Chaumet is a French jewelry, jewelery and watchmaking house founded in 1780 by Marie-Étienne Nitot. Fourteen artisans ply their trade in the workshop on Place Vendôme under the direction of foreman Pascal Bourdariat. Official supplier to Empress Josephine and jeweler to sovereigns, Chaumet was also the first jewelry house to set up shop in Place Vendôme, in 1812. As of 2012, it was owned by LVMH.
The history of Chaumet has been intimately entwined with the history of France since the founding of the Paris jeweler in 1780. Chaumet very quickly became official jeweler to Empress Joséphine. Marie-Etienne Nitot was appointed to design jewellery for Napoleon and all members of the royal family after his creations for Napleon’s coronation and wedding.
The Maison’s high jewelry savoir-faire has been passed down through generations of jewelers for almost 240 years. For five centuries, Paris has been renowned for the quality and creativity of its artisan jewelers. It is in this tradition that Marie-Étienne Nitot distinguished herself at the end of the 18th century.
Crafted in the heart of Place Vendôme, exceptional tiaras, jewels and timepieces express this virtuosity and embody elegance with grace and character. The Joséphine collection is a precious echo of the taste of its muse, while Lien jewels celebrate the moments and life experiences that forge special relationships. The pieces in the Jardins collection pay tribute to untamed, delicate nature.
Place Vendôme has been the beating heart of Chaumet since 1812, initially at No. 15. Today, Chaumet at Place Vendôme, Paris, perpetuates the expertise of the Paris jeweller by continuing the firm’s core values for modern-day princesses. Chaumet’s creations always embody a mix of fashion, elegance, style and unique creativity.
To celebrate its 240th anniversary, in 2020 the Maison inaugurated a majestic renovation of its historic hôtel particulier at 12, Place Vendôme, the mythic epicenter of Parisian luxury. Melding tradition and modernity, the exquisite redesign showcases the cornerstones of the Maison dear to its founder. Clients are welcomed to a boutique conceived as a luxurious Paris apartment. The grand salons celebrate culture and heritage, notably the salon Chopin, classified as a historical monument. Above all, the virtuosity of the High Jewelry workshop is now proudly on display, facing the iconic Place Vendôme.
A precious echo of the exquisite taste of its muse, the Joséphine collection perpetuates the graceful and elegant style that defines Maison Chaumet. An alliance of refined design and flamboyant stones, the collection revisits a 240-year tradition of expertise at the service of contemporary creativity.
Chaumet is deeply committed to passing on both the expertise has continually cultivated for 240 years, as well as a unique style and elegance that have remained relevant in every era and won the hearts of an impressive array of prestigious clients, thanks to the ingenuity and unparalleled quality of Chaumet jewelry and watches.
Nitot Period (1780–1815)
Marie-Étienne Nitot (1750–1809) settled in Paris in 1780 after having served his apprenticeship at Aubert, then jeweller to Queen Marie-Antoinette. His aristocratic clientele remained loyal to him until the French Revolution in 1789.
It was after this that the Nitot jewellery house really took off, becoming the official jeweller of Napoleon I in 1802. Napoleon’s taste for jewelry was above all political. He wants to make France the center of luxury and fashion creation again. With the help of his son François Regnault (1779–1853), Nitot created the jewellery that would offer the French Empire splendour and power.
After ordering Napoleon’s coronation sword and Pope Pius VII’s tiara, Marie-Étienne Nitot became jeweler to the Imperial Court and official supplier to Empress Josephine. He thus became the most sought-after jeweler in all of Europe. The jewellery for Napoleon’s wedding to Joséphine de Beauharnais, and later to Marie Louise de Habsburg-Lorraine, was created by Nitot. He designed and set Napoleon’s coronation crown, the hilt of his sword as well as many other pieces for the court.
François Regnault Nitot took over his father’s jewellery house on his death in 1809 and succeeded him in 1812 and moved the workshops. François Regnault Nitot continued his activity until the fall of the Empire in 1815. Napoleon’s exile caused Nitot, a fervent royalist, to withdraw from the jewellery house, selling the business to his foreman, Jean Baptiste Fossin (1786–1848). The House is thus the first to settle in Place Vendôme at number 15, currently the Ritz Paris.
Fossin and Morel Periods (1815–1885)
Assisted by his son Jules (1808–1869), Fossin elegantly interpreted romantic jewellery pieces inspired by the arts of the Italian Renaissance and the French 18th century, but also naturalist-themed pieces.
