Eastern inspiration

Eastern inspiration

Cartier's Le Voyage Recommencé collection embraces China, India and Sri Lanka

Eastern inspiration
Cartier ambassador Song Jia wearing a Sambula necklace and earrings. (Photos: Cartier)

Recently in Beijing, Cartier presented its Le Voyage Recommencé collection against the grandeur of Prince Jun's Mansion.

Dating back over 400 years, the mansion boasts a quintessential Qing dynasty courtyard-style structure for an enchanting exploration of the commercial high jewellery and watches totalling over 380 pieces.

In addition, the Paris-based luxury brand exhibited pieces from the Cartier Collection, such as a watch-brooch from 1929 set in a 19th-century Chinese jade seal featuring a Buddhist lion motif.

Since 1983, the Cartier Collection has grown to include around 3,500 pieces from the maison's earlier years.

Cartier actually began gathering them in the 1970s before establishing this collection, dedicated to narrating its creativity and style spanning more than 175 years.

Going through the archives, its designers and artisans captured various Cartier styles, as if for the very first time, to create the Le Voyage Recommencé collection.

In May, the launch of the first chapter in Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, reflected on the rebirth concept. Looking to the past while staying relevant to current times has further resulted in a new instalment, unveiled at Prince Jun's Mansion.

Prince Jun's Mansion in Beijing.

The high jewellery sparkle under three themes: Giving Life to Nature, Evoking Journey, and Drawing the Line.

Cartier's fascination with flora and fauna is expressed in the first theme.

A fresh take on the water lily, the Lutea necklace boasts a central topaz of 12.69 carats. Smaller topaz stones meet colourful sapphire beads in this highly stylised interpretation with a series of geometric motifs.

The Kurinji necklace is inspired by a rare flower which blooms only once every 12 years in the mountainous plateaus of the Indian subcontinent.

The design is centred on a Ceylon sapphire with diamond petals radiating outward while sapphire beads accentuate the organic appearance and onyx provides rhythm.

The emblematic panther symbolises independence and power. Sculpted from a block of calamite, a lifelike feline guards a morganite pendant delicately engraved with floral motifs on the Panthère Hypnose necklace.

The Evoking Journey room illustrates Cartier's appreciation of different cultures.

Display of pieces under the Giving Life to Nature theme.

The dragon in Oriental culture holds a yellow diamond in one of its claws and watches over a rectangular-shaped cut-cornered tourmaline of 30.11 carats on the Bailong brooch.

Named after an ancient Egyptian city, the Coptos bracelet watch features two emeralds, coral beads, rubellites and onyxes in a design that echoes rigid open bracelets called Sudanese in the Cartier archives.

India inspires the Tutti Frutti pieces, which have been Cartier's emblematic style for a century.

The heritage meets recurring cypresses in the transformable Tutti Sammaan necklace. The curved form of two trees hug the neck while carved leaves render density and touches of onyx accentuate the depth of the foliage.

The two cypresses can be detached and worn respectively as a hair clip and a brooch.

Two emeralds and a profusion of gems deliver a green-blue contrast on the Sambula necklace inspired by cenotes -- natural freshwater wells often with overgrown vegetation.

Transformable Tutti Sammaan necklace.

Mixing organic shapes and geometric touches, the stones are arranged over different levels, evoking both the luxuriant density of nature and the delicate nuances that ripple on the water's surface.

The third theme, Drawing the Line, revolves around the purity of lines, the balance of shapes and volumes, and the play of proportions. The harmony of the entire piece together with the geometry and contrast make for another signature Cartier style.

Necklaces include Ondage with differently-cut diamonds and Trovoada with its cascade of spinels, purple chalcedonies and diamonds recalling subtle colour variations that sweep across a storm-laden sky.

Adorned with a greenish blue tourmaline, the Kubos ring is designed with square-shaped diamonds that represent the peak of a rectangular polyhedron while coral outlines a 3D optical illusion that adorned Cartier's vanity cases from the 1920s.

Based on the modern Toi & Moi ring, the Attrare ring boasts two spinels from Tajikistan with onyx accentuating the intricacy of its profile.

Some of the unique pieces were worn by Global High Jewellery Ambassador Gong Li, brand ambassadors such as Lily Collins, Song Jia and Jackson Wang, and friends of the maison at a star-studded gala dinner held at the Juyongguan Great Wall.

Lutea necklace with a central topaz of 12.69 carats.

Emeralds contrast with coral beads on the Coptos bracelet watch.

A dragon watches over a tourmaline on the Bailong brooch.

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