Paris is always a good idea. Its obvious cultural, historical, and gastronomical attributes are enhanced by the city's superb shopping options. The home of haute couture is also one of the world's epicenters of fine jewelry design. From the haute joallerie at Place Vendôme and upstart independent ateliers to highly curated vintage jewelry and watch galleries, the City of Lights—for those who are game—is one big treasure hunt. 

Having recently moved back to New York City after a few years of living in Paris as an accessories editor, I've rounded up some of my favorite places to see and buy for jewelry and watches in the French capital. Full disclosure: this list just scratches the surface. Like the myriad of small streets that yield wonderments of discovery in Paris, there are hundreds of near-hidden gems for jewelry and watch lovers to peruse.

 

Museums and Exhibits

MAD: Musée des Arts Décoratifs

When it comes to jewelry exhibits, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD) is the authority in Paris. The museum focuses on other decorative arts, such as fashion, furnishings, and interior design, but has a reputation for having amassed an incredible collection of historic jewelry. The Galerie des Bijoux is home to over 1,200 pieces of jewelry from the Middle Ages to the present, chronologically (it's a true history lesson). A strong focus lies on 19th century from pieces donated by jeweler Henri Vever—a recently revived name. Art Nouveau is also heavily chronicled alongside the Minimalist movement that followed. Names such as René Lalique, Jean Després, Boucheron, Cartier, Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Jean Van Dinh, Ettore Sottsass are featured alongside modern contemporary jewelers.

107-111 rue de Rivoli: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm, with Thursday evening hours until 9 pm. Online reservations are recommended for Saturday and Sunday visits.

 

L'ÉCOLE School of Jewelry Arts
Inside the L'ÉCOLE School of Jewelry Arts

L'Ecole School of Jewelry Arts

Founded by Van Cleef and Arpels, L'Ecole is an institution of higher learning, teaching the techniques, philosophy, gemology, and history of jewelry—along with gallery space created for jewelry exhibits. L'Ecole partners with other cultural institutions such as MAD, Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle, which houses an impressive collection of minerals, gems, meteorites, and rocks, and The Comédie-Française Theatre in Paris. The latter partnership recently staged a show entitled "Stage Jewels of the Comédie-Française."

L'Ecole School of Jewelry Arts – Mercy Argenteau 16 bis boulevard Montmartre 75009 Paris. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm, with later hours on Thursday. 

 

John Brevard Fine Jewelry ring at Mad Lords
John Brevard Fine Jewelry ring at Mad Lords

Jewelry Stores

Mad Lords

This eclectic store's charm begins with its secret location in a courtyard off Rue St. Honoré (though its recently opened piercing bar at the courtyard entrance is eroding that secret). The store is the brainchild of Serge and Caro Muller, a husband-and-wife duo who departed corporate jobs to bring their sense of cool and love of jewelry to a sprawling boutique filled with edgy and artsy styles for men and women in a setting that evokes the couple's bohemian lifestyle. Brands to discover here include Dires Criel, Ele Karela, Joanna Dahdah, Melis Goral, Rivkah Nahmias, and Van Den Abeele. The concept has grown to include stores in Deauville and St. Tropez as well.

Mad Lords 316 Rue Saint Honoré 75001 Paris and Mad Lords Piercing Studio 320 Rue St. Honoré. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:30 am to 7 pm, with piercing available on Sunday from 2 pm to 6 pm.

Whitebird

Tucked between Rue St. Honoré and Rue Rivoli is Rue Mont Thabor, a street with less bustle but many tiny treasures to discover. Whitebird, a multi-brand jewel box store specializing in delicate, personal jewelry styles from brands such as Dorette, Grainne Morton, Fernando Jorge, Ivarene, Lia Di Gregorio Noguchi Bijoux, Pascale Monvoisin, epitomizes this. Organic shapes and ample beaded and talisman styles (mainly executed in yellow gold) offer something for everyone. Plenty of the stock costs less than $1,000, and the four-figure sweet spot hovers between $4,000-$5,000. Whitebird also has locations on the Left Bank and in the Marais.

Whitebird Locations: 38 rue du Mont-Thabor Paris 1st; 62 rue des Saints-Pères boulevard des Filles du Calvaire. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm, and Monday, 2 pm to 7 pm

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

You don't need a reason to visit Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, the Beaux Arts-era building that houses the world's first department store, which opened in 1852. These days, the store offers the best of the old- and new-worlds with creative and innovative pop-ups and experiences. Cause for more excitement is the newly revamped jewelry space on the first floor, which creates an intimate space in the spacious shop that's inspired by a rotunda and the Eiffel Tower. Along with perusing fine jewelry brands such as Repossi, Poiray, Sophie Bille Brahe, and Alighieri (and in-demand costume styles from Dior, Charlotte Chesnais, Vanryke, and more), the space offers on-site personalization for some pieces.

24 rue de Sèvres 75007 Paris. Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 7:45 pm

 

Karry Berreby vintage watch
Vintage Chopard watch at Karry Berreby

Watches

Karry Berreby

Berreby brings more than 30 years of experience in jewelry and watches and a discerning eye that's cultivated a shop with a selection of truly rare and bold styles. With a focus on watches from the 1950s to the 1980s, her vintage watch curation skews towards horological jewelry, as opposed to purely men's workaday luxury timepieces. It includes Place Vendome names such as Bulgari, Piaget, and Chopard, and more obscure brands such as DeLaneau, Yves Saint Blaise, and Millner. Berreby's Left Bank shop also carries vintage jewelry, contemporary jewelry from names such as Silvia Furmanovich and Goshwara, and artist-created jewelry by Berreby under the Karry'O label.

