Cartier’s Latest High Jewelry Collection Appeals to the Senses

by Christina Holevas
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Animation by Hey Reilly for W Magazine.
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A piece of fine jewelry or classic investment timepiece is never just an accessory—there’s always a rich story behind it. In W’s new series Rock Stars, we delve into what makes past, present, and future heirlooms so unique.

I’ve always thought of myself as someone who is pretty resistant to lust. Level-headed, detail-oriented, not particularly romantic (a Virgo through and through), I tend to be attracted to substance before beauty, and disinterested in flash. That’s why I was surprised the first time I fell head over heels for a piece of jewelry. Caught off guard by my own awe in the presence of a shimmering set of stones, I said to my companion, “I feel like such a cliché right now.” I was a woman bewitched by a bracelet. I couldn’t describe it accurately at the time, but what I felt was that weak-in-the-knees, putty-in-your-hands, heart-pounding sensation we feel in the presence of something truly beautiful.

I was reminded of my first brush with jewelry-related lust recently, by the house of Cartier. This heart-quivering sensation is what the brand calls “the sixth sense”, and it’s after this emotion that they titled their newest collection, Sixième Sens. In the words of the brand, truly extraordinary jewelry is “an expression of art with the power to move like no other.” The Sixième Sens collection was born from a desire to explore the overwhelming emotionality of jewelry. The vivid feelings “between surprise and wonder” that are awakened by “the age-old power that stones have for enchantment.”

There is no shortage of stones, enchantment, or electricity in the collection. Stones in unique and saturated hues are utilized to create a trompe-l’oeil effect and pixel-like graphic patterns. Within each piece, there’s a balance of gravity, light, composition, and color that tugs at the heartstrings. “By challenging our perceptions, the collection leads us into a world of sensory stimulation,” the jeweler notes—in other words, it awakenes our sixth sense.

My favorite piece in the lineup is the Alaxoa, a deceptively complex necklace of emeralds and diamonds. Its intense color and mesmerizing, fringe-like texture, achieved through a complicated threading technique, combine intensity and ease into a single work of art. The rich, green, cascading stones glide almost imperceptibly onto the wearer’s skin in a way that makes the necklace feel organic—alive, even—and I find myself reacquainted with that old friend, lust. Maybe I am a romantic after all? I blame it on the Sixième Sens.

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