Oh là là !
🇫🇷 Les Georgettes was born in France 🇫🇷 And since 2015, we’re so proud to show off our “Living Heritage” label (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant) awarded to us by the state here!
From our design studio in Paris led by Céline Guilhermet, to our manufacturing workshops in Brittany and Ardèche where our talented craftsmen are based, our different teams in France work meticulously to create – and perfect – our many Les Georgettes creations.
As such, for more than 100 years now, we’ve been developing our ever-growing expertise in jewellery craft. And just like any passionate craftsman (or woman!) our raw materials are selected with the greatest care and love. Our jewellery pieces are made in our workshops in South-East France. With our Les Précieuses collection, we put our trust completely in the hands of our stone-setting experts, in our workshops in Thailand. And as for our leather goods, we’ve carefully selected cuts of full-grain cowhide leather, from the most beautiful Italian tanneries (because everyone knows their leather is the crème de la crème 🤩). Since we don’t like waste, we strive to use in the best possible way every last corner of material entrusted to us, and we recycle our raw metals.
And to make sure our creations are truly unique, we file patents to protect them 🤓
Chapter 1 - More than a century of jewellery crafting expertise
We manufacture the majority of our jewellery pieces inside our workshops in the Ardèche region of South-East France. In the heart of the so-called “jewellery valley” (vallée du bijou), our passionate craftsmen employ their exceptional skills to make every creation filled with pride. We place great importance on ensuring the continuation of this traditional craft, with skills that are passed down from one generation to the next. By combining traditional jewellery craft with the efficiency of modern and innovative production techniques, we have perfectly mastered the different steps in our manufacturing process.
As France’s largest jewellery manufacturer, the quality of Altesse’s jewellery pieces is recognised in our home country and beyond. As the proud bearer of a “Living Heritage” label (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant), Maison Altesse’s historical expertise in the jewellery sector has been officially recognised by the French state, with the company constantly improving the quality of their jewellery pieces by implementing new technology.
Our creations are designed in our Paris design studio, just a stone's throw away from the city's beautiful opera house.
Sketches are then modelled in 3D, to set each piece’s technical specifications.
Our craftsmen with the golden touch create your jewellery pieces by rolling and shaping metals and welding them with ball bearings.
Next, we get our jewellery pieces perfectly smooth and shiny by polishing them in barrels filled with ceramic beads.
Precious metal plating
The final step in creating these beautiful treasures is of course plating them in precious metals. So, how does it work? Pieces are delicately dipped in plating baths containing a liquid solution of precious metal: 16 carat gold or 925 sterling silver, depending on your chosen finish.
Did you know? Before joining our fabulous jewellery collection, your Les Georgettes creations were passed through the hands of 10 craftsmen, taking care of your little treasures one by one…
Chapter 2 - Combining jewellery with the very finest leather
Our Les Georgettes jewellery leather inserts are created in Brittany, inside the workshops of Texier, a renowned leather goods manufacturer that belongs to Renaissance Luxury Group, just like Maison Altesse. Maison Texier was founded in 1951 by Louis Texier, who set up their workshop in Vitré, a small town in the Brittany region of North-West France. From the very beginning, the company has developed exceptional expertise in crafting leather goods, which led to Maison Texier being awarded the “Living Heritage” label (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant) in 2013.
We select high-quality, from skilled Italian tanneries.
Leathers are polished then heat-sealed together to create our famous reversible coloured inserts.
They’re then cut and pressed into the different shapes and sizes of our jewellery pieces.
The final step in creating our reversible leather inserts: the newly-cut pieces are dyed with a spray gun.
Chapter 3 - From a single stone to Les Précieuses
Historically, Thailand has been recognised for their exceptional expertise in stone-setting. This is why we create our Les Précieuses jewellery pieces and some of our Les Coutures clips in our own Thai workshops.
Maison Altesse’s Thailand workshops were first established in 1990 and bear the name SMV, an acronym of Saint-Martin-de-Valamas, the village where our Ardèche workshops are based. Pieces are created through a process of lost-wax casting, a technique which is also used in creating fine jewellery pieces.
This traditional process counts 32 different steps! Here are the main ones:
A wax mould is created from a 3D prototype created by our Parisian design team.
Stone-setting by hand
Wax moulds are then set by hand with cubic zirconia, using a technique called “micro-setting”.
Once set with stones, jewellery moulds are welded with wax to a cast tree.
Wax turns to metal
Each cast tree is placed inside a cylinder that is held in place with a plaster refractory paste. Molten metal is then poured onto the cast tree: the wax instantly melts and flows out of the funnel hole at the end of the cylinder. The metal then sets to take the wax’s place.
The finishing touch
These jewellery pieces set with stones are then detached from their tree and polished by hand.
Precious metal plating
The final step in creating these beautiful treasures is of course plating them in precious metals. Pieces are delicately dipped in plating baths containing a liquid solution of precious metal: 16 carat gold or 925 sterling silver, depending on your chosen finish.