London’s Saatchi Gallery is currently showcasing a photographic exhibition on French Maison Cartier’s world-renowned creations across watches and jewelry. Entitled, ‘Studio 7 by Cartier’, the maison’s story is told through seven of its most iconic pieces, such as the Santos, Tank, Panthère, Trinity, Love, Juste Un Clou, and Ballon Bleu. For the very first time, an incredible show of Cartier stories are told through a photographic journey, from the past to the present. Located on the ground floor of the Saatchi Gallery, the exhibition runs across four galleries.
The Santos watch. The Love bracelet. The Trinity ring. You don’t need to be a watch or jewellery aficionado to recognise these monikers as distinctly Cartier.
A new photographic exhibition at Saatchi Gallery celebrates seven of the Maison’s most recognisable icons, including the Santos, Ballon Bleu and Panthère de Cartier watches, as well as the seminal Love bracelet, designed by Aldo Cipullo in 1969, now available in white, yellow or rose gold with or without diamonds. In 2016, it was the most Googled piece of jewellery in the world and remains a mainstay of modern bracelet stacks. In 1971 Cipullo also designed the Juste Un Clou bracelet in – a nail that wraps elegantly around the wrist, to capture the era’s rebellious spirit and unabashed glamour.
The show, coined ‘Studio 7’, spread across four rooms, is meant to highlight the enduring appeal of these creations by showcasing them on celebrities, friends of the brand and clients over the years. The first gallery is called ‘Legends’ and aptly showcases a portrait of figures, such as Andy Warhol, who is seen wearing his Tank watch. Further on and you can find Tina Turner and her Love bracelet, Jean Cocteau with his Trinity ring, along with Jacqueline Bisset, Catherine Deneuve, Alan Delon and Grace Kelly – to name just a few.
In the next space, entitled ‘Inspiration’, Cartier shows a new dimension to portraiture by highlighting modern photographers, such as Mary McCartney, who has captured the likes of actress Vanessa Kirby, who is seen wearing her Juste Un Clou bracelet, along with Stephen Jones, Emma Corrin and boxer Ramla Ali, to name a few. Photos are projected on a floor-to-ceiling screen for a dramatically immersive experience.
For the ‘Studio’ portion, users are invited into a custom photography space where they can be photographed sharing their own Cartier story. Lastly, ‘Encounters’ select portraits from the ‘Studio’ space which are displayed in a mosaic of digital screens. These photographs are also available for visitors to print for a truly memorable experience.
The exhibition delves into the Cartier archives, showcasing early sketches and models, including a 1916 Santos wristwatch. The square-cased style was originally designed in 1904 for aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont, before later launching in 1978 as an instant bestseller. Most famously, it was worn by power dressing financier Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film ‘Wall Street’.
Cartier has always been ahead of the curve in creating luxurious, modern pieces that can be worn every day. While designs have been subtly tinkered with over the years – the Juste Un Clou was redesigned in 2012, while the Panthère de Cartier was relaunched for women in 2017 – each one remains a lasting talisman, restyled by a new generation. This new exhibition is the perfect way to experience that first hand.
‘Studio 7 by Cartier’ is a free exhibition which runs from Friday 23rd July to Sunday 8th August 2021 at Saatchi Gallery in London. To reserve tickets, follow the link here. Come into the beautiful world of Saatchi Gallery.
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