Style / Jewellery

Backstory: How The Boucheron Quatre Continually Reimagines Its 4-Design Motif

The 20th anniversary of the Boucheron Quatre collection celebrates a quartet of design codes fused into one timeless icon.

Jun 19, 2024 | By Zara Zhuang
BOUCHERON Quatre Classique multi-wear necklace—which can also be worn as bracelets, a belt or a hair jewel—in yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and brown PVD, with diamonds

Not many things came out of 2004 still look good today, but Boucheron’s Quatre has defied the odds: its modern, infinitely permutable and creative design has made it a timeless star within the brand’s firmament. And to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a jewellery collection that has withstood the passage of countless trends in the decades since its debut, this February 29—a date that comes just once every four years—Boucheron transformed its historic four-storey Place Vendôme flagship into Club Quatre, a heady disco reminiscent of the 2000s. Guests for the buzzy evening included the maison’s first Korean global ambassador, actress Han So-hee; British television presenter Alexa Chung; Saudi actress Mila Al Zahrani; Japanese singer and personality Rola; Polish model Anja Rubik; and Filipino fashion
influencer Heart Evangelista.

And as part of the year-long fête, the maison rallied its exclusive club of ambassadors—including its recently announced Chinese global ambassador, the singer-actor Xiao Zhan—and friends to star in its “More Is More Is More” and “Icons” campaigns and express their individual style with the Quatre collection. It also unveiled the Quatre Is 20 pop-up boutique to spotlight archival materials and host physical and digital jewellery try-ons, as well as a nail bar and on-site manicurist. (After Paris, Quatre Is 20 will travel through Seoul, Shanghai and then Tokyo this year.)

Though it is a relatively young collection for the jewellery house founded in 1858, the Quatre pays homage to four design codes gleaned from Boucheron’s history, turned into four bands that are joined into one seamless form: clou de Paris, inspired by the cobblestones in the French capital; grosgrain, a nod to ribbed silks and to the founding family’s heritage as drapers; a row of diamonds, representing the maison’s expertise as a jeweller; and double gadroons, a fluted architecture-inspired pattern first used in Boucheron’s jewellery in the 1860s that stands for togetherness and eternal love. The four elements are snapped together and held in place without glue or solder, resulting in a stackable composition that is experimental, expressive, and, perfectly in line with the Boucheron spirit, endlessly fun.

Starting from a single ring in yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and brown physical vapour deposition (PVD) coating, the collection has grown over the years to encompass bracelets, bangles, cuffs, sautoirs, pendants, earrings, ear clips and even a hair jewel; exaggerated proportions and openwork; and designs featuring only one or two of the four motifs. Given the maison’s focus on innovation and technology and its playful approach to materiality, successive Quatre variations feature ceramic-polymer or PVD coating in white, blue, red or black; the Quatre Jean ring and bangle capsule fabricated using denim; a collaboration with Saint-Gobain, which specialises in materials for industrial applications, on a Quatre ring with holographic ceramic; and even a high jewellery interpretation—the Boucheron Puissance Quatre bangles—for the 2023 Carte Blanche – More Is More collection, made from aluminium and coloured with resin and lacquer.

As for the latest evolution of the Boucheron Quatre design? Novelties launched to mark its 20 years show how the metamorphosis of the Quatre is nowhere near done: narrow and wide Quatre Classique chokers; necklaces composed of 50 Quatre Classique or Quatre Radiant Edition rings strung together; a transformable multi-wear necklace; a cape comprising 315 Quatre rings (worn by Anja Rubik in the anniversary campaign); a full suite of 12 Quatre bangles fitted together to resemble a giant spool; a precious interpretation of the Quatre Classique ring, bangle and necklace, with yellow sapphire baguettes and spessartite garnets set into the grosgrain and double gadroons, respectively.

BOUCHERON Quatre Classique Bobbin set, comprising two oversized bangles and 10 Quatre bangles, in
yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and brown PVD, with diamonds

“You can’t create an icon,” says Hélène Poulit-Duquesne, CEO of Boucheron. “Icons are wrought over time, and they gain that status because they strike a chord with people.”

Photography: Jaya Khidir
Art Direction: Marisa Xin
Photography Assistants: Nowo Kasturi And Ng Kai Ming

This story originally appeared in the June/July 2024 issue of GRAZIA Singapore and Grazia.Sg

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