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PARIS – Leave it to a Place Vendôme jeweler to choose a venue that sparkles on the hour.

On Friday night, Lorenz Bäumer summoned his family, friends and colleagues to the first level of the Eiffel tower in Paris to witness him being decorated as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

Francoise Montenay, president of the luxury association Comite Colbert – and Bäumer’s old boss from the days when he anonymously designed the fine jewelry at Chanel – did the honors before the likes of Pietro Beccari, senior vice president at Louis Vuitton, where Baumer is artistic director for fine jewelry, in addition to his eponymous line.

Montenay recounted Bäumer’s international upbringing as the son of a diplomat, and his education at an elite Jesuit school in France. “Maybe that’s why he loves purple,” Montenay mused to a round of knowing laughs: Bäumer is forever in black, custom-made suits with a deep purple lining.

With the lights of Paris laid out behind him like so many scattered jewels, Bäumer recounted his passion for collecting things, from 19th-century tie pins to contemporary photography, and thanked a broad “collection of people” dearly important to him, from his wife Geraldine to his surfing coach.

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