From Paris with Love, Cartier 154 Champs-Élysées


Since 1899, Cartier’s iconic address has been 13 Rue de la Paix, a few steps away from the world famous and prestigious Place Vendôme. This year however, reflecting its position as the world number 1 jeweller, the venerable Maison is starting a series of large-scale openings and reno­vations, starting with the re-opening of 154 Champs-Élysées, its other Paris regal address.


First opened 10 years ago, the renowned 154 Champs-Élysées address recently went through a major transformation by Parisian interior designer Bruno Moinard who revised it in its entirety during 8 months.



Bruno Moinard is the mastermind behind the ‘Moinard concept’, which has been applied to all the 340 Cartier boutiques in the world for about 20 years.

At 154 Champs-Élysées, a private townhouse built during the Second Empire, two floors, spanning 650 square meters, are divided into private lounges, a portrait gallery, and the­med spaces dedicated to diamonds, men, jewelry and accessories.



The subtle luxury of the chosen details, the measured extravagance, and the ultimate comfort  created by Bruno Moinard all reflect the high standards of refinement that a Cartier boutique obviously demands.

The remarkable and monumental entrance on the most beautiful avenue in the world, for instance: eight metres high, it is surrounded on either side by three curved balconies and windows over seven metres high, framing two impressive chandeliers which are almost five metros wide, made by French glasswork artist Régis Mathieu.



I also had a crush on the staircase, designed as a spiral, with a bronze bannister along walls shimmering with natural pigments, hand-coated by the workshop of French artisan Pierre Bonnefille.



Of course, Bruno Moinard made sure the entire space is treated with the same attention to details, literally from floor to ceiling: the floor alternates Versailles parquet and Istrian stone floo­ring set with tone on tone cabochons, surrounded by a golden border. The vast and regal space is modernised by smooth grey oak walls with bronze patina, and large panels of glass and golden threaded tulle. An amazing place to replace the strap on my Cartier Santos Dumont watch….


Cartier Diamonds: making of the new film

01 cartier diamond are a girls best friend

Cartier diamonds are always unparalleled in quality thanks to the maison’s keen selection, savoir-faire, creation and distinctive style. Each and every dazzling white or colored diamond is extraordinary and depicts history.

10 cartier diamond are a girls best friend

The house has never ceased to offer exceptional stones. As a jeweler with history, the brand’s essence is to find one-of-a-kind diamonds as it owned the most beautiful stones the world has seen. Referred to as the ‘Jeweler to Kings, King of Jewelers’ by King Edward VII, Cartier jewels have always shined as brightly as film projectors.

2 cartier diamond are a girls best friend

They have adorned stars of the big screen in the most iconic movies, such as Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Jean Cocteau in Beauty and the Beast and Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.

12 cartier diamond are a girls best friend

In its latest film ‘Cartier Diamonds’, Cartier captures the glamour and fascination of diamonds on screen taking us to a world of dreams, and pays homage to the Maison’s world renowned diamonds. As usual, just a few musical notes and Cartier’s unique brand of magic takes hold in this film by Swedish director Johan Renck. Starring Karen Elson, the British model and singer embodies the Cartier woman in her city of light, Paris.

6 cartier diamond are a girls best friend

Set to a lively upbeat tempo, the film is a delicious interpretation of an exhilarating, ultra modern fresco depicting the full range of emotions experienced by a woman when when she slips a cartier diamond ring into her finger.

This spellbinding 90-second whirlwind of music and images stars the vibrant Karen Elson, who lends her voice to this rendition of the cult song Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, written in 1949 by Jule Styne and Leo Robin and reimagined for this film by Jarvis Cocker.

Playing with the rules of elegance, Cartier has never disappointed women with the excellence and rarity of these precious stones. The house’s offerings widely range from ‘1895′ and ‘Diamants Légers’ lines to the newly launched collection ‘Galanterie‘ and high-jewelry creations – all packing the same statement. After all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend and the quest for beauty is the signature of Cartier’s style.



Place Vendôme for charity

Only Watch Charity Auction is a non-profit to benefit Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy (A.M.M) founded in 2001 ‘by parents of children suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy who decided to unite their resources and shared experience to support progress on scientific and medical research’.

