Inside Chanel’s new Fifth Avenue jewellery box

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Chanel’s new watches and fine jewellery flagship in New York — its first in the US — has been a long time coming. Ten years, to be exact.

The French luxury brand has been patiently searching for the perfect location on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Frédéric Grangié, president of Chanel’s watches and fine jewellery division, thinks they’ve finally found it: at number 730 in the historic Crown Building.

“This is a very key milestone for Chanel,” he says. “Year after year, the demand for watches and jewellery in the US is stronger and stronger. We have very, very high ambitions for the US market.”

The flagship — a physical marker of those ambitions — will open on 9 February. It’s designed by architect Peter Marino, a long-time Chanel collaborator, who also worked on Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue reopening just across the road.

Inside Chanels new Fifth Avenue jewellery box

Photo: Chanel

The Crown Building is also home to brands including Zegna and Prada. The flagship references Chanel’s watches and fine jewellery flagship at 18 Place Vendôme, Paris (which Grangié describes as the epicentre of the brand’s watches and fine jewellery operations) and pays homage to founder Gabrielle Chanel. “She first came to New York in 1931,” Grangié says. “Since then, the US market has been a stronghold for Chanel.”

It’s also a declaration of Chanel’s aim to be known as a leader in the watches and high-jewellery space. “It’s a major responsibility to ensure that our standards for watches and jewellery are the highest standards. From that perspective, we are a pure player,” the president says. “A flagship store is the ultimate way to express that.”

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