Nitot’s successors, Jean-Baptiste and Jules Fossin, then Valentin and Prosper Morel, consecrated romantic jewelery by renewing and multiplying their sources of inspiration. Eclectic, the romantic era draws inspiration from various stylistic influences drawn from the past, but it is above all marked by the exaltation of nature, represented as close as possible to its truth.
The restored Bourbon monarchy revived the clientele’s desire for splendor. Paris revives a brilliant life and regains its international reputation as a high place of luxury and fashion. An atmosphere conducive to the creation of jewels to be worn day or evening with sumptuous ball gowns.
The elite of the period were won over and the family of Louis-Philippe, King of France from 1830 to 1848, as well as the Duchesse de Berry, succeeded Napoleon on the list of famous clients of what was to become Chaumet. They included personalities such as Anatole Demidoff, a Russian prince married to Napoleon’s niece, Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, as well as many painters, sculptors and writers, both French and foreign.
After the French revolution of 1848, the activity of Maison Fossin slowed significantly in France, leading to the establishment of a boutique in London with a workshop entrusted to Jean-Valentin Morel (1794–1860) assisted by his son Prosper, who was born in 1825. They attracted a prestigious clientele which included Queen Victoria, who granted Jean-Valentin Morel a royal warrant. At the London World’s Fair of 1851, Morel resumed the enamelling tradition of the 16th and 17th centuries and produced hardstone goblets with enamelled mounts.
Chaumet Art Deco Period (1885–1944)
Joseph Chaumet became director of the House from 1885 to 1928 and gave it his name. Joseph Chaumet is a visionary and undisputed master of the Belle Époque, he finds his inspiration in the re-enchantment of nature.
The Renaissance style was still used, in particular for tiaras, very much in vogue at the time, which Chaumet would make one of its specialities; but Chaumet also drew inspiration from Japanese art, which was gaining popularity in jewellery design at the time. Thanks to his creativity, aigrettes and tiaras, social emblems and fashion accessories, became a specialty of Chaumet.
The House moved to 12, place Vendôme in 1907, making the Hôtel Baudard de Sainte-James the iconic address of Chaumet.
Marcel Chaumet (1886–1964) succeeded his father Joseph in 1928, at the height of the Art Deco period. The jewellery house participated in the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, becoming a leader in this trend.
Jewellery was more geometric, following the ‘boyish style’ of the 1920s, becoming more feminine during the 1930s. Colours, materials and fine gems were imperative for jewellery. From the 1920s onwards, the renown of the jewellery house spread to the world of the arts and show business.
From cubism to futurism, artistic avant-gardes abounded during the interwar period. The House is adapting to the boyish look of women and interpreting the trend towards geometric shapes. The appearance of platinum allows creations to gain in height, lightness and flexibility.
The jewels of the Roaring Twenties are characterized by strong contrasts of colors and materials, the use of semi-precious stones, black and white or even exotic inspirations. It’s the fashion for long necklaces and graphic headbands, favorite accessories of “boyish”.
Thanks to the evolution of means of transport, Chaumet’s clientele is diversifying. Indian princes – including the maharajas of Baroda and Indore – took a liking to European pleasures and placed sumptuous orders. Great collectors of jewelry, they bring their stones to Place Vendôme to have them mounted on light and flexible platinum mounts.
During the 1930s, Chaumet perpetuated its style while giving it a modernity that echoed the good taste of the Parisian woman, always in search of novelty and avant-garde. In 1934, Maison Chaumet sponsored the establishment of the young jeweller Pierre Sterlé, who was already designing its jewellery. In the same year, the House closed, only to re-open at the end of the World War II.
Chaumet Period: resurgence of the brand (1944–1987)
In the wake of the post-war years, Chaumet stood out as a precursor, embodying the taste and creativity of the Parisian woman. Chaumet adapted the ‘New Look’ of the pioneers Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, attracting the fashionable women of the time.
In 1958, the sons of Marcel Chaumet, Jacques and Pierre, were appointed executive directors of the House. They took over the Breguet brand in 1970. François Bodet, a Maison Chaumet executive, renewed the brand and positioned Breguet in the high-end watchmaking segment.
