Lorenz Baumer (b. 1965) is a jeweler who is also the founder and director of the company that bears his name, located at 19, Place Vendôme Paris, France. On the firm’s official website he writes, “I was born in the United States in 1965 and grew up in one country after another following the missions of my German diplomat father and French mother. I took my first steps with my mother who painted on porcelain and gave me a taste for this material. The city of ceramic, Sèvres, is a place of alchemy where earth is transformed into Beauty, as if by magic.”
It was not until around 2011 that Baumer became more than a hidden gem in the jewelry industry. Previously working anonymously, he designed pieces for major luxury brands like Cartier, Gucci, Hermès, Breguet and Piaget before joining Chanel in 1989. He worked there for twenty years while he also developed his own signature lines starting with costume pieces and working his way steadily up in fine jewelry.
In 2009, he moved from Chanel to Louis Vuitton, becoming the luxury brand’s artistic director for fine jewelry, charged with lifting it into the top rank of haute joaillerie.
Born in Washington, Baumer spent his youth traveling the world. He graduated from the École des Arts et Manufactures in Paris with a degree in engineering but was captivated by jewelry design. Even as a child, he says, he would make rings out of champagne corks and wire.
The attractions of science and art are reflected in the Lorenz Baumer collections each with a distinctive personality: His early collections were named poet, gardener and architect and ranged in spirit and style from romantic sensuality to neo-deco geometrical.
By 1995, he had moved to an office to 4 Place Vendôme, and little by little discontinued making costume jewelry. By 1992, he began devoting all his time to making fine jewelry. The creation of the Ecume de Diamants tiara for the marriage of SAS Prince Albert of Monaco to Charlène Whittstock in 2010 was a major moment in his career, made even more so because he was chosen in an anonymous competition in which some of the most prominent brands in fine jewelry were competing. In 2013, he opened his boutique at 19 Place Vendôme, next to the Ritz.
Today his collections are comprised of Pense a Moi which is designed as a knot that symbolizes a link and an attachment or a precious feeling that says, “I love you, I am thinking of you, my thoughts never leave you.”
The Inseparables collection showcases beautiful parrots that can’t live without one another and celebrates friendship, love, family and all precious things that can be shared. In Ecriture, a jewel, custom designed for the client, is personalized with the name of a loved one, a child, or word to reveal emotion.
The Mikado Collection features polished metal surfaces that play with volumes and negative spaces like poetic architecture. Baumer created the Morse Collection because it is not always easy to say “I love you,” so he translated the words into a language in jewelry that spells out the words through jewelry design.
Lorenz is Baumer’s wedding ring symbolizes how two people enrich each other and become complementary and inseparable. These are available in pink gold, white gold, round or angular, full or flat, with diamonds and gold.
In Summer Garden, his enchanted garden reveals sweet and magical flowers. Each creation represents a kaleidoscope of color with sculpted precious and ornamental stones brought to fruition by multicolor enamel.
The Meteorite collection offers buyers the chance to wear a piece of the stars in a jewel. Meteorite is a material that’s travelled for thousands of years in space. The streaks in the meteorite draw a pattern that does not exist on earth making it rarer than diamonds.
Reflets is a contrast between fluid forms and modern colors unveiled by anodized titanium. In this collection Baumer uses the latest innovations of 3D printing to enhance it.
Other collections include Battement de Coeur, Firework, Gourmandises, A la folie, Good Girl/Bad Girl, Black and White, Tatooed Diamonds (a tattoo on the hardest, purest, whitest mount), and Sea Inspiration.
Baumer’s work also include cocktail rings and earrings plus one of a kind rings, earrings, bracelets, and brooches, engagement bands and rings. Baumer also has items for men that include cufflinks, rings, studs, and bracelets. He also creates unique objects and jewels that comprise a bestiary.
When Baumer is not at work, he is likely to be traveling the world in search of new stones to inspire him or trekking to a beach with his wife and three children to indulge his other passion, surfing.
Until recently, it was almost impossible to meet Lorenz Baumer but 2018 marked the year that he reached out. He was the only young creator to be shown at the prestigious Biennale in Paris. He was also one the few French high jewelry houses to exhibit at the prestigious PAD (Pavillion of Art & Design) in London.
The difference between many of today’s jewelry designers and Baumer is that Baumer is not only a designer and a visionary, he’s a trained engineer and brings his scientific knowledge to the field of haute jaoillerie to achieve creations that mainstream luxury houses cannot imagine, let alone match. Even more, he is alive and well and clients can meet him directly, including visitors to his boutique who wandered in without an appointment.
Baumer understands that the Place Vendôme can be intimidating for many and is doing whatever he can to revolutionize the welcoming process by making an effort to meet those who visit and by showing a total transparency. He is happy to present his incredible transformable pieces and explain where every stone comes from, what inspires him, the hidden stories in his creations, his love of surfing and nature, his interpretations of poems, fruits, vegetables and of course, mineralogy. He is even openly showing prices on his website and is considering the same for his windows – very shocking for the Place Vendôme!
Let there be no doubt, Lorenz Baumer has earned his reputation as ‘Le Petit Prince De La Haute Joaillerie,’ (The Little Prince of High Jewelry) even as he disrupts jewelry’s old order and becomes the ‘enfant terrible’ who won’t go away. Who know? He could well become the Cartier of tomorrow.
Baumer’s awards already include being made a Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters in 2004 and then an Officer in 2009. He became a Knight of the Legion of Honor in 2010 and, in 2009, won the Vogue Joyas Special Prize in tribute to his artistic vision and professional career. He received the Audacity Award for Talents in Luxury and Creation in 2017.
Relatively early in his career, Baumer said, “What is really interesting about designing jewelry are the boundaries. If anything is possible, it is too easy. What is really interesting is seeing how far you can push those boundaries.”
Lorenz Baumer continues to be an atypical and innovative creator, staying true to his ethos of believing that jewels have a soul rather than a price. His high jewelry creations push the traditional boundaries of the legendary Place Vendôme. The complexity of craftsmanship and the rarity of the jewels he uses convey artistry clearly is evident in his high jewelry and luxury timepieces.