Seemingly overnight Fifth Avenue has become Manhattan’s sparkling new Jewelry Boulevard, with luxury brands moving in fast on the covetable terrain. Leading the brigade is Chopard, the family-owned Swiss high-end watch and fine jewelry company, which the Scheufele family took over in 1963. “We were looking for a new location in New York right before Covid happened,” says Jean-Baptiste Maillard, the dapper CEO of Chopard USA who is based in Miami but constantly jetting around the globe. “When we heard about the opportunity in the Crown Building, the Scheufele family flew over. Then Covid happened, and the family still decided to move forward. That was the promise from Chopard to New York during difficult times.”
Sharing the Crown Building with the Aman New York hotel and private club, Maillard sees Fifth Avenue as the ideal location. “We have many visitors that we would not have had on Madison Avenue,” he says. “Locals consider the corner of 57th Street and Fifth as the most prestigious in the city. New York has an energy that is incomparable to anywhere else on the continent.”
Maillard reports that Chopard is on a journey to sustainable luxury, using recycled steel and ethically sourced gold in watches and jewelry.
“That really appeals to the younger generation,” he adds. One recent collection with a Birkin bag-like waiting list of young customers is the “Ice Cube” jewelry — a more urban design with square facets that reflect light.
The jewelry house has boutiques all over the globe, but Maillard says New Yorkers stand apart. “We are a family-owned and operated business and are very close to our clients. New York clients are fast and decisive. They are educated. They know what they want,” he says, adding enthusiastically: “Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker.”