Cartier celebrates the culture of design with iconic and legendary collections that stand the test of time
French luxury house Cartier has just recently unveiled its latest international campaign to start the new year titled “The Culture of Design,” which concentrates on its iconic creations. This time around, the maison invites customers, longtime admirers as well as enthusiasts to discover, or in some cases rediscover, the diversity of its iconic collections—namely the Santos de Cartier, Tank, Trinity, Love, Juste Un Clou, Panthère and Ballon Bleu—through a series of stunning images.
These icons in the world of jewelry and watchmaking reflect Cartier’s stringent standards and design vision that have led the maison on its continuous quest for perfect form. More importantly, these collections are designed and created with four main principles in mind: the purity of the line, the accuracy of the shape, the precision of proportions, the precious details.
“Cartier is a pioneering house, in constant creative exploration,” explained Cartier’s Marketing and Communication Director Arnaud Carrez. “This campaign demonstrates the maison’s ability to create cult designs that stand the test of time, objects that are at once immediately recognizable and bear witness to the past. The simplicity and strength of these images allow us to celebrate a unique collection of cult design creations that have earned a place in the history of jewelry and watchmaking, and in the hearts of our customers.”
With all that being said, let’s revisit and rediscover these legendary designs and how they have transcended trends and time:
Santos de Cartier
Created all the way back in 1904, the design of the Santos watch was based on the concept of form, the taste for minimalism, the precision of proportions and an eye for detail. As the first square watch for the wrist created by Cartier, it was designed at a time when pocket watches were traditionally round. In a way, the Santos was truly revolutionary. The screws, traditionally hidden in watchmaking, were made visible and became an aesthetic code of the collection.
Louis Cartier found inspiration from the purity of the line to create a new watch shape back in 1917. Inspired by the design of a new (for its time) combat vehicle when viewed from above, it followed clear graphic principles: the two parallel brancards were the tracks and the case was the turret. Interestingly, from this combination came a new and fundamental principle, as the case attachments were aligned with the strap to maintain the rhythm of the pattern.
Created by Louis Cartier in 1924, Cartier’s Trinity ring is how the beauty of a shape with a single ring is revealed by the famed jeweler. It is made up of three intertwined, mobile bands in three different colors of gold with perfect proportions and clean lines.
The Cartier Love collection was created in New York by Aldo Cipullo in 1969, where an oval bracelet composed of two rigid and flat circular arcs that are then screwed together using a special screwdriver.
Juste un Clou
Cartier enhances the design of a very basic, utilitarian shape by transforming a simple nail into a piece of jewelry with its Juste un Clou. Clean, radical, and sporting uncompromising lines, the precision of this bracelet’s proportions was created for Cartier in New York by Aldo Cipullo in the ’70s. Today, almost half a century later, it remains one of the most iconic and recognizable Cartier designs.
Panthère de Cartier
First created in 1983, the Panthère watch featured a square case with rounded angles, a seamless curve of the horns and visible rivets. With this watch, Cartier aspires for clean lines without losing sight of the softness from the lines that makes this timepiece a quintessential jewelry watch. Named for the ultra-flexible bracelet that echoes the movements of the maison’s emblematic animal, the Panthère de Cartier was then redesigned in 2017, and continues to reflect liberated, joyful and triumphant femininity.
Ballon Bleu de Cartier
Created back in 2007 from a new vision of roundness, Cartier designers were involved to give more volume to the simple circle. Doubly convex, its shape strikes the perfect balance between line and volume. More importantly, to avoid any breaking of the line, the sapphire crystal winding crown is perfectly integrated into the case, with the crown cap under a metal hoop at three o’clock protecting the blue bubble.
Above all, by bringing these unique collections together for the very first time, this campaign pays tribute to the lines that are powerful, clean, precise and remain desirable over time. And in doing so, Cartier continues to keep the history of these iconic pieces alive.
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