“Never copy, just create” or “be very kind” were some of the recommendations of the founder of the House, Louis-François Cartier, to their goldsmiths and employees in the late 1840s, when they still occupied the workshop of the rue Montorgueil. But when Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, Napoleon’s niece, became a regular customer, Cartier moved to the rue de la Paix in pursuit of greater ambitions. Then he oscillated between invention and art in search of new objects, and began to become famous with a clock whose mechanism was hidden called Mistery Clock.
Innovation and audacity, as well as the messages they got their pieces to convey, made Cartier “the jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers”, according to the blessing of King Edward VII. And it is that the history of the firm is sewn of icons. In 1914 Cartier launched its Panthère watch, with diamonds and onyx set on the bracelet, which, following the instinct and beauty of the panther, would give rise to the brand’s emblem. And two years later, in the middle of the Great War, the Tank watch was inspired by the tanks of the European fronts.
A unique piece
One of its most special pieces is a watch-mitten –Baignoire Mitten– that reinforces the bridges built between art and jewelry. It is a unique piece composed of a rose gold mesh set with an authentic constellation of diamonds (almost 1,600), and in which the dial of a Baignoire Allongée watch is inscribed.
In 1924, Jean Cocteau, a friend of Chanel and Cartier, suggested to him that he rethink the Saturnian forms, and thus the Trinity Cartier was born, made up of three intertwined rings of yellow, pink and white gold – representing the Holy Trinity. Many more would follow: the mythical Taylor-Burton ring, the Love bracelet, or the simple gold nail Just un Clou … The firm, now owned by the Richmond group, continues to drink from art deco, an inexhaustible source of inspiration to this day, as demonstrates his latest capsule collection, Clash [Un]limited, whose ambassador is actress Lily Collins.
“This collection is bold, fierce and very different, but at the same time very Cartier. A new twist in its history, although deep down Cartier always remains true to its essence. And this is how I see myself, so it was a great honor to be asked to be the face of a collection that is pushing the limits ”, she declares. Collins.
The protagonist of Emily in Paris choose from among all the pieces that make up Clash [Un]limited, the studded rings: “They slip through the fingers and are fascinating. It is a totally new way of wearing jewelry. Cartier adds a small element of surprise to the collection. There is a real femininity, but with a hard side that gives off this energy that makes me feel special when I wear them ”.
The firm, now owned by the Richmond group, drinks from art deco as it did with other mythical collections
Exaggerated volumes, intense blacks and extravagant shapes give shape to a limited edition collection, whose concept is based on extreme tension. They are pieces that seek the clash of opposites, rigorous geometries, and oversized volumes.
In Clash [Un]limited takes on special relief the picot –the firm’s classic pyramidal shape–, with a radical focus on black and white jewelery (sometimes with violet brushstrokes). In the chest of the collection there are pieces with different uses: pocket jewelery, rings that are placed between two fingers or double rings, clip earrings to be worn inside or along the ear, reversible bracelets and necklaces … It has something of a sophisticated revision of British punk from the late 70s, in order to infect the pieces of its iconoclastic hunch; yes, with onyx instead of steel and diamonds instead of glass.
The maison’s workshops worked during the pandemic, striving to see the diamond in a different way, mixing it with onyx and amethyst, and giving the pieces of movement on the skin, one of the strongest trends of the moment. Articulated pieces that imitate the skin are pursued; the pimples of the bracelets move and move connected to an onyx ball located inside the jewel that rotates on itself.
Collins claims that being part of the Cartier family means for her joining a community of unique nonconformists who display great strength of character. “Cartier is Paris,” he adds, “and embodies a certain idea of very French elegance and refinement. But also a classic extravaganza ”.