Fashion / Shopping

The Amazing 35 Year Journey of Texas’ Jewelry Pioneers — and New Wonders of Today: History, Royal Ties, Powerful Partnerships and One Designing Woman Mark de Boulle’s Rise

BY // 12.14.18

This year, fine jeweler de Boulle is feeling fine — and then some. De Boulle is celebrating 35 years, three-and-a-half decades of exceptional timepieces, remarkable jewelry, fine craftsmanship and outstanding service. And what better time to celebrate than the most festive time of the year?

What started out as a small jewelry salon in the Dallas’ University Park neighborhood has grown into a bona fide top brand with showcase stores in Dallas and Houston. The now-famous de Boulle yellow villa sits along Dallas’ storied Preston Road. The Bayou City outpost is in River Oaks District, the game-changing outdoor center that redefined luxury shopping in the city.

The British born Denis and Karen Boulle have built a worldly brand marked by old world elegance and modern twists.

“I can’t believe it’s been 35 years already. It feels like just yesterday that we opened that first little store with a big idea: the finest jewelry and timepieces, the best service and a beautiful, friendly environment,” Denis Boulle says

Karen Boulle designs the de Boulle Collection — in many ways the most personal collection yet.

“Our newest offerings allow our clients to layer it on and add more,” she says. “The wearer can make it a personal affair and really express and show their own unique signature style.”

And a few fashion icons can back her up. The strong, smart and stylish Chandra North and Niki Taylor — supermodels, moms and business forces — showcase de Boulle’s new pieces in the 2018 edition of de Boulle Magazine. But it all ties back to the past.

“Then and now, these elements make up what we call The de Boulle Experience. Experience it all again — or for the first time. Come visit us,” Denis Boulle says.

Both the Dallas and Houston stores and the de Boulle website highlight the new designs. But first let’s take a step back in time.

35 Years of Texas History, 35 Years of Wows

In 1983, Denis and Karen Boulle launched de Boulle Diamond & Jewelry in Dallas, in a small salon in University Park’s Snider Plaza shopping center. The couple introduced Dallas to many original luxury watch brands, along with fine jewelry collections from Italy. The English natives worked hard, and the business thrived.

A new location would eventually come. Off prestigious Preston Road, it, too, was small — so small, that the workshop and offices were relegated to the attic. But in 2001, after many more years of success, de Boulle moved to its current location on Preston Road itself.

The building had been a toy store, a restaurant and a bank.  But after much reconstruction, it was transformed into the sophisticated, 13,600-square-foot, two-story salon that stands proud today, in the style of an elegant French villa.

Since then, de Boulle has served thousands of discerning customers worldwide, and has built a reputation as one of the preeminent family-owned jewelers in North America.

De Boulle Daytona 24 Celebration

The vision behind the famous yellow villa is as clear today as it was in 1983. It centers around providing customers a premier collection of fine jewelry, luxury timepieces, impeccable service and a beautiful and friendly environment. Then and now, these elements make up The de Boulle Experience.

The store’s collection of fine diamonds, fine jewelry and fine timepieces is unsurpassed for elegance, quality and long-term value — and the Boulles have worked ceaselessly to ensure that purchasing fine jewelry and luxury timepieces is always informative, fun and rewarding.

Craftsmanship Worthy of Kings

The Boulle name carries a long tradition of craftsmanship, dating to the 1700s. Christened by his contemporaries as “the most skillful artisan in Paris,” André-Charles Boulle was synonymous with the practice of inlaying furniture with marquetry of tortoiseshell, pewter and brass. Although he did not invent the technique, Boulle was its greatest practitioner.

The technique is known as boulle work today. Boulle carried out numerous royal commissions, for kings from Henry IV to Louis XV, as well as from foreign princes and the great nobles, government ministers and financiers.

Over the years, de Boulle has enhanced the Boulle reputation and fine tradition of craftsmanship through the exquisite de Boulle Collection of fine jewelry. This collection offers a selection of meticulously handcrafted and beautifully designed fine jewelry in 18K gold or platinum with colored gemstones and diamonds. This unique collection consists of one-of-a-kind pieces designed and crafted with precision and art, resulting in masterpieces

The de Boulle Collection provides a complete range of fine jewelry, from beautiful everyday, every-event diamond earrings to elegant, stately suites that include earrings, a necklace, a bracelet and a ring, for the most special red-carpet occasions.

