The family coat of arms of Martell is a shield with three hammers. Charles Martell choose this emblem, when he was nicknamed The Hammer after stopping the islamic advance in France in 732. He was the leader of the Franks and also grandfather of Charlemagne (Charles the Great). So it seems there are family ties with this royal family. Jean Martell, founder of the firm, was born on the Island of Jersey but the roots of this family are very probably French.
The French word for hammer is marteau, from the Latin word martula (to hammer is ‘marteler’in French), so this word comes very close to his name. Martell put a swift on top of his emblem to complete it. Swift in French is martinet, again a name that comes as close to Martell as it gets.
On practically every bottle the shield with the hammers features with the swift on top, but lately more often with the swift on top of the brand-name and the shield somewhere else. As time went by the image has changed gradually to the modern, stylish swift and the more pronounced shield with hammers.