Cartier’s Holy Trinity is Back

Contrary to popular belief, it takes three to tango.

Designer collaboration in the fine jewellery space may be scarce but the few that have materialised, unlike some in the luxury line, did more than just regurgitate old ideas. Just several years back, Cartier and Chitose Abe of Sacai made waves with a creative exploration that resulted in the reimagination of the brand’s Trinity collection. The limited-edition pieces, which debuted on Sacai’s Autumn-Winter 2022/2023 runway, thrust the Trinity back into the conversation, arguably since the black ceramic models hit the shelves over a decade ago.

But the Trinity has been resting in the upper echelon of fine jewellery long before said collaboration. Its no-nonsense design, anchored by three mobile bands intertwined in a harmonious balance, changed the game when it burst onto the scene in 1924. It signalled the turning of the tide as the house began to pivot its focus from precious stones to practical designs. The endorsement from society’s crème de la crème didn’t hurt: distinguished American decorator Elsie de Wolfe purchased the very first Trinity bracelet that same year.

Trinity for Chitose Abe of Sacai

This year, in celebration of the collection’s 100th anniversary, Cartier opens a new chapter that serves as a reminder of why the Trinity is always a step ahead of its contemporaries and is widely considered Cartier’s first design icon. The storied house has recently unveiled new creations that echo Trinity’s signature design details— sleek and modern character, chromatic gold trilogy, and the fluidity of the rings—but with a twist on its shape. The circular silhouette of the original has evolved into a more geometrical, boxy form.

“A new design called for a bespoke approach. Instead of starting from a hand-drawn sketch, we worked the volume by hand—kneading the material, rolling it, compressing it to isolate a creative direction,” says Director of Watchmaking and Jewellery Design Marie-Laure Cérède. “To our surprise, an unexpected new shape began to emerge: a cushion. After unlocking the shape, we had to pinpoint its ideal proportions. With the finesse of a stone sculptor, we stripped away layers, little by little, a tenth of a millimetre at a time. It was a work of utmost precision,” she adds.

Achieving what many had thought was impossible, Cartier rises to the challenge in the name of innovation and delivers the sumptuous cushion-shaped version of the Trinity. Here, squares of white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold—in classic and large dimensions—slide seamlessly against one another, much like the round model. The novel rings, bracelet, and pendant reverberate the visual aesthetic of their predecessors and register as completely worthy standalone for the next generation of jewellery wearers.

More than meets the eye, the revival also sees hints of Cartier’s high jewellery savoir-faire at play. The jewellery house, whose prowess in delivering exquisite transformable pieces is undeniable, has crafted a modular version of the Trinity ring. Versatility is key as the three bands unfold like a construction game, which in turn reveals some glittering diamonds, allowing the wearer to put the piece on as one band or three. It is an ingenious, counter-intuitive design approach that is not unlike the age-old Kumiki puzzle.

Cartier’s reinvention of the Trinity is an ode to its legacy. After all, a couple of other noteworthy pieces here include a ring and a bracelet—reissued from the 2000s—in voluminous design. The trio of gold bands in itself is symbolic of the house’s history, which was brought to prominence by three brothers: Louis, Pierre, and Jacques. The Trinity makes the perfect entry point, especially for the younger admirers of the brand, the movers and shakers of the 21st century, who wish to procure a piece of Cartier’s past and bring it into the future.