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Chanel vs. Hermès: The Quality of Chanel Hardware and Justifying Chanel’s 2024 Price Increase

Chanel vs. Hermès: The Quality of Chanel Hardware and Justifying Chanel’s 2024 Price Increase

In the world of luxury fashion, two brands consistently stand out for their timeless appeal and iconic designs: Chanel and Hermès. However, with the recent announcement of Chanel’s 2024 price increase, many are questioning whether the brand can justify these higher costs, especially given concerns over the decline in the overall quality of Chanel, but in this blog we're going to specifically focus in on the hardware. In this blog, we will explore the differences in hardware quality between Chanel and Hermès, and discuss how Chanel might address these quality concerns to justify future upcoming price increases, as it appears they may have hit a glass ceiling considering the most recent increase has placed them toe to toe with the price of an Hermes Birkin.

The Current State of Chanel Hardware

Chanel handbags have long been celebrated for their exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. The classic flap bag, boy bag, and other iconic styles feature various hardware options such as gold hardware, rose gold hardware, and brushed matte ruthenium hardware. However, recent feedback from customers suggests that the quality of Chanel hardware has declined further. In 2008 Chanel stopped production of bags with 24 karat gold plated hardware, and since then it has evidently declined. Many have noted issues with tarnishing, chipping, and fading, and even damage and falling off, particularly with gold hardware and shiny 'so black' metal hardware. To minimize tarnishing and maintain the quality of your Chanel handbags, it is advisable to invest in a professional jewellery polishing cloth.

Gold, Light Gold and Champagne Gold Hardware and Its Challenges

Chanel’s gold hardware has faced criticism for its durability. Customers have reported that the gold wears off quickly, revealing the base metal beneath. This is a significant concern for those who invest in Chanel handbags, as they expect long-lasting quality. The use of a professional jewellery polishing cloth has become a common practice among Chanel enthusiasts attempting to maintain their bags’ appearance.

Silver, Ruthenium, and Palladium Hardware

Similar issues have been noted with Chanel’s shiny silver hardware and blackened ruthenium hardware. These metals, while initially stunning, often show signs of wear and tear much sooner than expected. The matte silver hardware and dark metallic leather options, though trendy, also suffer from similar durability concerns.

Innovative Hardware Options

Chanel has experimented with various hardware finishes, including brushed gold, filigree gold, and enamel hardware. While these finishes provide unique aesthetic appeal, they too have been subject to quality issues, and it's just not really what the people want. These hardware types chip and scratch, diminishing the bag’s overall look.

The Hermès Standard

In stark contrast, Hermès is renowned for its impeccable hardware quality. The brand’s use of high-quality materials and meticulous craftsmanship sets a benchmark in the luxury handbag industry. Hermès hardware options, including shiny gold hardware, palladium hardware, and the highly coveted diamond Birkin bag hardware, are known for their durability and resistance to wear.

High-Quality Materials and Craftsmanship

Hermès uses high-quality materials like solid brass and platinum group metals for their hardware. These materials, coupled with superior craftsmanship, ensure that Hermès bags maintain their pristine condition for years. 

Diverse Hardware Options

Hermès offers a variety of hardware options, such as brushed gold, brushed palladium, ruthenium, rose gold and permabrass hardware. Each piece undergoes rigorous quality checks to ensure it meets Hermès’ high standards. This attention to detail is why Hermès bags are often viewed as heirloom pieces, passed down through generations.

Limited Editions and Exotic Finishes, Including Diamond Birkin Bag Hardware

Limited edition Birkins and hardware options like diamond hardware elevate Hermès bags to the status of collector’s items. These pieces are not only visually stunning but also engineered to last, making them a worthwhile investment.

How Chanel Can Justify the 2024 Price Increase

Given the concerns about hardware quality, Chanel must take definitive steps to justify any future price increases, as clients are growing more frustrated and feeling priced out. Here are a few strategies the brand might employ:

One approach could be re-issuing the 24K gold plated hardware. This would be a smart move to re-establish the brand's commitment to the highest quality and heritage of the brand.

1. Enhancing Hardware Durability

To regain customer trust, Chanel needs to focus on enhancing the durability of their hardware. This could involve switching to more robust materials like higher-quality gold plating techniques. Ensuring that gold tone and silver hardware withstands everyday wear without significant degradation will be crucial.

2. Improving Quality Control

Stricter quality control measures should be implemented to catch defects before they reach customers. Right now Chanel is attempting to cater to the masses, but it should focus on harnessing their original exclusive offering. This includes rigorous testing of hardware finishes like matte gold hardware, antique gold, and ruthenium hardware. Ensuring consistency in quality across all pieces will help maintain the brand’s reputation for excellence.

3. Innovative Finishes and Coatings

Chanel could explore innovative finishes and coatings that enhance both the aesthetic appeal and durability of their hardware. For example, introducing a palladium treated finish which could provide a unique look while offering greater resistance to wear and tear. 

4. Collaboration with Renowned Artisans

Collaborating with renowned artisans and metallurgists to develop exclusive hardware pieces could add significant value. Limited edition hardware, such as the oversized CC emblem in precious metals or chain straps with exquisite hardware details, can justify higher prices through their exclusivity and craftsmanship.

5. Transparency and Communication

Transparency with customers about the improvements being made can build trust and justify the price increase. Chanel should communicate the steps they are taking to enhance hardware quality, perhaps through marketing campaigns or direct communication with loyal customers.

6. Offering Maintenance Services

Providing maintenance services, such as complimentary polishing or hardware replacement, could assure customers of the brand’s commitment to longevity and quality. This would be particularly appealing for high-use items like chain strap bags and classic flaps.


As Chanel prepares for its future price increase, addressing the current concerns about hardware quality is essential. By focusing on enhancing the durability and aesthetic appeal of their hardware, Chanel can justify higher costs and maintain its status as a leader in luxury fashion. Drawing inspiration from Hermès’ commitment to quality, Chanel has the opportunity to innovate and improve, ensuring that their handbags remain coveted items in the world of fashion.

At, we are excited to see how Chanel evolves and look forward to continuing to offer our customers the finest selection of second-hand luxury handbags. Whether you’re searching for a classic Chanel bag or exploring the impeccable quality of Hermès, our collection has something for every discerning fashion enthusiast.


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