CUFFLINKS BY CARTIER CUFFLINKS AS JEWELLERY

It begins with three brothers – Louis, Pierre and Jacques. Adventurers in jewellery and watchmaking, they travelled the world in search of new horizons, enticed by the lure of new experiences, techniques and materials. Their concept of gentlemanly elegance was a modern one, encapsulating an art de vivre whose refined details and precious signatures have inspired the most high profile dandies on the planet, from Boni de Castellane and Jean Cocteau to Andy Warhol and Yves Saint‑Laurent.

Links to history: Style and savoir-faire

Cufflinks appear in Cartier records as far back as 1859 and these accessories, indispensable to the gentleman’s wardrobe, are re‑imagined in thousands of workshop drawings throughout the Cartier archives. Over the years the themes change with the fashions, from Russian‑inspired guilloché enamel to striking colour combinations in emeralds and sapphires at the height of the Art Deco period. Creative exchanges saw Cartier set cufflinks with precious stones, or recast them as watches, winding crowns or compasses to be worn on the wrist.

Reflecting the Cartier style, they adopted iconic creations of the Maison such as the menagerie and the exposed screws of the Santos watch.

Links to famous clients: Made to the most extravagant orders

Cartier cufflinks have explored registers of expression varying from the stylish to the ceremonial, from horse‑racing to heraldry and coats of arms. In 1921 HRH Princess Anastasia of Greece even commissioned a pair of white enamel cufflinks emblazoned with the royal crown.

On occasion they are the bearers of highly personal messages, from the humorous to the romantic. Special orders from discerning clients include the miniature watch cufflinks made for Cole Porter created to allow the master songwriter to check the time whilst on stage. As a token of love for the man who abdicated the throne for her, Wallis Simpson commissioned for  the Duke of Windsor a set of cufflinks entirely paved with diamonds and engraved on the front with “WE”. This pun on the initials of their first names, Wallis and Edward, continues on the reverse with the double‑meaning word play inscription of “Hold Tight”.

  1. CARTIER CUFFLINKS A HISTORY IN PICTURES

CARTIER NEW YORK CATALOGUE 1934

CARTIER NEW YORK CATALOGUE 1947

CUFFLINK

Cartier Paris, c.1880

CUFFLINK VÀ SHIRT STUDS

Cartier Paris 1906

CUFFLINK

Cartier Paris, 1929

WATCH CUFFLINK

Cartier Paris, 1945-1947

CUFFLINK Cartier Paris, commission from 1921

CUFFLINKS GIFTED BY WALLIS SIMPSON TO  PRINCE EDWARD OF WALES Cartier Londres, 1935

2. LINKS TO THE ART OF CARTIER

The subtle art of Cartier jewellery is transposed into masculine ornaments by the clean lines, precious materials and craftsmanship of Cartier cufflinks. Glittering examples of the skilled goldsmiths, silversmiths, setters, carvers and cutters of gems of the Maison, these bejewelled pieces dazzle with elegance in the sparkle of stones and precious detaiIs. Steeped in history and bearing the stylistic signatures of the Maison, Cartier expands its artful repertoire with every passing year.

Links to High Jewellery

In the grand tradition of Cartier jewellery and style, cufflinks are adorned with diamond paving and spectacular centre stones.

HIGH JEWELLERY CUFFLINKS 

Platinum, two carved Zambian emeralds with a total weight of 13.43 carats, brilliant-cut diamonds with a total weight of 4.31 carats. Model available in additional varieties of precious stones.

HIGH JEWELLERY CUFFLINKS 

Platinum, two octagonal Ceylon sapphires with a total weight of 7.20 carats, brilliant-cut diamonds with a total weight of 1.67 carats. Model available in additional varieties of precious stones.

 

Links to the art of gemstones

The shape and hue of hard stone cufflinks is determined by the choice of cut, carving and colour on the part of the Cartier gem‑cutter.  In the gold‑flecked blue of lapis lazuli, the deep green of nephrite jade or the mesmerising black of onyx, stones may take the form of pastilles engraved with a double C, or in columns which offer a different colour for every day of the week.

Links to the art of sculpture

When Cartier sculpts the anatomy of the panther, every detail is scrutinised: the distance from nose to eyes, the contour of the cheek that should not be so prominent as to interfere with the detailed outline of the eye. It is the spacing and the proportion of the eyes that determine the personality of a Cartier panther. This artistry serves to capture the nuances and the power of the creature in the Panthère de Cartier cufflinks.

PANTHÈRE DE CARTIER CUFFLINKS

 

Links to the art of gem-setting

Cartier cufflinks display the traditional setting techniques of the jeweller: the claw setting, the grain or pavé setting, the closed or “massé” setting, and finally the pelt, or pelage, setting, which is specific to the Maison and primarily employed in panther motifs.

The abstract motif of the panther’s spots inspired Cartier to create a coat of brilliant‑cut diamonds whereby the stones are encircled with tiny folded gold threads to reproduce the creature’s fur. Using this technique these spherical cufflinks are studded with ‘spots’ to evoke the panther, an unmistakeable signature of Cartier style.

SPHERICAL CUFFLINKS WITH STUD MOTIF

 

Links to the art of the goldsmith

When Cartier created the Trinity ring in 1924, the flowing lines of the bands and  the strikingly original combination of colours heralded a completely novel approach to jewellery. Demonstrating an inventiveness that was ahead of its time, the Maison went on to appropriate an everyday item – the nail – as jewellery with the Juste un Clou bracelet in the 1970s. The codes of these seminal designs by a decidedly modern goldsmith are rendered in miniature in the Juste un Clou and Trinity cufflinks.

JUSTE UN CLOU DE CARTIER CUFFLINKS

 

Links to time

Cartier cufflinks replicate on a tiny scale the innovative shapes and exclusive movements of the Maison’s timepieces, inspired by the aesthetics and design of the Ballon Bleu de Cartier and the Santos de Cartier. The mechanical principle of the oscillating weight is enshrined in the oscillating weight cufflinks.

SANTOS DE CARTIER CUFFLINKS

BALLON BLEU DE CARTIER CUFFLINKS

OSCILLATING WEIGHT CUFFLINKS

 

Links to Cartier Tradition

Through Cartier Tradition, Cartier revives a technique associated with ‘findings’ from Hindu, Persian, Arab, Russian and Chinese art. Louis Cartier was one of the first to take an interest in antique curios when in 1907 he designed a salt vial inspired by a snuff box in carved jade. Cartier paid tribute to Japanese influences in sublime jewellery creations that prefigured the modern style. 

In this same spirit of balance between history and modernity, the jeweller has now produced a pair of cufflinks inspired by antique Japanese menuki. The traditional reclining horse and buffalo adornments were originally attached to the handle of a katana or Samurai sword.

CARTIER TRADITION MENUKI CUFFLINKS WITH RECLINING HORSE AND KARBAU MOTIFS