The Auction itself is biennial. Every watch being auctioned is a one-of-a-kind creation and donated by the brands. In 2013, there were 33 extremely generous brands whom participated by submitting a watch. 100% of the more than $6 million raised was donated to the charity. That’s some serious love from the watch industry! So far, 43 brands have committed a timepiece to Only Watch, 2015!

What’s also exciting for the 6th iteration of the Only Watch Auction is that it was hosted by Phillips Auction in association with Bacs and Russo. The Auction will took place on November 7th, 2015, after the complete collection of Only Watch, 2015 watches made a world tour!

Some vèry complicated, some vèry luxurious or sumptuous, but all vèry beautiful and extraordinary watches. I have a total weekness for French jeweler watches like Boivin, Boucheron, Chaumet, Mauboussin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Poiray and ofcourse Cartier. Now on Only Watch, 2015 are two of my favorite ‘Place Vendôme’ brands: Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron.


Van Cleef & Arpels Pierre Arpels Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs

For Only Watch 2015, Van Cleef & Arpels has created a unique Pierre Arpels Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs timepiece, illustrating the brand’s vision of travel and their lasting ties with Monaco. A complication piece with dual time zone function, it pays tribute to the Principality with its dial displaying a radiant Mediterranean blue with a pique motif at its center. Crafted with the brand’s ‘Poetry of Time’ philosophy, it celebrates the beauty of the moment and the promise of distant, fairer horizons.




Van Cleef & Arpels Pierre Arpels Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs

Measuring 42mm, the white gold case is fitted with a self-winding movement developed by Agenhor exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels. The winding micro-rotor is made of solid platinum, with 48 hours of power reserve and double jump hour and retrograde minute complications.


Boucheron Epure Vauge De Lumière

Also Boucheron invokes the power and the beauty of the seas with their entry into Only Watch 2015 in Monaco

Boucheron Epure Vauge De Lumière WatchBoucheron Epure Vauge De Lumière

The unique Boucheron Epure Vague de Lumière was created for Only Watch’s 2015 charity auction. The wave featured on the dial is a three-dimensional sculpture in white gold that stands away from the sea represented by aventurine glass. Inspired by the artist Hokusai, the hollow carving is paved with both round and baguette diamonds using marquetry to create the shimmering wave as it unfolds onto aventurine glass. 

Boucheron Epure Vauge De Lumière watch

Boucheron Epure Vauge De Lumière

The 41 mm white gold case features Double Gadroons and Cabochons, signatures of Maison Boucheron, and is engraved ‘Pièce Unique 1/1’ on the exhibition caseback.  Timekeeping is provided by the automatic caliber GP400 manufactured by Girard Perregaux. To complement the dark blue glass background, the watch is fitted on a blue alligator strap. 



From Paris with Love: Boucheron

Boucheron, the famous French jeweler, creator of the most precious jewels, the fantastic watches and the most delicous fragrances…. Boucheron, a magic name.

Shown here an Art Deco masterpiece: Boucheron Pearl Neckace with Rose-Cut Diamonds and Carved Emeralds

1408661894_90_1_6246__1_of_5__hires BoucheronMade by the fabulous Parisian jeweler of 26 Place Vendôme,  circa 1920s, a splendid and sparkling bouquet glistening with three large rose-cut diamond flowers and crystalline carved green emerald leaves sprouting from a rose-cut centered platinum and diamond vase.  The three rose-cuts approximate weigh 2.50 carats (Click photo to enlarge).

1408661894_90_1_6246__2_of_5__hiresThe colorful 1 and 5/8 inch centerpiece, which does double duty as the clasp, curves ever so slightly along with the triple strand of lustrous cultured pearls, ranging in size from 4.5 to 8.5 millimeters (Click photo to enlarge).

1408661894_90_1_6246__3_of_5__hiresBoucheron Pearl Neckace with Rose-Cut Diamonds and Carved Emeralds (Click photo to enlarge).

1408661895_90_1_6246__4_of_5__hiresBoucheron Pearl Neckace with Rose-Cut Diamonds and Carved Emeralds (Click photo to enlarge).

1408661895_90_1_6246__5_of_5__hiresBoucheron Pearl Neckace with Rose-Cut Diamonds and Carved Emeralds  Plainly signed with the magic name ‘Boucheron’ on the reverse (Click photo to enlarge).