Additionally, de Boulle has carried the timepieces of renowned Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe for more than 20 years, assembling one of the largest inventories in the world. The pairing is perfect, as de Boulle and Patek Philippe are both family owned companies, and de Boulle’s vision aligns perfectly with Patek Philippe’s, in that both represent the epitome of precision, beauty, craftsmanship and luxury.

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Lepine pocket watch, De Boulle Collection three-flower foldable ring, De Boulle Collection large textured rope toggle necklace, David Webb gold and platinum elephant bracelet with emerald, rubies and diamonds, De Boulle Collection triple-stack rings with bezel-set round brilliant black diamonds

Today, de Boulle is also an authorized dealer for a vast selection of the world’s premier brands of luxury timepieces, including Blancpain, Corum, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Rolex, Tudor and many more. The offerings include any series of watch that even the most demanding customer could desire. The range fulfills the most discerning and distinguished customers’ wish lists.

Of note, de Boulle has been chosen by each of these fine brands for its uncompromising professionalism and for having the necessary skills to maintain all the qualities of the brand. For even more options, de Boulle also offers a selection of fine pre-owned timepieces.

A Storied London Connection

In 2013, de Boulle became an authorized dealer for Holland & Holland. Founded in London in 1835 by Harris Holland, Holland & Holland is one of the world’s most prestigious gunmakers and suppliers of countryside clothing. Holland & Holland shotguns and rifles have been sought after by the British royal family, heads of state and famous hunters the world over, for nearly 200 years.

Today, de Boulle is the company’s second official gun room, after London. Occupying the second floor of de Boulle’s Dallas villa, the gun room carries bespoke shotguns and rifles, as well as Holland & Holland’s signature lifestyle goods.

Embracing River Oaks

In 2015, de Boulle expanded into Houston with a Patek Philippe showroom with select estate pieces and the de Boulle Collection. The location, in the posh River Oaks District shopping development, home to such fabled brands as Baccarat, Dior, Hermès and many more, has been a welcome and important addition to the de Boulle tradition.

For 35 years and counting, de Boulle Diamond & Jewelry has striven — every day — to make the original mission a reality for each customer who walks through its doors.

The Power Woman

Karen Boulle first began designing jewelry 35 years ago, when she and her husband established de Boulle. Her unique collection offers an exquisite selection of meticulously handcrafted and beautifully designed fine jewelry in 18K gold or platinum with diamonds and gemstones.

Her inspirations stem from a childhood spent traveling the Middle East and the Far East with her family. These beautiful areas had a great impact on her creative inspirations as Karen Boulle saw the towns, villages and markets, each with their distinct colors, treasures and architecture.

Karen Boulle (Portrait Tony Krash)

These fond childhood memories form the basis of design for the de Boulle Collection. Karen Boulle’s love of nature and animals also plays a significant part in every piece of the de Boulle Collection. These visual cues can be seen in hand-hammered gold leaves or finely detailed gem-covered petals and animal prints.

She believes that a design’s details are what make a lasting impression. What’s more, each piece is made from only the finest organic materials from around the world. The metals and gemstones work together to influence which direction Karen Boulle’s creativity takes with her designs. Unique gemstones from around the world are focal points of the collection, and, to this pioneer, each gemstone is alive and beautiful. She is especially drawn to jade, moonstone and turquoise.

Whether it’s jeans or couture, or anywhere in between, the de Boulle Collection is fitting — at once elegant and luxurious, timeless and sophisticated. In addition to pieces designed by Karen Boulle, the collection also includes special pieces that she hand picks.

Browse through, Karen Boulle’s favorite pieces from the 2018 collection in the photo gallery above and below this story.

For much more on de Boulle’s unique designs and to start your journey to the perfect present, click here. Of course, there is nothing like the personal service and expertise you’ll get from a visit with the jewelry professionals in de Boulle’s Dallas store on Preston Road and Houston boutique in River Oaks District.

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