Cartier is the first brand that comes to mind when we talk about jewelry, diamonds and watches. It is obvious when you think about the hundreds of jewelry models that made the brand iconic. From the Love bracelet to the extraordinary diamond rings, the paved panthers or the nail… not to forget the Trinity collection mixing the three types of gold for friendship, loyalty and true love. A demonstration of Love … but the real question is: do you deserve it?
The Making of an Icon and The Man behind the Concept
Few things in life are as pure and wholesome as the infamous Cartier Love Bracelet – a universally coveted piece of jewelry carrying on powerful symbolism. And could it be any different? Love is the most powerful driving force in the universe, an emotion so strong and inherent to all that it transcends all differences to form lifelong bonds… How far would you go for love? A question Cartier was able to answer with the LOVE bracelet. Not only for its ethereal appearance, but also for the profound meaning behind it, the LOVE bracelet has become worldly acclaimed and desired by men and women’s wrists in the recent years. This unique piece of jewelry is like a fairy-tale coming true. Something that all women around the globe dream of and pursue in the hopes that they too will someday experience a romance so eternal. It will outlive the statement bracelet on their wrist.
Designed in 1969 in the heart of the bustling New York City, the LOVE bracelet was the love child of young and aspiring Italian jewelry designer Aldo Cipullo. He joined the Cartier New York team that same year and immediately left his mark on the world of high jewelry with his evocative and timeless concept of a piece that symbolizes the unconditional love and eternal bond between two kindred souls. Having studied history, Cipullo was inspired by the concept of the chastity belt and sought to find a modern interpretation of this ultimate symbol of fidelity, purity and unity. Thus the Love bracelet was born as a modern symbol of joining together in an everlasting romance, with its charm hidden in the unique locking mechanism that has become a trademark of the Cartier love bracelet. The two C-shaped halves unhinge to clasp together before being screwed on with a miniature screwdriver made of gold included with each bracelet, reinforcing the idea that love binds and ‘locks up’ two people in a committed relationship. A hip, witty way to declare one’s feelings in the modern era.
The Cartier screw came to be regarded as one of the sweetest ways to show someone they’re literally ‘holding the key’ to your heart with the romantic pair of the matching LOVE bracelet and its corresponding screwdriver necklace. Lovers worldwide embraced the concept as the ultimate expression of their love and devotion for each other. So much that the question of “Do you love me enough for a Cartier Love Bracelet?” came to be a necessary step of the talk every couple has at some point in the relationship…
From high-profile celebrity pairs like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to business magnates and their model girlfriends – the Cartier LOVE bracelet has remained relevant in the luxury and secondary luxury market due to its simplistic design and understated elegance. In yellow gold, white gold or rose gold the opening price starts at $6’300 and goes up. With colored stones as screws the price starts at $8’000 and go up to $16’000 with diamonds. For the full pave version – don’t count below $40’000 for the LOVE bracelet. Today the Love Bracelet remains an iconic piece becoming the most preferred gift for a number of occasions: coming-of-age, graduation, engagement, marriage or even as a friendship bracelet as the ultimate symbol of loyalty, unity and a strong bond between two people.
One Ring to Rule Them All
Three bands and one unique ring that revolutionized the jewellery industry with its fresh take on the aesthetic of the engagement ring and the wedding band. Its sensationally simple design resounded throughout the 20th century and into the next as today’s younger generation show an increasing interest in its ‘infinite’ style. It’s a piece composed of three differently-coloured bands without a beginning or an end – just like a true love story.
The infinity ring carries in itself very powerful symbolism: the white gold band symbolizes enduring friendship, yellow gold one stands for loyalty or fidelity in marriage and the rose gold band stands for true love. Together, the interlocking bands evoke the memorable combination of timeless design and emotional message for the ultimate piece of everlasting jewellery. With or without diamonds or accentuated with other precious stones – the Cartier rolling ring is one of longest-running and most popular items of the brand, remaining the object of desire for many women.
A Lesson in Contemporary Relevance
The beloved LOVE collection was not the only line the talented Aldo Cipullo created for Cartier. His subsequent Juste un clou achieved an equally iconic rank with its daring message and sensual simplicity. As the name suggests it – the ‘just a nail’ pieces toy around with the boundaries of conventional jewellery in a way that redefined elegance and minimalism, taking them to new extremes. It goes on without saying that these artistic and bold creations have been particularly favoured by younger clients ever since their introduction in the 1970s as they resonated with the rebellious spirit of the era. A perfect testament to Cartier’s ability to fashion jewellery that is contemporary, appealing and socially relevant.
