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Cartier traces its beginnings to making neoclassical jewelry and objet d’art, and a such many of their timepieces were inspired by their jewelry collections. The Cartier Declaration is one such example.
It would be impossible to discuss the history of the Cartier Declaration without mentioning Gloria Swanson, silent screen legend and one of the biggest stars of the 1920s. Sometime in 1930, Gloria purchased a pair of rock and crystal diamond bangles from Cartier. They were crafted with expandable rows of half-rings to form the bracelet, and their oversized shape, not to mention their sparkle, really made a statement when worn.
Gloria wore them in her 1933 film Perfect Understanding, and in publicity stills, awards shows, and red-carpet appearances. They soon became her trademark both on- and off-screen. Later on, she incorporated them in her wardrobe for her comeback film – where she played the iconic Norma Desmond – 1950’s Sunset Boulevard.
More than half a century later, Cartier looked back on Gloria’s iconic bracelets while creating their new jewelry watch – the Declaration, introduced in 2004. Cartier put a modern and practical spin on the timepiece. Instead of a series of multiple bracelets like the one Gloria wore, Cartier designed the Declaration with a single bangle, bedecked with dozens of tinier rings, often encrusted with diamonds. When parted, the rings reveal a small watch face with Cartier’s signature blued steel hands.
Cartier also chose a new material (for the time). The Declaration was crafted out of titanium, while the rings are made of gold and ceramic, some of which are embellished with brilliant cut diamonds. The case was a svelte 16mm x 39mm, coupled with fabric and leather bracelets with adjustable straps. As elegant as they looked, they were also comfortable to wear. They were also powered by reliable quartz movements, and water resistant to 30 meters.
Several variations of the Cartier Declaration watch were made available throughout the years, with the watch case all manufactured in titanium. There were choices of rings in stainless steel; 18k yellow, rose, and white gold, with some of the rings embellished with diamonds. All of these models were paired with a silver sunray dial with blued steel hands.
The most opulent of the Cartier Declaration models is a titanium and 18k white gold edition, whose rings are entirely covered with diamonds, and the watch dial itself is covered in pavé diamonds. These were the most reminiscent of Gloria’s own pair of Cartier bracelets.
It is unclear just how long Cartier produced the Declaration collection. They remain a symbol of Cartier’s expertise in both fields of horology and jewelry making.
The Cartier Declaration is a jewelry watch with fascinating Hollywood history. Here are the most frequently asked questions about the Cartier Declaration.
The Cartier Declaration watch was introduced in 2004. It is a very svelte watch measuring 16mm x 39mm, and was inspired by a pair of Cartier bracelets worn by silver screen legend Gloria Swanson.
What makes the Cartier Declaration unique are the series of rings around the watch case. Often encrusted in diamonds, the rings, when spread apart, reveal a watch face with a classic Cartier dial.
Cartier Declaration watches are water resistant to 3 ATM / 30 meters or 100 feet, which makes them splash proof watches. Timepieces with this level of water resistance must not be submerged in water, particularly when swimming or playing water sports.
Furthermore, it is important to remember that a watch’s water resistance is not permanent. Their water resistance can be reduced over time as the gaskets age. Therefore, it is recommended that a watch’s water resistance be checked every 2-3 years.
The Cartier Declaration was only produced from 2004 to the late 2000s. They can still be sourced in the pre-owned watch market. Explore our collection of Cartier Declaration watches here.