Travels to exotic places have influenced Cartier’s jewelry for over a century and the Maison’s newest collection of high jewelry is no different. With “L’Odyssée de Cartier Parcours d’un Style”, Cartier takes us on a journey around the world through its jewels, from Africa’s sun-drenched Serengeti to the legendary Orient.
Of all the journey’s influences, the jewels inspired by Africa are perhaps the most thrilling. Rarely has African jewelry been interpreted in high jewelry – Cartier only briefly dabbled in incorporating African influences to their jewelry during the six-month long ‘Exposition Coloniale’ in Paris in 1931, as seen in their iconic Art Moderne bracelets. However, Cartier’s latest creations magically bring the spirit of Africa to life with the new collection’s ‘Solar’ jewels.
From Africa, the journey continues to India where more than 100 years ago, Louis Cartier first explored the far-off land of gems and carved stones from which the “Tutti-Frutti” style would be inspired. Today, the Maison honors its founder’s famous motif of foliate flourishes in the ‘India’ high jewelry necklace. Of “Tutti-Frutti” style, the necklace harmonizes soft blue sapphires and cool green emeralds carved as leaves and fluted beads akin to the jewels that adorned India’s maharajas for centuries.
Further east, the journey visits the land of dragons, China. The high jewelry ‘China’ bracelet perfectly combines two motifs important to Oriental culture, a pair of swirling diamond and onyx dragons protect a Zen garden of carved rubellite sporadically dotted with diamond rocks.
The last chapter of Cartier’s journey sheds light on the world today and the modern city landscape laden with far-reaching skyscrapers. Preserving the Art Deco architecture inherent of city skylines, a pair of bracelets mimic the regimented compositions of the city in lattices of diamonds whose sparkle endures just as the city’s lights continue to shine through the night.