1408690432_90_1_6246__1_of_1__hiresTimeless elegance: Boucheron Pearl Neckace with Rose-Cut Diamonds and Carved Emeralds  Strand lengths gradate from 17 to 20 inches (Click photo to enlarge).

Product Details:

  • Materials: platinum
  • Height: 1 5/8 inch clasp
  • Lenght: 17″ to 20″

Center Diamond Details:

  • Carat weight: 2.50 cts
  • Quantity: 3
  • Measurements: 7.08 – 5.8 mm
  • Cut/Shape: Rose Cut
  • Clarity: VS2-SI2
  • Color: I-J

Additional Gemstone Details:

  • Diamonds: 26 Single Cut Diamonds
    – Diamond Total Carat Weight: 0.50 carats
    – Diamond Clarity: VS
    – Diamond Color: G-I
  • Emeralds: 6 Carved Cut Emeralds
    – Emerald Total Carat Weight: 5.00 carats
  • Pearls: 237 Slightly out of round Pearls
  • Total Diamond Carat Weight: 3.00 cttw

A real, allmost 100 years old, timeless Boucheron Art Deco masterpiese, made for a woman with timeless elegance and style.

Wondering who is wearing it this holidays…

by Jean Amr


Gabrielle Chanel in her suite at the Ritz hotel in Paris 1937



The Ritz Hotel in Paris at the Place Vendôme, is arguably a museum in itself with all the clandestine history that went on behind those doors, but it turns out the hotel has been hiding one very expensive piece of art history in particular all these years, not in a dusty attic but in Coco Chanel’s former suite no less.

As you might be aware, in the summer of 2012, the Ritz closed for the first time since César Ritz opened the hotel in 1898, to undergo a two year renovation project. All the furniture and valuables of the hotel are being stored in a secret location until the project is complete. But before the hotel’s contents were removed, a large-scale inventory was conducted before closure.

Coco Chanel at the Ritz Paris

A room with a view: Coco Chanel at her rooftop apartment at the Ritz, Paris

When the inventory team began accounting for the opulent furnishings of the famous Coco Chanel suite, where the designer called home for 37 years until her death in 1971, a painting in the drawing room caught the undivided attention of the hotel’s art advisor, Joseph Friedman.

“When I saw this painting in the suite, I had to take a step back. It had a very powerful impact,” Mr. Friedman, former curator of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s residence in Paris, told the Agence France Presse. “The use of colour and the movement are remarkable. It was clearly the work of a major 17th century French master.”

le brun

Coco Chanel Suite 302, The Ritz, Paris, with The Sacrifice of Polyxena hanging on the wall

The ‘mystery’ 17th century painting hanging on the drawing room wall of Coco Chanel’s suite, Friedman’s colleague found the initials CLBF and a date, 1647, but the mysterious tableau depicting the ritual slaying of Trojan princess Polyxena had no record of purchase or installation in The Ritz archives, much less any information about the work.

Olivier Lefeuvre, a Christie’s France specialist of the 17th century spotted the painting hanging in Coco Chanel’s suite a month before the hotel’s closure and instantly recognised it. “I thought it was a Le Brun straight away,” he said. “It was very well preserved. It was really quite moving.”


Coco Chanel Suite 302, The Ritz, Paris, with The Sacrifice of Polyxena hanging on the wall

The initials stand for Charles Le Brun Fecit, Charles Le Brun being a dominant figure in 17th-century French art, and declared by many as ‘the greatest French artist of all time’. Fecit is a latin word that previously appeared on works of art next to the artist’s name, meaning ‘he (or she) made it’. 

“The influence of Poussin is obvious,” says Friedman, referring to LeBrun’s works which were notably often inspired by the master of baroque art, Nicolas Poussin. And although experts have not found any contemporary record of the painting, the oil painting has been officially identified as an early work by Le Brun  (1619-1690), making it more than 400 years old. “No-one is in any doubt that it is a genuine Le Brun,” according to Friedman.

Gabrielle Coco Chanel Ritz hotel Paris

Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel in her suite 302, at the Ritz hotel in Paris 1937, published in Harper’s Bazaar in 1937, this photo was chosen for the Chanel No.5 advertisement.

