Now that the year is coming to an end, and we are slowly heading for the holiday season, let’s go briefly through the Cartier collection of accessories and cuff links in particular. After all, cufflinks are one of the few things any man could wear in daily life, and especially during these festive months, they are the ultimate accessory.
A collection of cufflinks from any high-end Maison should be a business card, for what the brand stands for, in terms of style and craftsmanship. Actually an example of how a top brand sees and treats style & design!
The Cartier collection, which used to be famous for its outstanding designs, and that always was an advisor to the well-dressed man, who could blindly find a perfect pair of cufflinks here, has been for a few years immensely diverse and chaotic. In this article, we will discuss the highlights and also the misses of the collection, because at Troisanneaux we sometimes have a hard time understanding the current marketing concept behind the Cartier collection of cufflinks.
Many of the models are very classy and typical Cartier, and available in the collection for years and they radiate exactly what Cartier actually is; the very best and largest jeweler in the world! But when we review the 2020 selection, it’s become clear that many of the current models, don’t have that chic and sophisticated look at all anymore. And even worse they have the exact look of the brandless ones, offered by department stores like ‘Neiman Marcus’ or ‘Lafayette’. This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact if the cufflinks are made in silver or in gold, it is after all not a matter of price, but a matter of style and refinement!
A cufflink should be attractive looking on both sides, even if one side is simpler than the other. The backside should have a relation with the front side, if possible. Cartier also used to often work with so-called ‘ball ends’, which looked very attractive.
But in the current collection, we noticed about 26 models with an unattractive rectangular bar as a backside, exactly the same bar that every other B-brand also uses and which, in 9 out of 10 cases, does not fit the total design at all (pictured underneath). It is impossible to believe that these models were designed by Cartier’s own skilled designers, that have designed so many outstanding products over the past years.
This is just ram-design, which must have come from an external design office and is purchased ready-made. Apparently good for sales, but a bloody shame that these products even bear the name, Cartier! That these cheap- and bad looking designs are offered in the Cartier Boutiques, is honesty a complete mystery to us; who cares about a nice front when the back destroys it all.
The good news is, that luckily there are still a large number of absolutely stunning designs in the collection, in 18K gold and even in sterling silver!
For instance, the Trinity, the Elongated C in silver, the Juste-un-Clou series in 18K, the Santos de Cartier Daily Mood, the Panther-head Décor with ball ends in silver & Jade (in the collection since 2012!), the stunning Santos Bi-Plane in silver, the Love cufflinks in 18K and the new very masculine Drive de Cartier model. These are all designs that are timeless and literally to die for.
In case you are someone who never wears cuff links, but you would like to add something to your outfit that gives you something extra, besides your watch, check out the lapel pins that Cartier added to the collection, not so long ago. We see the lapel pin as a neat accessory that can be worn with a classic outfit or with a more casual jacket & chinos combi. Now I hear you saying, “I am not gonna wear a brooch?” – But this is not your mother’s brooch Sir; these ‘Juste-un-Clou’ pins are a bit edgy, or kinky, no matter you call it; they’re absolutely cool!
The Juste-un-Clou pin was designed by Aldo Cipullo for Cartier New York, around 1970. Originally they were only available in yellow gold, but now La Maison also released them in pink- and in white gold. Some are plain, others set with a few – and some with a lot of diamonds. Another possibility is the brand new Panther headpin, which looks very smart on a sportscoat or even on your tie. It comes in an affordable silver version or in a gold design set with diamonds, matching the Panther-head Décor cufflinks with ball ends and the newer model as well.
Or check out the above-pictured, brand new lapel chain ‘Panthère de Cartier‘ in 18K rhodiumized solid gold paved with 127 diamonds totaling 0.87 carats, 2 emerald eyes, black lacquer nose, black onyx spots. The head can also be worn without the chain. I hope I am right in saying that this is the very first time that Cartier is launching a lapel chain.
We can certainly say that Cartier’s cufflink collection with over 52 models and variations, offers a wide choice and it is larger than ever. But remember what architect Mies van der Rohe once said; ‘less is more’; and with a smaller selection with all the really good designs, the Cartier Collection would have been large and impressive enough. And it would have been a Collection to be really proud of.
*All products mentioned in this article are only available from the Cartier Boutiques and from the Cartier Online websites; www.cartier.com