Les Escales Fred: a narrative odyssey recounted by Vincent Darré

Watches & Jewelry


Throughout his life Fred Samuel, founder of Maison Fred, found inspiration in his many travels around the world. From South America to the French Riviera and Paris, the jeweler kept a storehouse of memories in his mind, transforming them into stunning jewels. In a tribute to its bold founder, Maison Fred has embarked on a new adventure called Les Escales – port of call – bridging land and sea with artist Vincent Darré as its special guide. Each stop on the journey recounts the story of Fred Samuel through a place that was especially dear to him.

The inspirations that have embodied the spirit of Fred for over 80 years have now fired the imagination of Vincent Darré, who came up with the idea for Les Escales after meeting Valérie Samuel, Fred Samuel’s granddaughter and Artistic Director of the Maison. A storyteller with a vivid imagination, he sails between the past and the halcyon days of Fred Samuel, the present, and the future of the eponymous Maison, proposing a dreamlike, poetic travel diary, punctuating his tale with sketches, watercolors, photos and quotes from the jeweler himself. This narrative odyssey from one dandy to another, is joined by three films illustrating each Escale, for which Vincent Darré also wrote the script.


From his youth, Fred Samuel had a passion for cultured pearls. Later, as an acknowledged expert, the jeweller made these milky-white spheres from Japan one of his signature gems. In memory of his founder, Fred chose Tokyo for its first Escale. There, the Maison opened a new flagship store in early December 2018 in which visitors can discover Fred’s iconic collections, along with the Atelier Fred and its customizable creations. To celebrate the opening of this new flagship Fred has enriched its 8°0 collection with three exclusive creations and launched a limited edition of its 8°0 bracelet with a clasp studded entirely with diamonds and blue sapphires.

Les Escales Fred by Vincent Darré

After Japan, the Maison has reconnected with the passion Fred Samuel felt for the French Riviera his entire life, making Monaco the second port of call for L’Escale. Bathed in light, the film features Valérie Samuel and Vincent Darré. When Fred Samuel met Grace Kelly in 1976 she was wearing a ring that he had designed. This jewel inspired the Maison to introduce a new edition of the Ombre Féline collection, presented during this second Escale. Fred also took advantage of the event to announce the opening of a new store in Monaco.


The third Escale Fred will stop at the French Riviera in June. An event that will definitely turn heads!