The Unknown Story Of The Much-Loved Cartier Love Bracelet
From renowned fashion editors to celebrities—the bracelet remains a mainstay in wrist stacks
‘How far would you go for love?’ This is the question posed by the iconic Cartier Love Bracelet with an idea to celebrate and explore the everlasting idea of falling in love. The Cartier Love Bracelet comes with an instant recognition value—a merit lent by its signature screws and embedded diamonds. Currently the most Googled piece of jewellery in the world, the bracelet seamlessly transitions into the sartorial aesthetic of the exaggerated or contemporary minimalist. At the same time, its charm is universal but it’s not like any other bracelet.
Designed in 1969 by the Italian jewellery designer Aldo Cipullo in the New York workshop of the luxury French Maison, the Cartier Love Bracelet heralded a renaissance in the way we wear jewellery. “What modern people want are love symbols that look semi-permanent—or at least, require a trick to remove. After all, love symbols should suggest an everlasting quality,” Cipullo has said. And his philosophy has been cemented rather perfectly in the chic confines of this bracelet, which was modelled after his visits to the American hardware stores. The bracelet quickly went on to become symbolic of commitment or perhaps getting ‘locked into love.’
Challenging the traditional notions of jewellery, the appeal of this bracelet lies in its mechanism. In lieu of slipping onto your wrist, two C-shaped halves unhinge to clasp together which is then screwed together by a miniature screwdriver that comes along with the bracelet. Simply put—the process reinforces the idea that love is not to be taken lightly—a realisation that struck Cipullo in 1969 when a romantic separation led him to create the piece. But it was only after Tiffany & Co. rejected the design of the bracelet that Cipullo pitched it to Cartier.
Rumours And Beliefs
A unisex jewellery piece at first, it is believed that Cartier once prohibited customers to buy the bracelet for themselves. The policy stated that it could only be purchased as a gift by a couple who were willing to surrender the screwdriver to one another.
Legend has it that all the New York City hospitals actually had to keep one of the special screwdrivers ready for when patients needed the bracelet to be removed.
Word on the grapevine is that when the bracelet was launched, Cartier gifted pairs of the bracelet to the most prominent couples of the 20th century, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen, and Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti.
Year after year, the number of people searching for the Cartier Love Bracelet on the internet continues to witness a triple-digit growth. The design skyrocketed to garner a popularity, while fakes began popping up across the globe too. To combat counterfeits and maintain authenticity, Cartier began engraving each Love Bracelet with a unique serial number which is stored in files at the Cartier headquarters in Paris, France.
Following the success of the Love Bracelet, Cipullo went on to invent yet another bestseller for Cartier, called the Juste un Clou bracelet. While he is no more, his iconic design continues to test love and also permeates into the wardrobes of millennials and the older generation alike.