Dubbed by Christie’s as The Sacrifice of Polyxena, the painting has been hanging in Coco Chanel’s suite for decades, if not longer. Nobody knew it was there or even existed. Since there are embarrassingly no records for it, it’s anyone’s guess how it got there. Perhaps Mademoiselle Chanel herself could have brought it in quietly during the German occupation of Paris. Coco lived at the Ritz throughout World War II. She also had highly questionable relationships with the Nazi’s who were notorious for looting valuable art collections belonging to wealthy French (Jewish) families as well as major museums.


The Sacrifice of Polyxena

Or it could have already been on the premises when César Ritz purchased the property– although the fact that the original 1705 building was so extensively rebuilt during its conversion into a luxury hotel would make the latter hard to believe.

But even harder to believe is that after Chanel’s death when an expert inventory team no doubt went through the three room suite with a fine-toothed comb, the 17th century masterpiece hanging right in front of them on the wall went ignored.

Shocking still, before the suite was reopened to the world’s elite at €10,000 a night, art historians and interior specialists as well as Karl Lagerfield had even been called in to recreate the world Chanel lived in and to actually research the original furniture, decorative objects, the fabrics, even the wallpaper– and still no one noticed the paining staring right at them.  Perhaps if any of the wealthy guests over the years had possessed some real artistic knowledge, they would have made an offer on the painting at reception.


Coco Chanel Suite 302, The Ritz, Paris

No one did, and today the painting by Charles Le Brun has a pre-sale estimate of €500,000. It will go on display in New York temporarily and be auctioned by Christie’s in Paris in April, where the money raised will go to a foundation established by businessman Mohamed Al Fayed. Mr. Al Fayed is of course the owner of the Hotel Ritz, who set up the charitable foundation in memory of his son Dodi, the late boyfriend of Princess Diana. They dined together at the Ritz just before their fatal car crash in 1997. “Mohamed Al Fayed decided to sell it because he thinks its quality means it should be in a museum,” Friedman said. “It deserves to be part of a major collection.”



Chanel Première Flying Tourbillon watch

In 1987, Chanel launched its first collection of ladies’ watches, the Première timepieces, and their unusual geometry was inspired by the octagonal perimeter of Place Vendôme, just like the stopper on the Nº5 perfume bottle.

Developing more complications over the years, the Première Flying Tourbillon features a stylised camellia flower studded with diamonds in the centre, and a white gold case set with baguette-cut blue sapphires on the sides, the bezel and even on the crown. The generous use of white brilliant-cut diamonds exalts the rich corn-blue colour of the sapphires to even greater effect.


Chanel Première Flying Tourbillon watch, 2014 A stylised camellia flower twirls with the tourbillon while beautiful pink sapphires grace the white gold case. (click photo to enlarge)

Indisputably Chanel and mesmerisingly pretty, the 2014 interpretation of the Première Flying Tourbillon watch, a limited-edition of just 20 pieces, was set to be one of the showstoppers at Baselworld.

First launched two years ago and winner of the best wmen’s watch in the 2012 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie in Geneve, the Chanel Première Flying Tourbillon watch is not only beautiful to look at. It also features one of the most impressive watch complications around, a 225-part flying tourbillon movement developed exclusively for Chanel by legendary Swiss manufacturers, engineers and master watchmakers Renaud & Papi. A real technical wonder.

Like its 2012 and 2013 predecessors, the latest design incorporates Mademoiselle Chanel’s favourite flower, the camellia, which cleverly forms the watch movement. The camellia flower performs one rotation per minute, with the petals of the flying tourbillon indicating the passing of the seconds.


A limited edition of 20 pieces, the flying tourbillon movement in Chanel’s new Première Flying Tourbillon watch is crafted in the shape of Mademoiselle Chanel’s favourite flower, the camellia.

Each watch takes more than 100 hours to assemble and requires 23 hours of setting work. Featuring 169 diamonds as well as 63 baguette-cut pink sapphires set around the white gold case and crown, this is a timepiece for women who demand the very best in design and function. Chanel watches Première Flying Tourbillon owes its octagonal geometry to the Place Vendôme, just like the stopper on Chanel’s No.5 perfume bottle. A stylised camellia flower twirls with the tourbillon while intense blue sapphires grace the white gold case.


Chanel Première Flying Tourbillon watch, 2015 A stylised camellia flower twirls with the tourbillon while intense blue sapphires grace the white gold case. 

by Jean Amr