The coven of craftsmen within Cartier’s atelier in Paris have been hard at work, casting creations that appear to have been made as if by magic. Now the silk cloth can be whipped away for the first time to reveal Cartier Magicien, the French maison’s newest high jewellery collection.
As the name suggests, these one-off jewels, each with an undisclosed but six-figure price tag, take inspiration from magic. Three sources, to be exact – the magic of nature, the magic of light and the magic of design.
The jewels that pay homage to the magic of design include one of the most outstanding creations within Cartier Magicien – the Incantation necklace. A touch of the hand transforms this platinum necklace, sending its geometric components, each pavé set with diamonds, switching between a position that sits flush against the skin and one that makes it stand up rigidly. When inverted, a 22.84ct cushion-cut Ceylon sapphire, which can also be worn as a ring, is affixed to create a bewitching pendant.
Other jewels inspired by the magic of design use repeating, concentric, almost Art Deco-like patterns or glinting prisms to create optical illusions. The Oracle necklace is an inspiring example of this, with diamond-set platinum zig-zags leading to kite-shaped diamond drops and a central cluster of three step-cut Colombian emeralds spaced out by three rectangular step-cut diamonds.
The jewels conjured up by Cartier to capture the enchantment of light use multiple facets of diamonds to make nature’s own gemological magic trick perform to its greatest advantage. The Paillettes Solaires necklace is a celebration of diamond cuts that dazzles from every angle, with a large sphere set with rose-cut diamonds anchored to the neck by an adjustable chain decorated with yellow triangular-shaped briolettes, briolette-cut diamond beads, diamond slices, and yellow, orange and white brilliant-cut diamonds.
Another enlightening highlight is the Illumination bracelet, which creates a hall of mirrors effect with slices of etched rock crystal fanning out from a 31.16ct flawless D-colour diamond, creating a wall of light that speeds round the wrist.
Cartier panders to its love of floral jewellery in the final installment of Cartier Magicien, which celebrates the magic of nature. The beauty of the Mandragore flower is evoked with clusters of white gold blooms set with tsavorites and diamonds, but Cartier also pays homage to a creature found not in any field or jungle, but in folklore – the Quetzal, a mythical feathered serpent of Aztec legend. This supple creature has been imagined in black lacquer and diamonds, winding its way round ears to create cuffs, or snaking about the neck leading us down to a spectacular rubellite cabochon of 68.82cts.
Like all good fairytales, this darkly seductive collection is split into chapters. The first glimpses were unveiled this month on the French Riviera to a select group of Cartier’s top customers, and there will be more magic to follow when Cartier opens its new temple in Ginza later this year and unleashes the second chapter of Cartier Magicien on the world.