Cartier was approached to take part in the new action adventure Ocean’s 8 as the film’s exclusive jewelry partner. The decision to proceed with the project stems from Cartier’s history of empowering women with the boldness to be themselves. It was a challenge and a thrilling venture for the jeweler asked to create a very specific parure for the film’s ultimate heist. For this very special order, intended for a motion picture, Cartier mobilized the resources of its High Jewelry workshops situated rue de la Paix in Paris. The jewelers were required to accomplish this feat in no more than eight weeks, before the necklace flew from Paris to New York.
Cartier was also the exclusive on-site jeweler during filming at the Metropolitan Museum. For five consecutive nights, jewelry was loaned to those making cameo appearances in the movie. Prominently featured in the film, the Cartier Mansion, a New York City landmark, became the location of major scenes. For two days, the Mansion was closed to enable filming and its Salons were transformed into cinema sets. The exterior of the Mansion on 52nd Street is also featured in the film.
The necklace is a tribute to Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier’s Creative Director in the 1930s whose role was decisive in establishing the Maison’s stylistic identity. Above anyone else, she was the first woman to embody Cartier’s bold and fearless spirit. Throughout her career, she favored Indian style as a source of inspiration amongst others, paying homage to the splendor and opulence of the Maharajas. The original necklace was designed in 1931 for the Maharaja of Nawanagar by Jacques Cartier. Described as “the finest cascade of colored diamonds in the world,” it was, according to Jacques Cartier, “a superb realization of a connoisseur’s dream.” This jewel no longer exists; however, Cartier preserved in its archives a design drawing and photographs of the piece and its owner. The creation sketch was used as a reference for the realization of the Toussaint necklace, which plays a pivotal character in the story.
The necklace was adjusted to Anne Hathaway’s measurements and reduced by 15 to 20% of the original size, as it was initially designed for a man. Dismountable bezels were devised to successfully adapt the jewel to match Anne’s proportions. Thanks to their expertise, when the actress wore it for the first time in New York, the necklace fit her perfectly. For the film—in which the Toussaint is comprised of flawless, colorless diamonds—the colored diamonds were replaced with zirconium oxides, a natural material, mounted on white gold. The necklace had to be solid enough to withstand frequent manipulations during filming. Meticulous attention was paid to the finishing of the settings and polishing, as close-ups would not allow for any imprecisions. The Jeanne Toussaint Necklace meets in all aspects the Cartier High Jewelry requirements in terms of craftsmanship and excellence.