Chalonne is “bridging the gap” between fashion and technology.
The brand offers watch straps in diamonds, pearl, gold and exotic skins to give a fashionable look to wearing the Apple Watch, while also creating custom straps. The straps in the collection are designed specifically for the Apple Watch but they can be adjusted to fit most mechanical watches. Chalonne plans to provide strap designs for those Fitbit and Samsung wearables as well.
“The idea for a line of ultra-luxury straps for an Apple Watch came to me when I bought my first Apple Watch. I couldn’t find any truly high-end options — there was nothing in the marketplace that featured precious materials like real diamonds or genuine pearls,” Carlye Morgan, the founder of Chalonne, told WWD.
“I don’t think a woman should have to compromise her personal style to wear the latest tech on her wrist,” added Morgan. “She should have a strap that elevates her overall look. Sometimes that calls for a bold and dazzling strap with diamonds, and other times it calls for a simple yet luxurious strap made from alligator.”
Morgan, a mother and Southern California native who spent more than two decades in advertising and brand management working at McCann Erickson; Foote, Cone & Belding; BBDO and Sony Pictures Entertainment, founded Chalonne last April online,”to bridge the gap between jewelry, fashion and technology,” she said.
“The market for wearables is focused on technology, but it falls short when it comes to luxury and fashion…Also, the tech industry is male-dominated and many wearables are tailored for men. This area needs a fresh, female perspective from someone who understands that women want tech to be functional, fashionable and luxurious.”
The products are designed in Chalonne’s Bel Air, Calif., studio and crafted by the French leather goods artisans of Jean Rousseau. “Chalonne worked closely with Jean Rousseau to develop a method to lock the jewelry inside the lining of the straps to ensure stability while maintaining suppleness,” said Morgan, adding that the materials are ethically sourced napa leathers and exotic hides including lizard and stingray as well as alligator intermixed with diamonds, freshwater pearls and 14k gold.
Styles range from the alligator and goatskin-lined “Classique Collection” pieces, priced $650 each, to the “Katherine” strap in four 14k white gold pyramids encrusted with diamonds (1.6-carat total diamond weight) on a matte black Louisiana alligator strap, priced $8,295.
She said Chalonne is a woman-owned and -operated business “committed to social responsibility and female empowerment.” For every strap sold on the web site, Chalonne donates to a nonprofit championing economic opportunities, physical health and “the inner strength of women.”
The name “Chalonne” is French and was chosen for the company to reflect the manufacture of the straps in France and Chalon Road in Bel Air.
“We plan to introduce one to two new collections annually. We are planning on introducing a “Mommy & Me” set of straps in the next collection along with new designs that incorporate precious gemstones.”