18 Rue de Lille 75007 Paris. Hours: Monday to Friday 11 am to 7 pm 

Ader Watches

Nestled amongst the independent jewelers and watchmakers of Place Vendome sits Ader Watches. It's under the director of horological expert Geoffroy Ader, who honed his watch chops while working alongside his father, auctioneer Me Antoine Ader, and later through a multistage career at Antiquorum, where he played a role in creating the auction houses' first e-commerce platform. In between, the younger Ader worked for Sotheby's and Tajan and is bringing his expertise in buying and selling watches online and offline. Ader is where the serious collector goes to find exceptional timepieces.

By appointment only, 10 Place Vendôme, Paris 75001, [email protected]

 

Vintage Jewelry

Marie-Laure Chermezon

Anyone with a love of vintage jewelry can't escape the pull of the Puces de Saint Ouen, the massive maze of antique dealer stalls just beyond Paris' 18eme in Saint Ouen. There, the vendors offer art, furnishings, artifacts, collectibles, clothing, accessories, and jewelry. One of the most sought-after dealers is Marie-Laure Chermezon, a certified gemologist. Here selection ranges from 19th-century finds (with a strong focus on the cameo) to modern styles from the 1960s and 1970s from iconic makers including Cartier, Boucheron, and renowned Parisian workshop Georges Lenfant. You'll also find contemporary second-hand pieces with a unique point of view.

Marché Serpette 110 rue des Rosiers, Allée 1 – Stand 30bis, 93400 Saint-Ouen, [email protected]. Hours: Saturday 9 am to 6 pm, Sunday 10 am to 6 pm, Monday 11 am to 5 pm

Isabelle Subra Woolworth 

Antique jewelry retailer Isabelle Subra Woolworth is run by Lou Woolworth, granddaughter of founder Isabelle, and is a hit on Instagram and IRL. You'll find more art-driven and obscure pieces here, i.e. a ruby lion's head ring from the 19th centurty, a cirac-70s Catherine Noll ebony and exotic wood ring, a gold vermeil and lapis lazuli signed necklace by French-Georgian artist Goudji, and a 950s bracelet by French jeweler Gaëtan de Percin (who also designed for Hermès).

51 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris. Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 am to 6 pm, and Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm. Closed daily from 1 pm to 2 pm for lunch. 

Quidam de Revel

This by-appointment-only gallery is for the genuinely dialed-in vintage jewelry and objet d'art lover. Founded in 2001 by Philippe Harros with partner Emmanuelle, the name roughly translates to 'A nobody who reveals.' This isn't the shop for the big-brand familiar jewelry names. Rather, Phillippe and Emmanuelle cull obscure 20th-century jewelry styles. Think art-driven pieces such as a Christian Astugueville 1990 metal bracelet covered in artificial flower pistils, a pair of Thierry Mugler's silver drop earrings, and scads of anonymously designed pieces were chosen for their unique point of view. Be sure to call ahead as this shop is by appointment only.

By appointment only, 55 R. des Petites Écuries 75010 Paris. 

 

Ateliers

Rouvenat

Rouvenat is the latest 19th-century French jewelry brand revived under the tutelage of LuxImpact, a group founded by Cartier and Harry Winston veteran Frederic de Narp and former colleagues Coralie de Fontenay and Sandrine de Laage, who creative-directs LuxImpact jewelry brands. De Narp and company have recreated the original Atelier spirit that founder Léon Rouvenat was famous for when he brought all aspects of jewelry manufacturing under one roof. The group's mission is sustainability, so clients are encouraged to bring in their own stones to be incorporated into Rouvenat's updated designs based on the house's original Belle Epoque styles, working alongside de Laage as she helps to create new designs.

416 Rue Saint-Honoré 75008 Paris, [email protected]. Hours: Monday through Friday 10 am to 7 pm. Open Saturdays by appointment only.

 

Emmanuelle Tarpin orchid
Orchid jewel by Emmanuelle Tarpin

Emmanuel Tarpin

Known as high jewelry's wunderkind since his first work—Geranium flower earrings that sold at a Christie's auction for $25,000—Tarpin has stuck to botanical and sea themes for his namesake brand (the latter also serving a philanthropic mission to help rebuild coral reef in the ocean). His one-of-a-kind pieces have been worn by Rihanna and theater- and fashion-fixture Jordan Roth; jewelry client civilians can visit his Paris atelier by contacting him ahead via his website.

[email protected]

 

Dauphin 18k gold earrings
Dauphin 18k gold earrings

Dauphin

Charlotte Dauphin is jewelry's Renaissance woman, as her soulful approach to design extends beyond her cutting-edge pieces to film and sculpture. After headquartering her business in Place Vendôme, the jeweler is relocating to her family's Hôtel Particulier to create an authentic artist studio where she will create, meet clients, and host presentations. Opening in 2024, the new Dauphin atelier promises to be one of the most unique Parisian experiences.

7 Rue de Marignan, [email protected]

 

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