials and state-of-the-art alloys are signatures of all William Henry products. There are no compromises or shortcuts in the brand’s exceptional quality. The final fit, finish and action of each product are achieved entirely by the hands of master cutlers and other artisans. Each product has a distinctive heirloom quality and have been designed for a lifetime of use. Consequently, they are expensive.
William Henry products have received a minimum of fifteen Blade awards during its nearly twenty-year history and have been recognized by Pen World magazine for creating the finest wooden pens in the world.
As previously mentioned, William Henry produces only limited-edition offerings, ranging from one to five hundred or more pieces. Because no two pieces are alike and each is engraved with its own serial number, pieces are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. The document features a description of the piece, a serial number, the date of completion, a list of materials used, and recommended care.
Most William Henry bracelets will be large (wrist measurement 7 3/8” – 7 7/8”). Up to three additional sizes are offered for most bracelets, though not all bracelets are available in all sizes. Medium bracelets are for wrists measuring 6-3/4”-7-1/4”, extra-large wrist measurements are 8”-8-1/2”, and 2X large for wrists that measure 8-5/8”-9-1.8”.
Buyers can purchase William Henry necklaces and pendants in lengths of 18”, 20”, 22”, and 24”.
One of the brand’s most popular items is the Morpheus Knife Pendant. A safety two-hand button lock must be depressed to open and close the blade making it impossible to accidentally deploy or close the blade. Two hands are needed to operate the bullet clasp and to detach or reattach the knife from the cord. The pendant can be converted into a keychain with the included key ring.
William Henry cufflinks feature exotic materials and forged metals. The distinctive pieces are decorated with fossil coral, fossil dinosaur bone, mikume gane, and wooly mammoth.
William Henry money clips are hand-crafted from metal and titanium, finished with a ceramic blast and decorated with an engraving of the model and edition number. Each clip can be personalized on an open circle at the center of the piece. William Henry money clips range in price between $375 and $625.
William Henry makes six key chains that can contain bronze beads, sterling silver with skulls, inlaid with black diamonds, white or blazing red topaz, and spessartite gemstones. A woven leather lanyard and sliding knot retainer (in sterling silver or bronze) connects the piece. The Touchstone Key Chain Collection features key chains from $145-$250.
A recent luxury collection of men’s necklaces and bracelets fuses rare dinosaur bone and mammoth tooth fossils, exotic hand-forged Damascus steel and Japanese Mokume Gane metals, modern Kevlar and paracord. William Henry’s rugged, refined men’s jewelry is as expertly crafted as its legendary high-end knives. Inspired by forceful Game of Thrones sword motifs, William Henry’s symbolic and timeless sterling silver men’s jewelry suits any man’s style.
In a May 2018 article on the Forbes website, Conable touted one of the brand’s latest collections. “Our new Embrace collection is bold and adventurous, but there is also a delicate, intricate quality that shows off the one-of-a-kind craftsmanship and use of intriguing materials that have come to define William Henry’s signature style.”
The collection comprises sixteen pieces, ranging in price from $495 to $2,950: eight bracelets, four pendants and four new cufflink designs. Embrace features organic materials and precious metals, finished with hand-rendered details, including “cage-like” accents. Again, no two pieces are exactly alike, thanks to the artisan-rendered elements on each.
“With this collection, we’re highlighting eleven new materials that are a first for William Henry,” says Tony Rodrigues, William Henry creative designer for the Embrace collection. “For example, thanks to the inherent protective nature of the Embrace designs, we were able to incorporate South Sea pearls for the first time. The interplay of these materials, combined with sterling silver [and] 18-karat yellow and red gold, set a new standard of luxury for our jewelry offerings.”
The bracelets feature sculpted silver or gold “cage” elements that highlight the other materials used, and their varied styles including geometric, symmetric, asymmetric, whimsical, and abstract. The “cage” protects the bead materials while at the same time accenting it. The pendants have names that include Dreamer, Purpose, Wisdom and Dark Star with equally compelling designs. For example, Dreamer incorporates green jade paired with 18-karat yellow gold, while Dark Star uses smoky quartz as its centerpiece, paired with sterling silver.
William Henry Outlaws cufflinks are part of the Embrace collection. The Embrace collection cufflinks—also distinctively named (Mask, Lotus, Ripple and Outlaws) feature the cage-like elements. Outlaws, whose name is as intriguing as its look, features 18-karat rose gold cages in a skull design over polished black onyx inlays, all set into a sterling silver base. According to William Henry, “As much as we toe the line and live with honor and integrity, somewhere inside we are all still outlaws.”
Other recent William Henry lines include the Pulse Collection. Pieces include the Cabernet Osage, which is a rollerball pen designed with aerospace grade titanium, aluminum, and zinc infused apple coral. The Mammoth Pace bracelet features seamless flow and design, resembling the classic guitar pick, and inlaid with a 10,000-year-old mammoth tooth.
The Spearpoint Psychedelic knife is crafted with an attractive frame of pure titanium laminate. From necklaces to pocket knives featuring a gunmetal sterling silver chain for easy carry, it is another memorable WH collection.
William Henry is more than just a business creating products to sell. Throughout the years they have worked with several charities, donating items for auctions, creating specialized products, and, sometimes donating a portion of its yearly sales. Time and time again they have proven to be a company whose primary pursuit is in its customer’s interests.