PARIS, November 8, 2009 -- The Place Vendôme, a 17th century square in Paris’s luxury district near the Opera, clusters some of the world’s top jewellers, and the Ritz Paris, the most prominent hotel on the square, houses scores of display cases showing off leading jewellery brands.
A visit to the Place Vendôme is a foray to find out who are the top international retailers in the current global fine jewellery scene -- and there are some interesting discoveries.
One of the most famous Maisons on the Place Vendôme is Van Cleef & Arpels, which has been there since 1906, and occupies a prime, substantial corner position at No. 22, as well as another store on the adjacent Rue de la Paix.
No surprise there. And it was not unexpected to find oneself window-shopping at long-established brands like Boucheron (the first jeweller to move to the Place Vendôme), Chaumet, Bulgari, Buccellati, and Damiani.
What was interesting was to discover that arguably less well known high-end brands like Dubail, Fred, and Mauboussin, have carved out their own highly prized spaces on Paris’s equivalent to Old Bond Street.
The new kid on the block is De Beers, wrapped in boarding this month highlighting its expected opening soon, on a prime spot where Place Vendôme meets the Rue de la Paix.
It is a reminder of De Beers’ equally prime position in London, on the corner where Old Bond Street meets Piccadilly.RITZ SPLENDOUR
The outstanding hotel on the square, securely located beside the Justice Ministry, is the Ritz Paris, on 15 Place Vendôme, renowned for welcoming Hollywood movie stars and writers, such as Ernest Hemingway.
The Ritz Paris is clearly a strong supporter of the international jewellery industry.
The sumptuous hotel has dozens of display cases along its lengthy corridors, showing off the exquisite and refined jewels of houses such as vintage jeweller Martin du Daffoy; Bulgari, and Van Cleef & Arpels, as well as a wide range of luxury goods spanning watches to haute couture.
The Ritz brand has close associations with fine jewellery.
The Ritz London, which has separate ownership to the Ritz Paris, is fully integrated with the upper echelons of the jewellery profession.
Jewellery Outlook has this weekend published an interview with Paul Carter, Managing Director of Ritz Fine Jewellery in London, in which Paul outlines the distinguishing features of the Ritz jewellery brand.