Maison Chaumet is entering a new cycle of artistic proposals. The advent of collections enabled it to increase the variety of its models and thus attract a wider clientele. It also diversifies its activities by creating a department dedicated to watchmaking. The great designers and jewelers of the House such as Pierre Sterlé and René Morin perpetuated the style of Chaumet, while bringing a new modernity.
In 1970, Chaumet overturned the codes of jewelery and inaugurated the Arcade, a new store concept. The 1970s were marked by originality and unconventional combinations, such as pairings of diamonds, coral and peridot mounted on yellow gold. The Lien ring, a circle encompassed by a gold loop in the centre, was created in 1977 by René Morin.
In the 1980s, diamonds were added to the base and the ring was produced in white gold with a double circle. In the mid-1990s, the Lien became a cross, before making way in 2002 for a Lien set with diamonds. A ‘Premiers Liens’ collection was launched in 2007, in yellow, white and pink gold versions.
In the 1980s, René Morin, the artistic director, used his varied influences to promote the resurgence of precious objects. Having joined Chaumet in 1962, Morin famously created a bull’s head from a block of lapis lazuli.
Headed by the brothers Jacques and Pierre Chaumet, the company filed for bankruptcy in 1987 with liabilities of 1.4 billion francs, eight times the annual turnover, in particular due to heavy losses in their diamond purchasing and resale business after the drop in prices worldwide.
LVMH Period (1987-present day)
After having belonged to the Investcorp investment group, the House was bought by the LVMH group In 1999. Chaumet was now part of the watch and jewellery brands that included TAG Heuer, Zenith, FRED, Hublot, Montres Christian Dior, and De Beers Diamond Jewellers (a joint venture between the LVMH and De Beers groups). In 2006, the brand became established in China, opening 24 boutiques in the country.
In 2010/2011, the company’s estimated sales were €60 million in total sales and €30 million in watches. In January 2014, it started a “more accessible Liens range” of watches.
In the wake of the iconic Liens collection, born in 1977, which celebrates the attachment between two beings, Chaumet has created two new signature collections. The Joséphine collection, in 2010, pays tribute to Empress Joséphine, the House’s first major client and inspiration. Its aesthetic is inspired by the tiara, a specificity of Chaumet, and its creations crown the femininity of those who wear them. In 2011, the Bee My Love collection was born, echoing the theme of nature dear to Chaumet and Joséphine’s passion for botany.
Chaumet is exhibited around the world, in exceptional settings such as the Forbidden City in Beijing in 2017, the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum in Tokyo in 2018, or the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco in 2019. Covering various flagship themes of the House, each exhibition presents more than 300 jewels and works of art, from the Chaumet heritage, loans from major museums and private collectors.
Illustrating this art of jewelery specific to Chaumet, these exhibition events explore the secular heritage of the House, its history, its creations of yesterday and today, drawing the contours of a style, in an incessant dialogue with major artistic trends.
Maison Chaumet celebrates its 240th anniversary in majesty, unveiling the new decor of its historic address at 12 Vendôme, where it was the first jeweler to set up shop on the legendary Place Vendôme in 1812.
The Hôtel Baudard in Sainte-James now houses a store with completely redesigned spaces, lounges dedicated to culture where part of the Maison’s heritage is revealed, as well as the Haute Joaillerie workshop. A triple thought vocation from the origin of this exceptional place.
Today, Chaumet continues to expand internationally as part of the LVMH Group, with more than 80 boutiques in major capitals and cities across Europe, the Middle East, Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. New jewelry and watch designs reflect Chaumet’s exceptional savoir-faire, which elevates gems and precious metals from socially and ecologically responsible sources, in accordance with the RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) certification and the Kimberley Process, which guarantees the ethical origin of rough diamonds.
Located at number 12, the Chaumet private mansion sits enthroned in the heart of Place Vendôme, the epicenter of Parisian luxury. Long before bearing the name Chaumet, the House was the first jeweler to set up shop in this legendary square in 1812, at number 15, the current address of the Ritz Paris. From 1907, Joseph Chaumet chose n°12 to set up his House there.
This historic address now houses a store with completely redesigned spaces, lounges dedicated to culture where part of the House’s heritage is revealed, as well as the High Jewelry workshop. A triple vocation that can be found right from the start of this exceptional place. The highlight of the succession of intimate spaces on the first floor, the Salon des Jewels overlooking the Vendôme column, makes it possible to present exceptional pieces or to imagine a special order.
