cartier-love-banner4.jpg
Jewellery

The Story Behind Cartier’s Iconic LOVE Bracelet

What makes a piece of jewellery iconic? Not many designs can boast this accolade, but the Cartier LOVE bracelet – one of the earliest examples of which features in London's Fine Jewels sale – is easily worthy of this title.

Firstly, it resonates with the era in which it was created – in 1969, New York, when the city was at the height of the hippie movement. Aldo Cipullo, a young Italian designer working for Cartier spotted a moment – and a generation enthralled with the ‘make love, not war’ ethos. Secondly Cipullo realised that this demographic was open to the idea of a new, contemporary love token that owed little to traditional jewellery expressions of the time.

Drawing inspiration from the shackles of a chastity belt he crucially designed the jewel for both men and women (a unisex bracelet was unheard of at the time), and initially insisted they be sold only as a pair. Aesthetically he also steered away from any fussiness, paring back the bracelet to the bare minimum of a simple, flat, yellow gold cuff, punctuated with industrial style screws – in gentle homage to the rivets on the bezel of the Cartier Santos watch. Two of these were functional, fastening the tight-fitting bracelet to the recipient’s wrist, ‘locking’ the giver and receiver into a jewellery love-contract of sorts. Unable to slip on and off (they are slightly oval to hug the contours of the wrist) nothing would remove the band except a gold screw driver, included in the offering, making the LOVE bracelet a semi-permanent reminder of affection. ‘After all, love symbols should suggest an everlasting quality’, he said at the time.

Today the LOVE bracelet is an important part of the Cartier proposition; some are now studded with diamonds and the range has extended to include rings, necklaces and earrings. But nothing quite beats the simple perfection of the original, a lasting legacy of one man’s ability to capture the zeitgeist and render it in gold.

Other Highlights from Cartier in London Fine Jewels and Geneva Fine Jewels:

We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

By continuing to use our Site, you consent to our use of cookies and to the practices described in our updated Privacy Policy.

Close