Boucheron – For The First time…
In 1893, Frédéric Boucheron was the first of the great contemporary jewelers to open a boutique on place Vendôme. It was this move that gave meaning to the beginnings and to what followed. It was also, above all, the expression of what neither science nor the arts can really define: intuition.
In this case, that of four generations of Boucheron, who, in the space of 160 years, built a style, a reputation, a know-how. This balance between perfect technical mastery and limitless artistic talent lies at the origin of each creation. Just as one sees the qualities of a stone before it is cut, or senses the radiance of a jewel before it is shaped, so Boucheron conceived of French jewelry before it existed.
Always avant-garde and seeking modernity, in 1879 the jeweler devised the Question Mark necklace, which, for the first time ever, would be worn asymmetrically and would not have a clasp.
Far from entrapping the jewel and those who wore it in some stranglehold, Boucheron liberated both the jewelry and the women, without resorting to ideology.
He became the jeweler of free and independent women.
Since then, all Boucheron creations have followed this spirit of daring. By being instinctive, in the moment, embodying the ages but never denying themselves, with many first times…
In 1893, Frédéric Boucheron WAS THE FIRST of the great contemporary jewelers to open a boutique on Place Vendôme. The Maison moved there from its original home at the Palais-Royal where it was founded in 1858.
FOR THE FIRST TIME, a major jeweler at Place Vendôme is directed by two women. They took charge in 2015 when Boucheron appointed Hélène Poulit-Duquesne as CEO alongside Claire Choisne, the Maison’s Creative Director.
The Jodhpur necklace, launched in 2015, marked THE FIRST TIME that Makrana marble was used in High Jewelry. It is the same stone used to build the timeless and ethereal Taj Mahal.
Quatre, Boucheron’s iconic graphic collection, was launched in 2004. This was THE FIRST TIME the Maison was inspired by the design of Paris’s cobblestones.
In 1928, the Maharaja of Patiala came to Boucheron with 7,571 diamonds and 1,432 emeralds to be set into 149 truly exceptional pieces of jewelry. This was THE FIRST TIME a jewelry Maison received such a staggering order.
In 1879, FOR THE FIRST TIME, the Maison Boucheron created a necklace with no clasp, the Question Mark. Elegant ladies could slip on this opulent design without any assistance, in one simple step.
FOR THE FIRST TIME, in 1878, Boucheron created a necklace set with a 159-carat sapphire to match a woman’s deep-blue eyes. It was for the American Marie-Louise MacKay. The unique creation was specially designed for her.
In 2017, FOR THE FIRST TIME, the iconic Serpent Bohème collection was relaunched with colored stones — nearly 50 years after its creation in 1968.
1909 was THE FIRST TIME that Frédéric Boucheron’s son Louis traveled to India. Inspired by the mystique of the Blue City of Rajasthan, Claire Choisne created the High Jewelry collection Bleu de Jodhpur in 2015.
FOR THE FIRST TIME, selected clients are invited to luxuriate in a bubble bath with a view of the Place Vendôme and the Eiffel Tower. That’s the experience of the exclusive apartment “Le 26V”, located on the 5th floor of the boutique.
In 1897, FOR THE FIRST TIME, Boucheron ventured abroad to set up shop in Moscow. Boucheron had long supplied the Russian imperial family with jewels, including Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, who received a bejeweled little crown crafted by the jeweler for her engagement.
At her wedding in 2018, Princess Eugenie of York wore the famous diadem set with a sizeable emerald cabochon and diamonds that Boucheron created in 1919. It was THE FIRST TIME that this treasured heirloom, which had belonged to her great-grandmother, was worn in public in nearly a century.
In 2018, FOR THE FIRST TIME, the Maison Boucheron immortalized the ephemeral beauty of real flowers with a collection of rings featuring real petals immortalized using high-tech scanning technology.
At the Exposition Universelle of 1867, Frédéric Boucheron had the names of his craftsmen engraved on a marble plaque at the entrance to his stand. This was THE FIRST TIME that a jeweler paid tribute to his talented artisans.
1930 was THE FIRST TIME a member of the Boucheron family was named Official Guardian of the Imperial Treasure of Persia. The Shah of Iran bestowed this immense honor on Louis Boucheron, whose integrity and skill were already largely recognized.
As a token of his eternal love, in 1887, Frédéric Boucheron used a stone from the French crown jewels FOR THE FIRST TIME when he set an exceptional diamond into a ring for his wife, Gabrielle.
THE FIRST TIME that Frédéric Boucheron won a gold medal was at the 1867 Exposition Universelle in Paris. This was just the start of a long string of international awards for this innovative jeweler.
In 1979, for THE FIRST TIME a cat became the muse for a High Jewelry house. Wladimir, a superb black Persian cat, symbolized the bejeweled bestiary so beloved to the Maison Boucheron since its beginnings in 1858.
The emblematic Reflet watch was created in 1947. It was THE FIRST TIME that a jeweler introduced a patented system of interchangeable watch bracelets.
Frédéric Boucheron, founder of the Maison, quickly became well known for the exceptional quality of his precious stones. Around 1880, HE WAS THE FIRST modern jeweler bold enough to engrave diamonds with flowers or arabesques, reviving an engraving technique that had been forgotten since ancient times.
In 2015, Boucheron revealed ITS FIRST-EVER design made with sand from the Thar Desert, the Nagaur necklace.
A retrospective of the Maison was held FOR THE FIRST TIME when, in 1988, Alain Boucheron organized an exhibition to celebrate the brand’s 130th anniversary at Paris’s Jacquemart-André Museum.
1988 was THE FIRST TIME Boucheron launched a fragrance for women. Inspired by an iconic ring of the Maison, the bottle is set with a sapphire-blue cabochon.
At the tender age of 14, it was the FIRST TIME that Frédéric Boucheron made a first step into the marvelous world of jewelry by becoming an apprentice jeweler. Born into a family of drapers, he always kept in mind the suppleness and weightlessness of silk and lace, that he continually carried over into gold.
In 2018, FOR THE FIRST TIME, Boucheron teamed up with the Paris Mint to create a unique collection of coins to celebrate its 160th anniversary.
In 2018, for the FIRST TIME, the Maison Boucheron undertook an in-depth renovation of its boutique at 26, place Vendôme. The décor of the Hôtel de Nocé, built in 1717, today reflects the image of the Maison’s creations, a soft mingling of tradition and modernity.
How does one define a style that is timeless, a style expressed through a diversity of crafts, forms, and materials? How does one sum up such a style in a few words? At Boucheron, a single idea provides the answer… Freedom.
From the House’s founding in 1858 until today, the idea of freedom has been ever-present in many ways. Aesthetic and creative freedom. Technical freedom.
But also freedom in how jewelry is worn, without regard for its strict rules and conventions. “Our view is that women may do as they like,” says Claire Choisne, the House’s creative director. “They can mix ordinary jewelry with high jewelry, wear a magnificent piece with a t-shirt and no make-up. A woman’s jewelry should not dictate her style, she should be free.”