See­ing the Light

Cartier presents Étour­dis­sant—a vi­brant high jew­ellery col­lec­tion in­spired by the colour­ful days and nights of the French Riviera. Na­dine Ni­chol­son ex­am­ines the lux­u­ri­ous pieces

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mag­ine the cre­ation of art­works that de­pict the vi­brant hues of the daz­zling Mediter­ranean—us­ing a rich va­ri­ety of pre­cious gems as your colour pal­ette. That’s pre­cisely what Cartier has achieved with its most re­cent col­lec­tion, Étour­dis­sant. Su­perla­tives abound at the sight of the Parisian mai­son’s lat­est de­signs, which will cap­ti­vate even those who be­lieve they have seen all there is to see in the rar­efied world of haute joail­lerie.

In­deed, the his­toric brand is con­fi­dent about its most re­cent de­signs that it chose the name Étour­dis­sant, which loosely trans­lates from the French as “stun­ning” or “daz­zling”— and it’s an en­tirely ap­pro­pri­ate moniker. Ex­quis­ite pre­cious stones in vi­brant colours are com­bined with bril­liant me­tals to cre­ate bold shapes and form breath­tak­ing jew­els that con­jure up im­ages of siz­zling sum­mer days and sul­try nights on the Mediter­ranean.

It’s no sur­prise to learn that the col­lec­tion was in­flu­enced by the ethe­real beauty of the French Riviera and that the col­lec­tion was launched (quite aptly) in Cap d’an­tibes in the south of France last June. It was pre­sented again in Mi­ami dur­ing Art Basel—equally ap­pro­pri­ate, as it’s no ex­ag­ger­a­tion to say that the col­lec­tion is as much a work of art as it is a show­case of high jew­ellery.

The Étour­dis­sant col­lec­tion com­prises two halves: Day­light, which is burst­ing with colour in a cel­e­bra­tion of sunny skies, sparkling oceans and myr­iad flora, and Evening Shad­ows, which presents darker, deeper shades that are rem­i­nis­cent of night-time strolls un­der a blan­ket of stars.

The most pre­cious gem­stones—in­clud­ing di­a­monds, sap­phires, emer­alds, ru­bies, opals, tour­ma­lines, co­rals, tan­zan­ites, gar­nets and chryso­prases—have been cho­sen for the rich­ness of their ma­te­ri­als and their unique ways of trans­form­ing light. There are some Cartier clas­sics in­cor­po­rated in the de­signs, too, in­clud­ing the cel­e­brated pan­ther and much-loved tutti-frutti favourites. There are also new shapes, with stones that have been spe­cially cal­i­brated to ra­di­ate the vast range of vi­brant colours.

Pos­si­bly the loveli­est piece of all is the Hyderabad head­band, which is com­prised of plat­inum, an 18.23-carat carved oc­tag­o­nal­shaped emer­ald from Colom­bia, carved sap­phires and emer­alds, ruby drops, ruby, emer­ald and sap­phire beads, onyx, tri­an­gu­lar­shaped di­a­monds, bril­liant-cut di­a­monds, and a silk cord. Amaz­ingly ver­sa­tile, the head­band can also be worn as a bracelet or a choker. Also gor­geous is a cuff that in­cor­po­rates a glit­ter­ing 189-carat opal of pur­ple, pink, green and blue that fea­tures an ir­reg­u­lar set­ting, which con­sists of a com­plex mo­saic

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