The history of Chaumet is bound up with the history of France itself. Marie-Étienne Nitot, the firm's founder, settled in Paris in 1780 – after completing his apprenticeship with Auber, Queen Marie-Antoinette's jeweller. Up until the French Revolution in 1789, he had a loyal clientele of aristocrats.
In 1802 came the supreme honour: Nitot became official jeweller to Napoleon I, making the jewellery for his weddings – first with Josephine, then Marie-Louise. He designed and set the stones on the coronation crown and sword and was the most sought-after jeweller in Europe.
Marie-Étienne Nitot died in 1809. His son, François Regnault Nitot, took over from him until the Empire fell in 1815. When Napoleon was exiled, François Regnault passed the firm on to the workshop supervisor, Jean-Baptiste Fossin.
After the French Revolution, the Fossin workshops opened a store in London, which they entrusted to Jean-Valentin Morel. Queen Victoria granted them a warrant of appointment. The Morels returned to France in 1852 on the arrival of Napoleon III.
In 1885, Pierre Chaumet married Mr Morel's daughter and took over the firm. From then on it was passed on from father to son until 1987, when it was bought by Investcorp and then, twelve years later, by LVMH.
Chaumet's knowhow is embodied in every watch that emerges from the firm's workshops – from its design through to its production. This knowhow has been handed down as a heritage from workshop supervisor to workshop supervisor for 230 years in an unbroken line. The firm's craftsmen fashion, polish and bejewel the timepieces created by the firm's designers using traditional methods.
The making of a Chaumet watch calls for close cooperation between all the trades, using the full extent of their talent to create a range of movements, cases and dials bearing the Chaumet seal of excellence. Backed by Swiss watchmaking expertise and precision, during the course of its history Chaumet has called on the greatest names in Haute Horlogerie – notably Breguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, DeLaneau, Patek Philippe and F.P Journe.