Well, it’s about time.
On Wednesday, Chanel opened the doors to a new Fifth Avenue flagship dedicated solely to watches and jewelry. Situated between Chopard and Mikimoto, the new boutique is the first of its kind in New York City, and the fourth worldwide. It was designed, of course, by the leather-clad architect of luxury, Peter Marino, who is known for constructing and dressing the boutiques of many top names on the avenue—including Tiffany & Co. and Bulgari—and it has all of the minute and considered details Marino is known for. These include a custom-made staircase decorated in rock crystal and 24-karat gold-coated brass by Goossens, a Parisian goldsmith and jeweler bought by Chanel in 2005. Marino’s touch extends to the fixtures in the store, right down to the 17th-century Japanese Eido screens and Ingrid Donato coffee table in the VIP room.
More from Robb Report
Upon entering the two-story space, one is greeted by the maison‘s Lion Solaire de Chanel pieces, which are inspired by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s astrological Leo sign. This is just one example of the exclusive creations that will only be carried in this boutique. Patrice Leguéreau, director of Chanel’s fine jewelry creation studio, also created a high jewelry collection called Eternal N°5 that includes a transformable diamond necklace and earrings that will only be available in New York.
While high jewelry steals the show at the entry, to the right is a room dedicated to Chanel’s fine jewelry pieces, such as its popular Coco Crush and Camélia collections. Watches are located to the rear of the store in a space that hosts everything from the brand’s J12 collection to its high jewelry watches; here, we saw an oversized diamond-encrusted model inspired by a seamstress’s pin cushions. In a solo vitrine, you will spot the incredible Boyfriend Skeleton watch set in ultra-high-end sapphire crystal and diamonds.
But whether you intend to spend or not, it’s well worth stopping in not only to see current jewels and watches, but also an exhibition of jewels from Chanel’s archival Patrimony Collection. These include a jaw-dropping diamond tiara and some of the company’s early jewelry motifs, such as a crescent moon and star diamond brooch. The collection will only be on display in the store for two months before being replaced with more high jewelry from the current offering. The pieces are stunning and a good reminder that while Chanel’s roots are in its clothes, its gems have been serving up stellar designs as far back as 1932. They look just as modern today as they did then. In fact, some are so extraordinary we imagine clients will be wishing they could get their hands on a piece, or, at the very least, plead for a recreation.
And, while you’re at it, don’t miss the diamond masterpiece cheekily fashioned after Chanel’s famous N°5 fragrance bottle. It features a monster 55.55-carat DF L Type IIa diamond at its center. This showstopper, of course, is also not for sale but certainly deserving of a peek or a pic.
Best of Robb Report