L’Arcade, a contemporary showcase entirely dedicated to the personalization of the Maison’s jewelery and timepieces, combines Chaumet codes with a very seventies spirit. This space is intended as a tribute to the eponymous place inaugurated by the House in the 1970s to decomplex Parisian jewellery.
Jewels of the 18th and 19th centuries, the grand salons of 12 Vendôme – including the Salon Chopin, listed as a historical monument, where the famous composer and pianist composed his last piece – have been restored and redesigned to accommodate the unique heritage of the House. Since its creation in 1780, the House has been able to preserve over time a number of priceless treasures, which today constitute its heritage.
Overlooking the Vendôme column, the statue of Napoleon watches over the Maison’s Haute Joaillerie workshop. It is in this secret location that jewellers, setters and polishers work every day to bring Chaumet creations to life. This precious virtuosity, which only the hand can reproduce, has been passed down from workshop manager to workshop manager since the creation of the Maison in 1780.
Modern and free, Empress Joséphine has inspired creations full of grace and character at Chaumet for more than two centuries. In tradition, seven jewelers under the direction of a master craftsman create by hand special orders and high jewelry collections. One of the practices specific to the company is the work of the models of the jewels in nickel silver, which makes it possible to show the shape or the volume of the jewel to the sponsor, before making it in the workshop.
The Joséphine collection, launched in 2010, pays tribute to the empress, who was a devotee and collector of Chaumet jewels. This collection takes its inspiration from the diadem, tiara and aigrette, different head jewels worn by Joséphine.
Modern and free, Empress Joséphine has inspired creations full of grace and character at Chaumet for more than two centuries. The House’s first major client, this leading woman who became sovereign for love invented a style that combined elegance and lightness. An aesthetic that animates the collections of today.
A precious echo of the taste of its inspiration, the Joséphine collection transposes the tiara and the aigrette into the repertoire of contemporary jewelry. Pieces that combine and overlap as desired to crown your style with grace and character. Celebrated in all its forms, the pear cut brings femininity and distinction to creations.
Perpetuating the tradition of jewels that tell the time, dear to the House, the Joséphine Aigrette watch shakes up the codes of watchmaking and offers an original everyday wear. Precious and refined, its feminine shape reinterprets Chaumet’s iconic pear-shaped diamond. Its leather or satin strap embraces the wrist in a unique way, without hindrance or buckle.
From the tiara ring to the wedding rings to match, Joséphine creations crown love with majesty. Brilliant, cushion or pear-cut center stones – the House’s signature – the House offers brides and grooms diamonds and colored stones selected according to criteria of excellence.
A true Chaumet icon, Joséphine engagement rings reinterpret the tiara in a contemporary way and crown the finger with majesty. Summoning all the jewelery virtuosity of Chaumet, from the art of design to the mastery of the knife edge, the secret of the lightness of the frames, these rings become the precious pledges of a commitment as intense as it is moving.
Inspired by the sovereign allure of the Empress and the splendor of the Imperial Court, the Haute Joaillerie Joséphine creations celebrate the brilliance of the diamond and magnify the vibrant colors of the center stones. These exceptional creations with a couture spirit pay homage to the bicentenary virtuosity of the House.
Bee My Love Collection
The bee, the emblem of both Napoleon and the House of Chaumet, is the source of inspiration for the Bee my love collection. Over the years, the house has made the bee a symbol of romantic feelings. For this collection, the craftsmen have used a setting designed in the shape of a honeycomb cell symbolising beehives. The wedding rings in the collection may be stacked on top of each other and come in yellow, white and rose gold.
Bee My Love stands out with its solar creations inspired by the honeycomb of the hive. Both graphic and timeless, the collection lends itself to all occasions and moments in life. Immerse yourself in the joyful and radiant universe of an icon of Parisian jewelry.
The collection’s iconic rings, bracelets and necklaces can be worn alone or stacked wonderfully, endlessly reinventing deliberately unique jewelry. Mirror-polished gold facets and diamond cells… This collection, with a design as radiant as it is distinctive, is enriched with a sparkling new pendant.
Inspired by the Bee My Love rings, the pendants are available in pink and white gold, in a simple version or set with 12 brilliant-cut diamonds, the Maison’s lucky number. A new talisman to add to your collection now. Both timeless and deliberately original, Wedding Bee My Love creations seal the most radiant of declarations.
