High Jewellery Highlights: Chaumet Dives Under the Waves and Buccellati Brings Out Treasures From the Past

What made my eyes sparkle today: a bewitching Chaumet necklace inspired by the mythical mermaid and an incredible Buccellati cuff bracelet with intricate gold leaves

It’s day two of Paris Couture Week and the high jewellery presentations are ongoing. Today, I stopped by Place Vendôme to view two collections, each marvellous in their own way: first, Chaumet’s new Ondes et Merveilles high jewellery collection, and following that, it was on to Milanese jeweller Buccellati’s Rue Saint-Honoré store to see an array of archival pieces.

Chaumet falls for all things nautical

French jewellery brand Chaumet is having a major week in Paris. It kicked off with the opening of its exhibition Végétal – L’École de la Beauté, at Les Beaux‑Arts de Paris, exploring the influence of nature on the designs of Chaumet throughout history, and is presenting its new high jewellery, titled Ondes et Merveilles (waves and wonders), at its flagship Vendôme store. The interior of the newly refurbished flagship was given a fresh coat of navy blue paint in line with the underwater theme, setting the scene for the jewellery pieces.

The collection drew on aspects of nautical life as its inspiration—from swirling waves and currents, to sailors’ tattoos, and even the mythical mermaid—which translated into compelling pieces filled with movement. One can almost see the sweeping aquatic eddies and vibrant marine creatures come to life in the collection. Among my favourites of the day included the Gulfstream necklace, featuring a stunning 19.83-carat Australian black opal, paired with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and chrysoprase (quelle surprise!); and a brilliant gold cuff crafted to resemble pebbles on the beach, each one individually scored to look as if worn down by the waves.

Other stunners in the collection included the Escales collar necklace (made from white and rose gold with red spinels and diamonds), which caught my eye with its fiery intensity. The marquise-cut diamonds on the collar, the brand representative told me, are meant to symbolise boats docking on the marina, a fun detail that I found quite amusing.

Of note as well is the Chant de Sirènes series, which pays homage to mermaids, but it is also the inspiration for one of two tiaras (Chaumet’s signature) in the collection. The one I saw in this series was a magnificent sweeping number crowned with lustrous green-tinted Tahitian pearls and shimmering ice-green tourmalines. Parting was sweet sorrow indeed, dear reader, when I had to emerge from the underwater world of wonder that Chaumet created.

Buccellati revisits its greatest hits

A brisk walk down Rue Saint-Honoré and I’m in front of Milanese jeweller Buccellati’s black and gold storefront. Ushered into a semi-private salon flanked by a wall-length vitrine, I was invited to view rare archival pieces from the jeweller’s history, stretching as far back as the 1930s. I was particularly drawn by the delicate craftsmanship of their pieces—for example, a statement-making gold cuff with an eye-watering aquamarine that featured individually crafted gold leaves, and a brooch with sapphires and rose-cut diamonds inspired by the forget-me-not flower. It was interesting that the brand chose to present pieces from its past, instead of creating an entirely new collection, but it was a joy to examine the minuscule details and ingenuity of the Milanese jeweller’s artisans.