Chaumet translates architectural codes into high jewellery in the ‘Torsade de Chaumet’ collection, which imbues the traditionally inflexible nature of precious metal with an easy fluidity. Its centrepiece is a technically accomplished Chaumet necklace featuring undulating twists – torsades in French – inspired by the frieze that winds its way around the Vendôme Column in Paris’ Place Vendôme, in a nod to the home of the maison’s first boutique in 1812.

Chaumet necklace nods to the past

The intricate négligée necklace is a contemporary play on its predecessor, initially created a century ago for the Maharaja of Indore. Rather than the pear-cut diamonds of the original piece, it comes with elegant diamond springs that form a neat end to the diamond rope. In this necklace, diamonds are caught mid-twirl in an asymmetrical pattern that spins past its elongated outlines.

The necklace is a highlight of a collection that pays tribute to the history of Chaumet, in particular celebrating its significant relationship with Napoléon and Joséphine, marking the maison’s status as imperial jeweller. These new pieces, released to coincide with the bicentenary of the emperor’s death, encompass a tiara, curved in coils of diamonds, and rings that spring diamonds dynamically off the finger. Earrings coil tantalisingly up the lobe, or dangle down in a brilliant refraction of light. In a brooch, a diamond web brings a modernity to a traditional adornment.

In some jewels, deep red Mozambique rubies are knitted into the twists of a necklace in an elegant asymmetrical play. In rings, rubies nestle in between diamonds. Shades of blue, too, are drawn in cushion-cut Ceylon sapphires that weave their way under the diamond springs in necklaces, bracelets and rings. A Colombian emerald takes pride of place on a diamond tiara, and brings a vividness to stud earrings and a ring. §