Symbols of eternity and love, Bee My Love engagement rings are adorned with dazzling diamonds. From the iconic brilliant cut to the extraordinary Empress Cut diamonds, each creation offers the promise of exceptionally radiant jewelry. with our Bee My Love necklaces and earrings to create a bridal set of unparalleled radiance.
Chaumet unveils a new exclusive diamond cut, the Empress Cut. The only diamond cut to combine a hexagonal shape, 88 facets and a star-shaped pavilion, the Empress Cut has an extraordinary brilliance and a brilliance superior to the absolute benchmark on the market, the brilliant cut. These 88 facets – compared to 57 for a traditional brilliant-cut – have been designed to capture more light rays and reflect them by multiplying their intensity.
Extraordinary stones that sublimate new Bee My Love creations, more precious than ever. Whether they play on sensual pink gold or the brilliance of white gold, these two deliberately graphic adornments combine elegance, distinction and the art of shining dear to the House.
Items of jewellery with a link motif, feature in the Chaumet archives dating from the Belle Époque. The first “Liens” collection appeared in the 1970s with the “Lien” ring, a band encircled by a golden buckle at its centre, created in 1977.
A contemporary reinterpretation of sentimental jewellery, the Liens collection celebrates the attachment between people. Rich in symbols, the link is the thread that unites those who love each other and brings their destiny closer together. Present in the historic creations of the House, this graphic motif has inspired Chaumet since 1977 to create a collection that is as iconic as it is timeless.
From passion to affection, from love to friendship, each feeling has its talisman. The delicate Jeux de Liens creations offer a joyful palette to be combined as desired. Symbols of the attachment that unites two people, the cross links light up with the deep hues of fine stones, the brilliance of polished gold or the sparkle of diamonds. True talismans to wear every day, the Jeux de Liens Harmony medallions are engraved on the back with a name or a message, to immortalize a precious moment.
Liens Évidence plays on the strength of the blueprint to affirm the power of relationships that time continues to enrich. Creations to coordinate with the chosen one of his heart like so many promises of happiness. A graphic statement, Liens Évidence seals those unique moments that illuminate existence.
Captivating like a declaration, eternal like a promise, Liens d’Amour announces the commitment with an assumed ardor. Representing the unfailing attachment of those who love each other, the link paved with diamonds reveals sensual curves expressing the art of the line of Chaumet. Necklaces, earrings and solitaires come in all shades of love, from the colorful intensity of fine stones to the precious sparkle of diamonds.
Gracefully renewing the knot motif, Liens Séduction interlaces and intertwines, as fusion as passion and as free as love. A tie that reinvents a light and playful seduction, like a ribbon that rolls up to tie with flexibility and fantasy.
Emblem of the union between beings, the bonds are part of the repertoire of Chaumet, jeweler of feelings since 1780, chosen by Joséphine and Napoleon to seal their love of precious creations. This poetic thread is found at all times in the creations of the House: knots in the style of Queen Marie-Antoinette, garlands of ribbons and crossed ties in the Belle Époque, graphic motifs in the 20th century…
Since 1977, Chaumet has constantly reinvented this meaningful symbol, to write the stories of today’s links. A few years later, diamonds were added to the band and the ring was produced in white gold with a double band. In the middle of the 1990s, the link became a cross, before making way in 2002 for a link pavé set with diamonds. The “Premiers Liens” collection launched in 2007 expresses the design in yellow, white and rose gold.
Crown Your Love
For more than two centuries, Maison Chaumet has been faithful to its tradition of jeweler of feelings, creating engagement rings, wedding rings, tiaras and bridal sets, as so many authentic tokens of love. Discreet solitaire or majestic tiara ring, pear-shaped, cushion-cut or brilliant-cut diamond… Each love story is unique.
The House offers engaged couples the possibility of choosing from 12 different ring aesthetics, from the signature solitaires of the Joséphine, Bee My Love and Liens collections, to the classic Plume, Torsade and Frisson models, pledges of eternal elegance.
The Crown Your Love personalization service allows engaged couples to experience the Chaumet difference by composing and visualizing their future engagement ring in 3D. After choosing a solitaire aesthetic and opting for a stone cut, each couple can find the diamond of their life, offering the guarantee of uncommon harmony and brilliance.
Originally an idyll. Napoleon and Josephine, an eternally modern couple, a leading woman and a powerful man, are passionately in love. The House creates its first sentimental jewels for them. True to its history, Chaumet puts happiness at the heart of its creations. From the tiara to the wedding band, from the traditional solitaire to the aigrette ring that crowns the finger… With Crown Your Love, marriage, the founding ceremony of the House’s identity, is honored in our creations.
