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Chaumet

For over two hundred years, Chaumet has been placing its jewellers’ excellence at the service of outstanding timepieces, combining the meticulousness of Swiss tradition with its mastery of Parisian refinement.

About

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.

1705
Birth of Chaumet.
1811
First pair of wristwatches created for Princess Augusta of Bavaria.
1907
Moves into 12, place Vendôme.
1999
Chaumet becomes part of LVMH.
2011
Pascal Bourdariat becomes the 12th head of production for Chaumet.
Philosophy

For over two hundred years, Chaumet has been placing its jewellers' excellence at the service of outstanding timepieces, combining the meticulousness of Swiss tradition with its mastery of Parisian refinement.

Over the centuries, it has successfully adapted, setting the Parisian trend with constant attention to quality, creativity and elegance.

At the crossroads of watchmaking and jewellery, the legendary store at 12, place Vendôme is justly proud to have showcased some of the most striking watchmaking creations of its time.

Chaumet makes its mark through its talent for combining the most daring watchmaking innovations with the immeasurable value of diamonds, rare gems and jealously guarded craftsmanship. As a result, each and every Chaumet watch is a genuine masterwork of time – displaying time even as it defies it.

In 2011, the firm received Responsible Jewellery Council certification, recognising its impeccable business ethics.

Collections

Bee my love

The dials of these watches form a poetic, naturalist stage on which materials and knowhow play their respective roles to the full.

Class One

The first ever jewellery diver's watch, Class One breaks the mould by combining diamonds and rubber in a “Smart Casual” style.

Dandy

With its very special cushion-shaped case, Dandy blends traditional watchmaking knowhow, elegance and a dash of coquettishness.

Joséphine

In a tribute to Empire fashion, the Josephine watch, with its long slender lines, evokes gold lace and diamond rain.

Khesis

With a broad, generous wristband, Khesis is a horological gem; the supple link strap fits snugly on the wrist.

Watches

Imperial beginnings

The history of the House of Chaumet is inextricably linked to the history of France. It was founded in 1780 by Marie-Etienne Nitot (don't let the name fool you, he was a man), who worked as an apprentice to the court jeweller to Queen Marie-Antoinette. Nitot also provided the jewellery for the wedding of Napoleon and Joséphine de Beauharnais, as well as the crown for Napoleon's coronation and jewellery for Empress Marie-Louise. After the French Revolution business took off for Nitot and he became the official jeweller of Napoleon I in 1802. Since Nitot was a staunch royalist, however, he sold the business to Jean Baptiste Fossin on the fall of the Empire in 1815. Today the company is based on the Place Vendome, the historic centre of fine jewellery in Paris.

After another revolution in 1848, the activity of the house slumped in France and production was moved from Paris to a workshop in London, managed by Jean-Valentin Morel. A certain Jospeh Chaumet married Marie, the grand-daughter of Morel, lending the company its present-day name as it entered the Art Deco period. The company enjoyed a post-war resurgence only to see the last active members of the Chaumet file for a dubious bankruptcy in 1987. Chaumet was subsequently bought by Investcorp and later sold to LVMH in 1999, maintaining the link with Paris.

Vertical integration

Similar to the notion of "manufacture" in watchmaking, Chaumet controls the entire process of jewellery production, right from the initial design to the production in its own workshops. Its artisans transform precious metals such as white and yellow gold into stunning jewellery creations that the seller lines up for sophisticated ladies with exquisite taste. Its collections include Liens (named after the link motif - "liens" means links in English - found in the Chaumet archives), which was first produced in white gold with diamonds. The "Premiers Liens" collection from 2007 included creations in yellow, white and rose gold.

Daring and dandy

In addition to jewellery, Chaumet also produces watches. Although the majority of Chaumet creations are aimed at women, one of its signature watch collections - the Chaumet Dandy - is clearly intended for men. Available with a stainless-steel or rose gold case and black dial, the Chaumet Dandy bears subtle design traits the set it apart from the crowd, just as the real Dandy's innate sense of style does.

Chaumet also brought the "first diver's watch to the Place Vendome" with the Class One, offering an intriguing combination of stainless-steel case and bracelet with an architectural dial (also available in an unusual black optic) and 100 metre water resistance. The Class One for ladies is powered by a Swiss quartz movement, while the gents version also includes an automatic chronograph that is also available with the black dial.

Jewellery and watches, side by side

The House's expertise in jewellery, which has been passed down over more than 230 years, naturally finds its way into the watch collections, too, combining luxury metals such as gold and platinum with a variety of precious and semi-precious stones. In the case of many of the brand’s watches, the jewellery expertise is miniaturised the fit the wrist, with the timekeeping function provided by a quartz movement.

Chaumet has a special distance selling service that allows you to buy a watch directly from the company. You can browse the entire list of the collection, read up on the technical characteristics of the individual models and even create a virtual shopping list. As a direct seller, Chaumet deals with the entire process and can even arrange shipping for those who wish to buy its watches.