A friend of mine recently left a highly coveted position at Cartier - in Manhattan, no less. My mouth gaped open upon receiving the news of his departure. I had so many questions...
"But why?" "How?"
And I was instantly transported to memories of equally bewildered reactions to my adoration for certain cities over others. The details of his exit aren't relevant- but my initial reaction is. The highly revered 170 year old jewelry house has achieved what the youngest luxury firms can only dream of - the very mention of their name conjures up images (and feelings) associated with beauty, glamour, exceptional craftsmanship, confidence and rich and exquisite materials.
Which pieces draw you in? A classic panther with captivating emerald eyes or something from the once again hot (but old favorite) Juste Un Clou Collection? What about a Cactus De Cartier ring, which is just impossible not to touch?
If you adore these offerings, you will be in awe of the sheer opulence and attention poured into the 600 designs currently on display at London's Reform Club. The selection includes vintage and new fine jewelry in addition to 49 one-of-a-kind high jewelry creations (Haute Joaillerie) with prices stretching from just over $300,000 to millions.
Instantly drawn in by details of the show, I couldn't help but notice the sharp contrast to the apparel side of haute couture. Haute couture sees limited sales to an extremely small group of people scattered around the world. In fact, most fashion houses continue the craft primarily as a means to market their brands in their entirety, leading to mass global sales of products such as sunglasses, handbags, cosmetics and perfume. But when it comes to haute joaillerie, these couture creations find themselves in the hands of many more buyers.
Their price tags may feature many more 0s, but they're a lot more practical from an investor's point of view. Not that many of us would be willing to part with a creation so spectacular.
Excess inventory from the U.K. show will be shipped to 13 Cartier boutiques around the globe, so pay attention if you find you must take a jewel-encrusted beauty or two home.