Juste Un Clou marks the height of the journey of fine jewellery to becoming an object of worship that perfectly resonates with the wearer’s lifestyle and inner world. The finest of fine jewellery moulded into the shape of gracefully bent hardware and adorned with luminous diamonds reflects Cartier’s move to reconnect with a younger clientele through the reflection of the “rebellious spirit and raw energy in New York City from an era long gone. But, ultimately, it is also a clear testament to the brand’s unimaginable skill in bridging the gap between past, present and future with timeless designs, ethereal allure and highly-wearable pieces of wondrous proportions and composition.
A legend is born
Love has become far too commercial, albeit it is yet to lose from its worth. People have always searched for symbols that looked and felt permanent — or, at least, suggested an everlasting quality. That’s how the Cartier symbol of love came to be. Classic and timeless, Cartier iconic jewels quickly drew attention for their permanence and powerful symbolism, becoming an ultimate sign of elegance and sophistication. Their most famous creations – the infinity bracelet, infinity ring, trinity ring described to be the rolling ring, the LOVE bracelet and the rest of its family considered to be Cartier’s friendship bracelet that are recognizable enough to be considered modern icons, but simple enough to complement all outfits and be desired by women all over the world.
The legendary house of Cartier marks its beginning in Paris in 1847 founded by Louis Francois Cartier. Their first exclusive store was opened in 1899 in the hub of the capital city, Rue de la Paix. Carrying on the family tradition and legacy, the three Cartier brothers Louis, Pierre, Jacques — grandsons of the master jewellery-maker Louis — travelled across the globe to expand the business. Each of them set out for a new and unknown country — Russia, England and America — to leave their mark and deliver truly prestigious services in the world of haute-joaillerie. It led to the creation of Cartier’s inspirational designs and passionate evolution as a respected Maison extraordinaire.
Throughout its history the brand established and maintained high standards on every level in its field of expertise and meticulous design for contemporary pieces that bedazzled and inspired artists and artisans.
Legendary names and beloved celebrities have worn the timeless Cartier creations and admired the ingenuity of the splendid objet d’art produced by the Maison. Receiving personalized orders and sponsorship from historic figures, such as The Maharaja of Patiala or France’s Emperor Louis Napoleon allowed Cartier to build its reputation and seek out the patronage of the courts of Europe, while also catering to the tastes and pockets of an ever-growing bourgeoisie. The brand came to be revered for its historical design styles and varying techniques of manufacture in combination with exotic motifs and distinctive cultural references.
Cartier iconic jewels came to be known for their delicate finesse and complementing designs among wealthy clientele on both sides of the Atlantic. Intricate hair ornaments, the diadem, the tiara, the aigrette and the bandeau were all modern accessories for their time with the tiara remaining a symbol of love even till this day beloved by brides across the globe.
During ages of great elegance the brand captivated the mind and imagination of its clientele with rich design aesthetic and the so-called ‘garland’ style of their pieces to ensure its jewellery and objet d’art would become renowned as ‘fabulous fables’. Through the use of ancient enamelling techniques, exciting colour combinations and refined style designs, Cartier’s jewellery was fast becoming an intrinsic and important aspect of contemporary culture.
So renowned was the Maison’s technique and superior know-how that the legendary Hope diamond – gifted to the Smithsonian institute by Harry Winston – received a Cartier setting to match its flawless beauty.
It would pose a challenge to imagine the fashionable style of the social elite without the profound influence of some of Cartier’s most bespoke creations that continue the visionary path of refined detailing, superb draughtsmanship and exquisite craftsmanship of Master Louis. Throughout the brand’s existence its jewellery designs continue to be influenced by myths and symbols from cultures around the world for an eclectic, yet stylized, representation of beauty and perfection in all its magnificent glory. The multifaceted fashion appeals to women like nothing else as it resonates with the conflicting female spirit in its abundance and sophistication.
The brand continued to experiment with various styles and design patterns, embracing the exciting primary colour scheme and abundance of emeralds, rubies and sapphires became integral to a new type of jewellery they offered, known as ‘Tutti Frutti’ (Italian for ‘all fruits’). This decadence of sorts remained Cartier’s signature trait in all of their subsequent creations of dramatic charm and enchanting diversity.
Cartier’s closer relationship with art led to the creation of various pieces of iconic status that remain today just as famous and trend-setting as when they were first introduced to the public. Few people haven’t heard of the Cartier 3 rings that epitomize the allure of clean, refined aesthetics and austere elegance. The now-iconic pieces are a perfect demonstration of the artisan’s magnificent craftsmanship and ability to explore a concept to its fullest potential, creating something that will appeal to every woman. Is there a girl who hasn’t dreamt of a Cartier inspired love ring on her finger, complete with a fairy-tale wedding? We didn’t think so…