PARIS — It’s a necklace that money can’t buy. Chanel will offer fans an eyeful, however, of an extravagant piece of high jewelry, made in homage to the house’s famed No.5 perfume, which marks its centenary this year. Built around an emerald cut, octogonal diamond, the jewelry piece evokes the shape of the scent’s signature bottle — cut to weigh exactly 55.55 carats.
“For Chanel, the design and production of this necklace represents a decisive and major step in the history of fine jewelry. By joining our Patrimoine at 18 Place Vendôme rather than being sold, this necklace will forever bear witness to this chapter in the history of Chanel fine jewelry,” said Frédéric Grangié, Chanel watches and jewelry president.
In recent years, digital channels have tightened their grip on consumers, even the world’s wealthiest, and the trend has been exaggerated by coronavirus lockdowns. This has prompted a frenzy among Place Vendôme jewelers to build increasingly lavish flagships and draw up ever-richer collections of jewelry to stand out in a field crowded with choices.
With international travel on hold, many high jewelry collections have been shipped to consumers abroad — to Asia in particular — and the necklace may be exhibited in other markets, and play a role in events held in other parts of the world.
“It will constitute, for our clients and our press, an eternal and visible symbol of the unfailing links that unite Place Vendôme and the No.5 perfume,” added Grangié.
The No.5 perfume was concocted in 1921, by Ernest Beaux and Gabrielle Chanel. The designer made her one foray into high jewelry 11 years later, with a collection of platinum and gold diamonds, called “Bijoux de Diamants.” With the 55.55 necklace, the house is seeking to bridge the two milestones.
“Gabrielle Chanel approached these two universes with the same visionary values, focusing on audacity and the quest for excellence. I wanted to rediscover that creative gesture with this collection,” said Patrice Leguéreau, director of Chanel’s jewelry creation studio.
He started with a rough diamond, with the quest of cutting it into a perfect octagonal shape, weighing exactly the symbolic 55.55 carats. The D flawless diamond is surrounded by 104 round diamonds and 42 baguette diamonds. The necklace re-creates the profile of the perfume bottle stopper and the bottle’s shape, before spilling into a cascade of pear-sharped diamonds of varying sizes, lending an abstract style to the piece.
The house has built a collection of 123 pieces around the necklace, all drawing on the perfume.