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Established in 1847, Cartier was first and foremost a jewelry maker, with an established history of catering to royalty. Dubbed by King Edward VII as “the jeweler of kings, and the king of jewelers” Cartier was an already esteemed jeweler when it ventured into watchmaking in the late 19th century. As such, many of its timepieces are also inspired by their jewelry collections. One of these is the Cartier Trinity watch.
Inspired by a cult classic designed by Louis Cartier in 1924, Cartier Trinity watches are comprised of three bands – one in yellow, white, and rose gold – joined in an embrace to form one circle. These bands represent love, friendship, and fidelity, thus making the Cartier Trinity an enduring symbol of relationships.
Since its inception, Cartier Trinity watches have teetered amongst jewelry, sculpture, and watchmaking, making it one of the most coveted designs from the Maison. Explore our collection of Cartier Trinity watches for women at SwissWatchExpo.com.
The Cartier Trinity watch traces its roots to the Trinity ring designed by Louis Cartier in 1924.
Legend has it that Louis designed the watch for his friend, designer, playwright, poet, and painter Jean Cocteau. The latter had a vivid dream about Saturn’s rings, and asked Louis to turn them into jewelry. Using his friend’s imagination as a starting point, Louis used three rings in different precious metals – yellow, white, and pink gold – to form an interlocking piece. Furthermore, Louis assigned a symbolic meaning to each band: pink gold stands for love, white gold stands for friendship, and yellow gold stands for fidelity. Together, they are supposed to embody the different stages of a relationship.
Aside from its one-of-a-kind concept, what made the Cartier Trinity stand out is its streamlined design. In the 1920s, with Art Deco and Flapper style in full swing, most jewelers including Cartier were focused on making colorful and exotic designs. The pure design of the Cartier Trinity showed Louis Cartier and the Maison’s bravura.
Jean Cocteau would go on to wear a Cartier Trinity ring on his finger for the remainder of his life. The Cartier Trinity ring also became a cult classic, with Old Hollywood icons such as Grace Kelly and Gary Cooper spotted wearing the ring. With its connection to royalty and celebrity, the Cartier Trinity spawned an entire collection, including bracelets, earrings, and eventually a timepiece. It was only formally dubbed the “Trinity” in 1998.
Like the rest of the jewelry collection, Cartier Trinity watches are exclusively designed for women’s wrists, with a 27mm case diameter. While the original design is composed of yellow, rose, and white gold bands intertwined, the collection has also come to include designs in one shade of gold. They are offered with a choice of leather straps or metal bracelets in semi-circular chains, and are all equipped with Swiss quartz movements.
The Cartier Trinity’s position as a jewelry watch is furthered by dials in silvered guilloche, mother of pearl, and occasionally, pavé diamonds. Some models are also embellished with diamonds on the case, either as a single band or covering the entire case, and on the hour markers.
While the Cartier Trinity was designed almost 100 years ago, it looks no less contemporary, making it one of the most classic jewelry and watch designs of all time.
The Cartier Trinity is a symbolic piece inspired by life’s most important relationships. Here are the most frequently asked questions about the Cartier Trinity watch.
The Cartier Trinity watch was introduced sometime in the 1980s, as a spin-off of the popular Cartier Trinity ring designed by Louis Cartier in 1924.
The main concept of the Cartier Trinity ring is of three bands – one in yellow, rose, and white gold – intertwined in an embrace to form one ring. Each band is said to symbolize love, friendship, and fidelity.
The original ring design has expanded into a whole jewelry collection to include earrings, bracelets, and eventually a timepiece.
The Cartier Trinity watch is powered by a Swiss quartz movement.
The Cartier Trinity’s clean, streamlined aesthetic, and storied beginnings makes it one of the Maison’s most popular collections until today. Cartier Trinity pieces are considered staples in women’s jewelry boxes, and remain incredibly in demand, thus making them more likely to hold their value.
Cartier Trinity watches, like most Cartier dress watches, have a water resistance rating of 30 meters or 100 feet. This level of water resistance protects them from splashes and the rain.
That said, they must not be submerged in water, particularly during showers, swimming, and water sports.
One should also note that a watch’s water resistance is not permanent; it can be reduced by the aging of gaskets and through overall wear over the years. Due to the vintage nature of Cartier Trinity watches, it is recommended that they be serviced every two to three years.
Although Cartier continues to produce Trinity rings today, the Cartier Trinity watch ceased production sometime in the 2000s.
They can still be sourced in the pre-owned market. Explore our collection of Cartier Trinity watches here.