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Chaumet

A high-end jeweller headquartered in Paris, owned by LVMH

Categories

Fashion and Textiles  
Retail and Consumer Goods  
Summary

Founded in 1780 Chaumet is a high-end jeweller based in Paris. Fourteen artisans ply their trade in the workshop on Place Vendôme under the direction of foreman Pascal Bourdariat. Since 2012, the brand has been acquired by LVMH.


History

Chaumet was formerly known as Nitot- named after founder Marie-Étienne Nitot- who settled in Paris in 1780 after having served his apprenticeship at Aubert and 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. 

The jewellery for Napoleon's wedding to Joséphine de Beauharnais- and later to Marie Louise de Habsburg-Lorraine- was created by Nitot. Per Vogue: "The French empress was such an influence that Nitot adopted many of the empire's motifs into his own iconography: the ears of wheat that represented prosperity and the laurel that represented honour and victory. "After the French Revolution it was necessary to show to Europe, and the world, that Napoleon was a strong and successful leader" says Gannet, adding: "Jewellery was important to convey France’s prosperity to the world"."

He also 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 continued his activity until the fall of the Empire in 1815. The Maison's high jewellery savoir-faire has been passed down through generations of jewellers for almost two hundred and forty years. Crafted in the heart of Place Vendôme.. tiaras, jewellery and timepieces reflected the grace and character of its noble wearers.

Napoleon's exile caused Nitot- a fervent royalist- to withdraw from the jewellery house.. selling the business to his foreman, Jean Baptiste Fossin. Assisted by his son Jules, Fossin created romantic jewellery pieces inspired by the arts of the Italian Renaissance- France in the Eighteenth century and naturalist-themed pieces. The elite of the period was won over and the family of Louis-Philippe- King of France from 1830 to 1848 as well as the Duchesse de Berry.

It's fascinating how each piece of jewellery is handcrafted 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… From the sketch to the finished piece, jewellers- setters- polishers and engravers each have a hand in bringing the jewel to life… 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…”

In 1885 Joseph Chaumet took control of the House. The Renaissance style was still used- in particular for tiaras- in vogue at the time. But the new head of House also drew inspiration from Japanese art which was gaining popularity in jewellery design at the time. In 1907 he moved the workshops and boutique to 12 Place Vendôme- where they remain to this day. In 1958 the sons of Marcel Chaumet- Jacques and Pierre- were appointed Executive Directors of the maison. The Seventies were marked by originality and unconventional combinations such as pairings of diamonds, corals and peridots mounted on yellow gold. Artistic Director René Morin pushed the envelope further in the Eighties and created a bull's head from a block of lapis lazuli. 

Sadly Jacques and Pierre Chaumet had to file for bankruptcy in 1987 with liabilities reportedly of 1.4 billion francs due to heavy losses in their diamond purchasing and resale business after the drop in prices worldwide. The company was bought out by Investcorp in 1987 and became profitable again in 1998. Investcorp resold Chaumet to French luxury goods company LVMH-Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 1999.. marking its entrance into the joint venture between LVMH and De Beers which united watch and jewellery brands like TAG Heuer- Zenith- FRED- Hublot- Montres-Christian Dior and De Beers. A member of the Responsible Jewellery Council since 2005.. Chaumet became the tenth member certified by the RJC. In 2010-11 the company's estimated sales were €60 million in total sales and €30 million in watches. In 2012 Claire Dévé Rakoff became Chaumet's new creative director and used the hydrangea as a new symbol.

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 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.

Per Vogue: "On the occasion of the reopening of the maison Chaumet has released a new collection of 'house rings': 'Trésors d'Ailleurs'… these rings are like objets d'art- cast in bold architectural shapes with decadent details and lavish stonework. One yellow gold ring- set with rock crystals and two cabochon-cut Zambian emeralds- conjures up the iconic Beaux-Arts structure of the Grand Palais while another resembles a traditional Chinese monument cut in graphic gold forms with a tourmaline pagoda. They make for a once in a lifetime statement."

Chaumet is still widely acclaimed for its tiaras today. Per Vogue: ""In the last two or three years, most of our clients have come from Asia. They want something with heritage, style and meaning" says Chaumet's chief executive Jean-Marc Mansvelt who oversees an avid clientele. "We usually have two to three orders being made at once—mostly for weddings as people see tiaras as a coronation of love." For a custom tiara, he reveals, the starting price is anywhere between €300,000 and €400,000. "From there it can go up to anything depending on what it is.""

So what does Chaumet stand for today? "There was really a search at Chaumet over the years to go beyond the demonstrative- the sumptuous- the visible- it was very much for people who didn't have to prove their wealth. The Chaumet style has a real personality.. an expression that is extremely modern and interesting. We're distinctive and that's one of the reasons why our clients will chose us. Our style is a lot about a sense of lightness and grace…" Chaumet Chairman Jean-Marc Mansvelt told Couture Notebook.

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 jewellery and watches reflect Chaumet's exceptional savoir-faire which elevates gems and precious metals from socially and ecologically responsible sources, in accordance with the Responsible Jewellery Council certification and the Kimberley Process which guarantees the ethical origin of rough diamonds.


Mission

Chaumet is known as the "Jeweller of Emotions": the fine jewellery brand's mission is to create unique pieces that promote the craftsmanship of French jewellery.


Vision

Chaumet's vision is to create timeless masterpieces of French jewellery for a customer looking for something stunning, escapist and storied.


Key Team

Bernard Arnault (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (LVMH))

Jean-Marc Mansvelt (Chaumet Chairman )


Recognition and Awards
Chaumet won Gold Ink Awards: Gold (Chaumet Tiaras) in 2020. It also was the winner of the Wallpaper Design Awards under the category "Best Twirls" in 2022.

Products and Services

Fine jewellery band Chaumet- which has designed jewellery for the royalty- designs and retails fine jewellery including earrings- necklaces- bracelets and tiaras.


References
Chaumet
Leadership team

Bernard Arnault (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (LVMH))

Jean-Marc Mansvelt (Chaumet Chairman )

Industries

Fashion and Textiles

Retail and Consumer Goods

Products/ Services
High end jewellery including bracelets, rings, necklaces and pendants.
Number of Employees
50 - 100
Headquarters
12, Place Vendôme, Paris
Established
1780
Company Registration
342966942
Revenue
Above - 1B
Traded as
Euronext Paris: MC CAC 40 Component
Social Media

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