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Cartier, a certain idea of masculine elegance
History & Masterpieces

Cartier, a certain idea of masculine elegance

Wednesday, 20 June 2018
By The FHH Journal editors
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The FHH Journal editors

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2 min read

At the turn of the twentieth century, brothers Louis, Jacques and Pierre Cartier, grandsons of the founder, paved the way for a style whose influences came from Paris, London and New York – the historic locations of a brand that has continued to reinvent itself with endless elegance.

There is Louis, the Parisian who set up shop in Rue de la Paix in 1899, the inspired creator of the Trinity ring, the Tank and Santos de Cartier watches. Jacques, his youngest brother established the London office in 1902 combining this with extensive travels to India and Bahrain and building a special relationship with the British royal family. And, of course there is Pierre, since 1909 a naturalised New Yorker, who one day historically exchanged a pearl necklace for the finest mansion on fifth Avenue. The three brothers were the talented sons of Alfred and grandsons of the Cartier founder, Louis-Francois. They patented previously unconsidered inventions, abolished boundaries, transformed the jewels of maharajas, and dreamt up mystery clocks alongside watches for aviators. With imagination, elegance and a pioneering spirit, they paved the way for all kinds of possibilities. In Paris, London and New York, they installed a powerful and unmistakeable style.

© Cartier
© Cartier
Louis – Paris 1899

From his studio at 13 Rue de la Paix Louis designed the men’s watches of the future and redrew the boundaries of style in jewellery. With geometric lines, clean design and technical innovations he reconciled classicism with a pioneering spirit. Tank watch, black dinner jacket, Trinity shirt studs and ring: elegance was his obsession, and art de vivre his unwavering philosophy.

Jacques – London 1902

Blending the refined sartorial elegance of Savile Row with the spirited eccentricity of London style, Cartier invented its own mythology of luxury for men: a particularly British pairing, as embodied by the glittering and unexpected Panthère pocket gem.

Pierre - New York 1909

Cartier captured the creative energy of New York City which inspired the jeweller to create the dramatic and provocative unisex designs of the Clou and Love bracelets. The challenge was total: jewellery was breaking free. A unique notion of masculinity entered the modern era, free from taboo. The Cartier man could enhance a tie, collar or jacket lapel with an artfully pinned, individual creation.

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