Mauboussin – Artisanal French Watches and Jewellery
The French jewellery and watch-making company Mauboussin has a history of crafting elegant timepieces and refined accessories. Mauboussin was founded by an artisan jeweler, M. Rocher, in 1827, and has been producing unique designs ever since. Within a few decades of the founding of Mauboussin, the company was awarded the Grand Prix at the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, in 1925. Since this accolade, the jewellers have continued to craft wristwatches, rings and other accessories using fine metal and dazzling gemstones.
After the recognition Mauboussin received in 1925, the company focused on putting together exhibitions that highlighted three of the most prized gemstones – the 1928 exhibition made emeralds its main theme, and was followed by the 1930 exhibition featuring rubies, and an exhibition in 1931 exploring the classic elegance of diamonds. These events cemented Mauboussin’s reputation as jewellery and watchmakers specializing in the creative use of colored gemstones.
In 1955, Mauboussin opened its boutique on the famous Place Vendôme, a square in Paris located just north of the equally famous Tuileries Gardens. Another shop opened at a historic location in 2007 – the Mauboussin boutique on the iconic Champs Elysees avenue. The following year Mauboussin opened its first flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York, a three-story boutique showcasing some of the company’s sought-after work. In 2009, Mauboussin extended into Asia, when it opened another flagship in Japan, located in the heart of the Ginza district. The same year, another boutique opened in Singapore in December.
Iconic Mauboussin Timepieces and Jewellery
In over a century of crafting intricate wristwatches and jewellery, Mauboussin has created many classic timepieces. The year 2010 marked the launch of a new Mauboussin watch, Amour, le jour se lève (in English, ‘Love, the day arises). This timepiece makes use of beautiful materials such as mother-of-pearl and diamonds, and was unveiled alongside the new muse for House of Mauboussin – the French actress Elsa Zylberstein. "Amour, le jour se lève" has a novel square design, and the mother-of-pearl bezel inlay also houses the numbers for the hours. The timepiece contains a precise Swiss quartz movement and has a stainless steel bracelet.
One Mauboussin timepiece that has proven popular is the Lady M, which has a slim bracelet design. The Mauboussin Lady M with the model number LMXGY5001, for example, is a gold bracelet with a strap combining yellow gold and royal blue fabric – a novel pairing of textures. Another version of the Lady M has a brown leather and gold strap, with beige design elements in the dial.
More recent watch designs from Mauboussin include Le Temps d’Amour, a ladies watch which has a feminine oval-shaped design. The bezel of this timepiece is similar to that of the "Amour, le jour se lève" because it consists of subtle white mother-of-pearl and diamonds. Contrasting with the stainless steel strap of the 2010 release, Le Temps has a luxurious strap of black satin.
Mauboussin does not only cater for women in the wristwatch department. Classic watches for men include the Homme d’humour and Homme d’audace timepieces. These feature the classic rounded bezel shape, with the Homme d’audace incorporating a yellow gold bezel which contrasts strikingly with the cool silver of the stainless steel strap. The Homme d’humour wristwatch replaces the gold bezel of the Homme d’humour with a platinum bezel, for an all-silver aesthetic which contrasts boldly with the watch’s large black dial. Both watches incorporate hands for measuring seconds, as well as a date function.
Watch collectors who also have an interest in fine jewellery will find many designs in the Mauboussin catalogue that will pair well with their timepieces. Fine jewellery using colorful gemstones is Mauboussin’s speciality (in addition to its classic timepieces), and there are contemporary ring designs in Mauboussin’s catalogue which make fine gifts (as well potential proposal or wedding rings). The Eternite Elegance Ring (Aqua-marine) is one such design, which features a pale blue aqua-marine gemstone set in a diamond and sapphire pave band. The Eternite Elegance Ring comes in many dazzling variations, such as the Eternite Elegance Ring which has an intense, dark Australian sapphire gem offset by a gold band encrusted with diamonds and lighter blue sapphires. Lavish gift buyers looking for something to pair with a Mauboussin timepiece might choose one of the company’s high end rollerball pens. Le Premier Mot is crafted in materials such as lacquered white and black brass.
Famous Mauboussin Lovers
Among famous lovers of Mauboussin timepieces and jewellery was the wife of famous comic filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard. When Goddard auditioned unsuccessfully for the role of Scarlett in the classic film Gone with the Wind, Chaplin bought her a Mauboussin bracelet to console her.