It was hard to decide which was more tempting at the de Boulle opening in River Oaks District, the French champagne and Russian caviar or the seductive diamonds and sapphires on display. For my money, I would have settled on the five-strand pearl collar. But, alas, my discretionary income just wouldn't reach that high.
There were plenty, however, among the 200 guests with ample funds to fill their Christmas stockings with their choice among the dazzling offerings.
Patek Philippe hosted the champagne reception in the boutique and the dinner that followed in a specially-created Patek Philippe lounge in a neighboring storefront. The Swiss watchmaker partnered with de Boulle and created a showroom, said to be one-of-a-kind in the world, in the jewelry store digs. The showroom boasts the most extensive collection of the coveted timepieces in North America. Not surprisingly, Patek Philippe USA president Larry Pettinelli jetted in for the festivities.
De Boulle owners Karen and Denis Boulle and their children, Nick Boulle and Emma Boulle, made the quick trek from Dallas to christen their new store.
After 35 years in Dallas, why Houston?
"We explored different cities," owner Denis Boulle said of the family's latest venture. "But what attracted me to Houston . . . the international aspect of Houston has always drawn me. It was exciting to be part of the international scene. Dallas doesn't really have that much international business. So that was the first draw.
"Then, Patek Philippe, which is really the best brand in the world, offered us the opportunity to really become a Patek partner in Houston. So between those two, it made sense."
The partying cranked up once the throng had moved to the dinner bash, where Todd Events transformed the empty space into a Patek Philippe lounge, where A Fare Extraordinaire continued providing food and drink and where Dallas DJ Lucy Wrubel kept the music flowing.
The haute jewelry crowd included de Boulle president Jeff Barley, Martha Turner and Glenn Bauguss, Colin Moussa, Lindley and Jason Arnoldy, Pam and Bill Boyar, Carolyn Farb, Charles Ward, Kathleen and Jake Jacobson, Diane Lokey Farb, Brenda and Clay Boyar and Meredith and Fielding Cocke.