Chaumet solitaires combine the power of symbolism with the art of composition. Airy settings, the splendor of diamonds, the heirs to the tradition of excellence of the House borrow from Haute Joaillerie its art of detail and its virtuoso techniques.
The rigorous symmetry of each creation imposes a requirement of excellence on the center stones. Beyond the traditional 4Cs — colour, clarity, cut and carat — the Maison selects the most beautiful diamonds according to a fifth criterion of its own: the golden ratio. A criterion of harmony where emotion is as important as the calculation of proportions, so that each Chaumet diamond is perfect.
It is customary to say that Haute Joaillerie is to jewelery what Haute Couture is to fashion: the creation of jewels, by hand and made to measure, by craftsmen with exceptional know-how. It is in our workshop at 12 Vendôme in Paris that jewelers, setters, polishers and lapidaries have been creating these exceptional pieces for more than 240 years.
Overlooking the Vendôme column, the statue of Napoleon watches over the Maison’s High Jewelry workshop. It is in this secret location that jewellers, setters and polishers work every day to bring Chaumet creations to life. This precious virtuosity, which only the hand can reproduce, has been passed down from workshop manager to workshop manager since the creation of the Maison in 1780.
Chaumet started making watches in the 19th century. The pair of wristwatches from 1811, commissioned by Eugène de Beauharnais, was created by Nitot. Made of gold, pearls and emeralds, its production combines jewelery and meticulous clockwork. It was at this time that the house succeeded in placing miniature dials in the center of its bracelets.
The class One was created in 1998. It was the first jewellery diving watch. The design of the watch has adopted various forms over the years: the Class One collection for women in 2012 is made up of two unique pieces crafted in diamonds and sapphires or rubies and eight pieces made of black and white diamonds.
The Dandy was launched in 2003 for the most famous men of the age. It was inspired by dandies from the world of art, fashion or literature who appreciated Chaumet watches. Colourful stripes decorate the background of the dial, the plate of the automatic calibre and the back of the casing. The Dandy Arty, in black with blue glints, was launched in 2012.
The Khesis watch, whose name means “sun” in Navajo, is a cuff design consisting of rice-grain links, created in 1995. The creative principle of this watch was to offer a jewelled watch with a square face.
The Chaumet Museum
Over the decades, the House of Chaumet has designed hundreds of items of jewellery or original editions that have acquired heritage or historical status. From the 1970s, the house has been involved in an initiative to give its pieces their true worth in terms of aesthetic and historical value. This aim came to fruition with the creation of a museum in 1980 under the impetus of Béatrice de Plinval. The museum’s archives contain 200 items of jewellery, 19,800 original invoices, 80,000 drawings, 2,500 diadems and replicas of diadems in nickel silver – hundreds of which have been created since 1780. The museum is not open to the public but regularly organises events or exhibitions based on its collections.
“Paris, two centuries of design”
The first exhibition organised by Chaumet was held from 28 March to 28 June 1998 at the Carnavalet Museum in Paris. This exhibition entitled “Paris, two centuries of design” showcased Chaumet’s creations since the age of Marie-Étienne Nitot. Paintings, photographs and manuscripts echoed the jewellery on display.
“Napoleon in Love: Jewellery of the Empire, Eagles and the Heart”
In September 2004, the Chaumet museum welcomed the “Napoleon in Love: Jewellery of the Empire, Eagles and the Heart” exhibition. This exhibition, celebrating the bicentenary of Napoleon’s coronation, revealed jewellery belonging to Napoleon, as well as Josephine and Marie-Louise. Some one hundred objects from the museum or on loan were placed on display.
“Le Grand Frisson, sentimental jewellery from the Renaissance to the present”
The Chaumet museum also played host to the “Le Grand Frisson, sentimental jewellery from the Renaissance to the present” exhibition from October to November 2008. 150 items of jewellery from the museum and private collections were brought together on the themes of love, friendship and libertinism.
“200 years of watchmaking design”
In July 2011, the House of Chaumet celebrated the 200th anniversary of the creation of its first pair of watch bracelets belonging to Eugène de Beauharnais. To mark the occasion, the house organised the “200 years of watchmaking design” exhibition bringing together 30 pieces and 300 drawings.
