After the historic Palme d'Or won in 2021 by Frenchwoman Julia Ducournau for her film Titane, Chopard is delighted to celebrate the 75th edition of the Cannes Festival, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of its partnership. To celebrate this double jubilee hand in hand, the Swiss jeweller is creating a unique trophy by placing the Palme d'Or – of which two tiny leaves will be diamond-set – on a rose quartz base.
The stone of love to celebrate the most beautiful love story
Honouring the 75th anniversary of the world's greatest film festival – with which Chopard has been nurturing a passionate relationship for 25 years – in due style called for an exceptional Palme. The Maison’s Artistic Director and Co-President Caroline Scheufele decided to revisit the Palme d'Or by studding two of its tiny leaves with diamonds from suppliers certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council. One will be graced with 75 diamonds symbolising the Festival's jubilee; while the other will feature 25 diamonds to immortalise the quarter-century of the partnership with Chopard: a double celebration in perfect unison.
The Fairmined-certified 18-carat yellow gold Palme will not be placed on the traditional rock crystal cushion, but instead on a base made of rose quartz – a stone symbolising love. In Greek mythology, this powdery pink, delicately veined gemstone is said to have been created by Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. Quartz, from the Greek word krustallos meaning "ice", is said to be the ice of the gods. Rose quartz was chosen to symbolise the unconditional love binding the Festival with cinema – as well as that of Chopard with the Festival since 1997, when Caroline Scheufele left carrying a Palme d'Or to be reinvented after a meeting with then Festival President Pierre Viot. Ever since, Chopard has cherished this partnership as a love story to be written, entirely contained in these constantly renewed vows, exactly as Caroline Scheufele is highlighting at Cannes this year with the theme ‘Chopard Loves Cinema’.
Perpetually reinvented Palmes
Five years ago, for the 70th anniversary of the Festival, the Haute Joaillerie workshops were already hard at work designing an anniversary Palme whose stem and foliage were exceptionally studded with a shower of diamonds. A Palme that made a lasting impression, as did the one in 2014 – the first to be made of Fairmined-certified ethical gold mined with respect for people and the environment, making it the world’s first and only ethical film trophy.
In 2021, it was a young woman, Julia Ducournau, who was handed the Palme d'Or by Sharon Stone for what was only her second feature film: Titane. The Maison is proud to have participated in recognising a young filmmaker still at the start of her career and this was the first time it had been awarded to a female director since Chopard became the creator of this supreme reward turned jewel. Back in 1993 – when Jane Campion won this accolade for The Piano Lesson at a time when Chopard was not yet a partner of the Festival – the trophy existed only in its raw gold-plated and Plexiglas version.
Last year (2021) was in many respects a memorable edition of the Cannes Festival, since the two most important future-oriented official prizes – the Palme for short films and the Caméra d'or for the best first feature film – also crafted by Chopard, like all the trophies awarded by the Festival, were also won by young female directors: Tang Yi from Hong Kong for Best Short Film and Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic from Croatia for the Caméra d'or.
Palme d’Or 2022 - Creation process
1. 1st casting
• So-called “lost wax investment casting” technique.
• Arranging the stem and leaves on a pouring gate former (sprue base) around a central wax pillar or sprue.
• Sealing the pouring gate former by a flask to be filled with a liquid refractory plaster coating.
• Hardening and then firing the refractory plaster in a furnace at 760°C during an entire night.
• The wax flows out through the central sprue to leave a negative imprint on the plaster.
• Vacuum induction melting; the molten metal thus fills the empty cavities.
• “The “tree” thus becomes positive.
• The plaster is broken and the “Palme” is washed using pressurised water and an acid deoxidation process.
2. Assembling the “Palme”
• After the casting operation, the jeweller cleans the surface and then polishes the separate elements by hand.
• Meticulous correction of the leaflets and stem and then final assembly of the “Palme”. Each gold leaf is adjusted on the stem in its correct position and soldered with a torch.
5. Setting of the diamonds on two of the Palm leaflets.
6. Drilling the rose quartz block with a diamond milling-cutter to accommodate the small supports on which the “Palme” will rest.
7. Attaching the “Palme” to its cushion.