Geometry & Contrast

Geometry & Contrast

Less is more. At the beginning of the 20th century, while the neo-classical garland style design was booming at Cartier, Louis Cartier introduced geometric shapes and sleek lines, new combinations of materials and colour contrasts, as well as interplays of stylisation and abstraction.
A new vision of style appeared at Cartier, which has endured as a source of inspiration until today. A demonstration exercise around four key pieces.


Louis Cartier introduced vibrant colours as well as unique, modern and stylised shapes: simple cubes, polygons and diamond shapes in calibrated coloured gemstones. In 1909, on a ruby and diamond brooch, the figurative disappeared entirely, and the square fit into the circle.


Onyx, lacquer and enamel: from material to colour, black is ever-present at Cartier. Emblematic of the Art Deco period, it has stood the test of time and asserted itself until today. Black is a fundamental part of the Cartier palette: graphic, it outlines shapes, stylises designs and creates the effect of shadows and perspective. Alongside white or red and green, it continually combines tension and contrast, even within the most recent creations.


Cartier generates movement at the heart of its creations. Relying on the precision of the composition, the design frees up the momentum, dynamics and rhythm. Between the designer’s pencil and the jeweller's fingers the material is brought to life. The movement is ever-present and seen here, barely restrained, in this cuff bracelet that can be transformed into a tiara. 


While black and white is a chromatic pairing unique to Art Deco, Cartier also plays with other combinations. Combined with the black of onyx or lacquer, the orange colour of coral has inspired sparkling jewellery creations characteristic of this taste for the unexpected.