Journées Particulières, 2011
The Journées Particulières open days organised on 15 and 16 October 2011 were held in the workshop, the large salons and the Chaumet museum. These days were an opportunity to present jewellery from the Chaumet archive collections.
Journées Particulières, 2013
To mark the second edition of the Journées Particulières open days, which took place on 15 and 16 June 2013, Chaumet opened its doors to the general public. The history of the house, its historic headquarters and its iconic collections were presented in its salons. Meetings with the head jeweller and the craftsmen were organised to demonstrate the different steps involved in manufacturing a piece of fine jewellery.
The Chaumet Workshop
The Place Vendôme groups together the House of Chaumet’s main activities. In addition to the head office, the townhouse plays home to the design studio and the Fine Jewellery workshop.
At Chaumet, everything begins with a design sketch, which the Maison’s gemologists then use to select the stones. Chosen for their quality, rarity or the emotion they inspire, the gems are then sculpted into brilliant, cushion, oval or emerald cuts, or Chaumet’s signature pear cut.
It is only once they have been cut that the gems, bathed in light, reveal their true beauty. From the sketch to the finished piece, jewelers, setters, polishers and engravers each have a hand in bringing the jewel to life.
Time is a precious ingredient in the Chaumet equation, with creations that can represent more than 2,000 hours of work by artisans. In the heart of the High Jewelry workshop at 12, Place Vendôme – a veritable laboratory of creativity and innovation for all its collections, – expertly executed actions are performed exclusively by hand, perpetuating savoir-faire that the master artisans have been passing on from generation to generation for 240 years.
Jewellery and fine jewellery
Chaumet controls all the design and production processes of the pieces issuing from its workshops. After being supplied with gold and gems, its fourteen artisans mould, melt, polish and set traditionally the pieces created by the House’s designers. The movements of the watches produced by Chaumet are manufactured in Switzerland. In 1969, Jacques Combes joined Chaumet as an apprentice. Appointed foreman in 1989, he was made a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in July 2005. On 28 January 2011, Pascal Bourdariat succeeded Jacques Combes, becoming the twelfth master of the House.
Six jewellers under the direction of a master craftsman create all of the special orders and fine jewellery collections by hand. The House of Chaumet seeks to preserve its traditional know-how, which guarantees the quality of its work. For example, the workshop has conserved the wooden workbenches, which have remained the same for 200 years.
One of the practices unique to Chaumet is working with mock-ups for items of jewellery made of nickel silver. This makes it possible to show the client the shape or size of the item of jewellery before it is produced in the workshop.
Chaumet’s jewellery-making expertise enables the creation of exceptional pieces of jewellery and limited collections. This is the case with the “12 Vendôme” collection, which was created to mark the 26th Biennale des Antiquaires in September 2012. The collection’s name refers to the address of the boutique and the workshop located at 12 place Vendôme. The twelve pieces (including four diadems) in this collection are a tribute to the different styles adopted by the house over the generations.
A number of the items of jewellery in the “12 Vendôme” collection are transformable: a long necklace may be lengthened by the addition of two bracelets and an invisible system makes it possible to detach the aigrette from a diadem.
As a designer of fine jewellery, Chaumet began to produce precious watches from the 19th century onwards. The house has joined forces with Swiss watchmakers, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre and Patek Philippe, to create exceptional timepieces.
The pair of bracelet-watches from 1811, commissioned by Eugène de Beauharnais, was created by Nitot. Made of gold, pearls and emeralds, its manufacture combined fine jewellery with a meticulous watchmaking movement. It was at this time that the house succeeded in placing miniature dials at the centre of its bracelets.
One of the most recent creations, the “Complication Créative”, showcases the bee – Chaumet’s emblem – and the spider. The latter indicates the hours and the bee the minutes. This watch’s specific mechanism was created thanks to the house’s partnership with top Swiss watchmakers.
In 2013, Chaumet’s “Montres Précieuses” once again combined fine jewellery and watchmaking. The six pieces in this collection use a self-winding mechanical movement and are decorated with diamonds, mother-of-pearl, paintings or engravings.
The arrival of Claire Dévé-Rakoff
After working for Chanel and Swarovski and creating her own collection under her own name, Claire Dévé-Rakoff became Chaumet’s new creative director. Her arrival in 2012 brought a new breath of life to the house: she used the hydrangea as a new symbol.