I am not sure how many of you who follow my fashion reviews know that I have another luxury love. And that it is watches. I have been covering the industry for the IHT for the past five years or so and I enjoy seeing how creative the master watchmakers can be within the confines of the watch case. It’s the same reason I also get a kick out of menswear which has a more ridged framework than womenswear.
Anyway…If you happen to be in Paris next week it is worth popping over to the Chaumet headquarters at 12 Place Vendome in the 1st arrondissement to check out an exhibition they have put together called “200 years of Timepieces Creations.” It’s hidden away up on the first floor of the stately building and is on show until July 29th.
I had a wonderful guided tour of the exhibit with Beatrice de Plinval who is Chaumet’s museum curator but she is more like the keeper of the Chaumet flame. It is always a treat to listen to someone who is so passionate about their work. And who doesn’t love hearing all of the amazing stories behind each of the exquisite watches on display.
Broken up into eras, the exhibit starts out with a bang. A pearl encircled blue enamel timepiece created for emperor Napoleon 1er in 1813 by Chaumet’s founder François-Regnault Nitot. It is one of only three in existence. From there other jewel festooned pendant watches and pocket watches from the Second Empire, colourful Belle Époque timepieces and dynamic Art Deco designs all show off Chaumet’s heritage as not only a first class jewellery house but also a creative collaborator when it came to watch making.
Straight across the polished parquet entrance hall from the exhibit is another room dedicated to the drawings and colourful sketches of watches pulled out of Chaumet’s achieves. This room could be an interesting point of inspiration for a fashion designer looking to see how beauty can be created out of simple lines.
And finally to prove that the tradition continues there is on last room in which Chaumet has chosen to display its latest creations in haute horlogerie. New limited editions of the brand’s iconic Dandy line designed with a shaded blue enamel dial, reminiscent in color of the one Napoleon called his own and created with the renowned enameller Anita Porchet are updated with a graphic and modern grid pattern. The highly successful “Attrape-moi..si tu máimes” diamond and bee motif Chaumet watches will have some stiff competition from the brand’s latest ladies watch, the Josephine. Its tear drop shaped dial and elegantly angled case outlined in diamonds should entice more than a few collectors to invest.
Count on spending less than an hour at the exhibit. It is short, sweet and to the point. Now don’t waist any more time and head on over.
Open Monday to Friday from 11:00- 18:00
Here is a video of the exhibit from my friends over at thejewelleryeditor.com