In the world of fine jewelry, Cartier is a long established name and few collections have had such success as the LOVE bracelet, which has been going strong for 50 years now. For Cartier it is considered their most successful collection and we can understand why. Way before diamonds were Marilyn’s best friend, precious jewelry has been gifted to convey the most devoted expressions of love, so the rich meaning of this bracelet gives an even deeper significance to the gesture.
At the height of the “make love, not war” movement, young Italian designer
Aldo Cipullo saw opportunity to offer a new, modern vision for togetherness. His unheard-of, unisex design was embedded with layers of symbolism and conceived with the idea of a perfect match, where two became one in an enduring bond of devotion. As he put it, “love symbols should suggest an everlasting quality”. In a poetic sense of fidelity, he drew inspiration from medieval chastity belts as seen in how two equal halves of the bracelet are fitted together with two functional screws that only the lover’s ‘key holder’ can unlock.
Cipullo’s love child was first offered to prominent couples in NY, names like Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen. Originally only pairs were sold, reportedly to those who were willing to give up the matching screwdriver to their significant other. It’s a charming idea, matching bangles and dangling necklace screwdrivers…however, in moments of self-adoration, why wait for someone else to do it? Today there’s just no price we can put on self-gifting, after all, “how far would you go for LOVE”?
What’s more, this story has roots clear back to the early 1900’s. Really, you ask? Yes, the house of Cartier had long been a pioneer in bringing the sexes together, and though they didn’t invent the wristwatch, they did make it a man’s item when they created the first pilot’s watch. Paying tribute to the Santos Dumont, the LOVE bracelet’s refined and precisely placed screws are a bow to heritage. Whether locked in time or locked in love, Cartier has us in their clutches.