LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Seductively Symbolic


Cartier brings forth its emblematic beasts and design motifs – such as the panther, the tortoise, the scarab and interlaced bands in gold – with playful pieces that express considerable history.

Words divide but symbols unite, it is commonly said of the power of symbols. Powerful though they are, conveying layers of personal and universal meaning, symbols are not necessarily always so serious. “Les Must” Collection of Cartier interprets its icons with a spirit of play and sharing, setting the tone with a light attitude in fresh reincarnations of its historical emblems.

The Cartier story, since 1847, nearly defines high jewelry in the Western world. Royal patrons, legendary movie stars and prominent society figures have called upon Cartier for magnificent jewels and irrevocable prestige. They are the leader, without question, in this domain but Cartier is perhaps more interesting as a leader in its inclusive creative dialogue. “Les Must” is destined for younger generations, and the young at heart from no matter what generation – for those who seek a sense of easy significance in what they wear, and what they give.

The legendary red jewelry box is a Cartier classic. As a simple symbol of promise, pleasure and surprise, the Cartier red box of dreams is a perfectly engineered vehicle of emotion. With its delicate gold detailing, beveled corners, and its passionately true red, this jewelry box has harbored Cartier creations for decades and for always. It is furthermore a cinematic legend, having appeared alongside Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon in Billy Wilder’s 1959 classic Some Like It Hot. Myth, magic and memory characterize this epitome of French luxury.

And what is a gift, but a symbolic gesture expressing what words cannot? A gift to a loved one, or a gift to oneself, is a small and precious symbol that bears protection, inspiration, fortune and a place to concentrate the dreams, intuitions and positive energy that form life and love – the power that reaches beyond our rational minds.

History has created a visual language apart for Cartier, a design dictionary that is uniquely its own; story and symbol are intimately linked in one single narrative.

The panther is Cartier’s most emblematic triumph, present since as early as 1915 in its courage, graceful dynamism, and savage power. The panther lurks, elegantly curvaceous – emanating both civility and wildness at once – across the wrist as a patterned watchband, in lines across pendants and spectacularly sparkling rings. With seductive allure, it reappears as the powerful little feline driving the personality behind Cartier creations. The panther is an invitation to affirm one’s individual personality, one’s wild nature in perfect marriage to cultivated civility – to be worn in the spotlight, and on the prowl.

The scarab beetle is an insect that plays a key role in ages-old myth and symbolism, representing good luck, solar warmth, and the power of reincarnation. The ancient Egyptians revered the scarab-headed god Khepri, whom they associated with the power of the sun, and as a symbol of spontaneous creation. Abstract and yet playful, Cartier freely interprets this little insect that is weighted with its own special secrecy and significance.

The tortoise is thought to be the wisest of souls among the animal kingdom, yet innocent as it has few predators, portraying stability, longevity and eternity. In Asian myth the tortoise represents cosmic order. This captivating creature, one among Cartier’s animal menagerie, represents delicacy and charm with a hidden power in simplicity –
found in its rings, bracelets, and necklaces in silver.

The interlaced design is a symbol of the unity behind all the motifs, the ties that bind, the weaving of chance and the making of history. Gold bands intertwine in equally elegant turns upon each other – cross your fingers or tie a knot, make an engagement or declare an oath. Provoking an air of destiny and chance, a ring, bracelet, necklace in the interlaced design is reminiscent of the way that all symbols weave together for expressing the mystery of the human experience.

The code of excellence deeply embedded in the Cartier DNA is inextricable from the symbols that cycle throughout its past, present and future. The symbols unite into a coherent whole bound together by meaning without words, by the message behind the material design.

The simultaneous sweetness and force of the baby panther reminds us to take part in the ancient play of symbols, the promise of happiness and the resource of intuition. A little thing charged with a lot of power.

Related Articles

Cartier's Warped Watches
The Jewels in Cartier's Crown
The Legacy of the Maharaja of Baroda
Countdown to Countess Treasures

More Info