MADE CIRCA: 1920
MOVEMENT: Manual Mechanical
CASE DIAMETER: 23mm
Recently hired by Louis Cartier, the designer Charles Jacqueau proved to be exceptional and expressing the ever changing landscape of culture and fashion of the early 20th century.
Jacqueau was a great fan of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, staged at Théâtre du Chatelet. The Ballet Russes brought spectators a new universe of violent colours, fantasy, rhythm, architecture and music inspired by a wide variety of Oriental civilisations.
A regular attendee, Jacqueau never missed a single performance and, during the ballet would jot down infinite notes and sketches.
His notations and, numerous visits to the Louvre; where he also established his research in Egyptian bas-reliefs and steles, Greek vases, Chinese porcelain, Japanese screens and even Celtic jewellery, freed Cartier from the ‘garland’ style popular at the time and enabled the company to produce some of the earliest Art Deco styles – long before their rivals.
In 1913 Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, a rising star in the fashion world, opened her boutique in Deauville. In 1915, Harper's Bazaar raved over Chanel's designs: "The woman who hasn't at least one Chanel is hopelessly out of fashion … This season the name Chanel is on the lips of every buyer." In much the same way Cartier moved away from the 'garland' style, Chanel freed the female form from the corseted silhouette and, the frills and fuss endured by earlier generations of women were now gone.
This change in fashion landscape can be seen in the Cartier cocktail watches, where sleek, uncomplicated forms combined with the exoticism drawn from such inspiration as Ballet Russes and, Eastern worlds coming into view of Western tastes and travel.
A similar example can be found in ‘Le Temps De Cartier’, by Jader Barracca, Giampiero Negretti and Franco Nencini, page 71.
- “The Jazz Age”—jazz and jazz-influenced dance music became widely popular throughout the decade.
- Beginning of the Art Deco movement.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald publishes some of the most enduring novels characterizing the Jazz Age. This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, and The Great Gatsby, as well as three short story collections, were all published in these years.