Legendary Jeweler Cartier Showcases Designs Inspired by the Middle East

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Few iconic jewelry brands in the world could boast a stronger connection to the Middle East than Cartier, whose founder Jacques Cartier embarked on an expedition of our region in 1912.

For Ramadan, the brand has unearthed a treasure trove of photos that detail Cartier’s voyage across the Middle East from its archive, which it has released in conjunction with an exquisite collection celebrating Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha with respectfully curated jewels that bear Arabic design influence.

Jacques Cartier and his sales assistant at Adari Pool in Bahrain
Jacques Cartier and his sales assistant at Adari Pool in Bahrain | Photo: Courtesy of Cartier Archives

In addition to Cartier’s deep dive into its archives and resulting commemorative collection, the brand has also worked with Mill+ Executive Creative Director Ben Smith and Art Director Kinda Akash to reimagine Cartier’s unique journey – one whose personality was brought to life by iconic Hakawati voice actor Georges Kordahi.

The brand’s campaign, entitled The Pursuit of Magnificence, specifically refers to Cartier’s pearl-diving expedition, made with the aid of Middle Eastern guides and experts. Imagery is plucked from his journal entries, which detail icons of Arabic culture, like the Bahraini donkey, the falcon, colloquial customs, and more.

Jacques Cartier documents the techniques of Middle Eastern pearl divers
Jacques Cartier documents the techniques of Middle Eastern pearl divers | Photo: Courtesy of Cartier Archives

In one of the more vivid recollections that Cartier makes of his Middle East experiences, he writes, “I saw the phosphorescent sea. From the captain’s bridge, the two waves shaped by the ship’s bow were so blue it looked as though they were being illuminated from below. The whole boat was encircled by a luminous band and, everywhere you looked, fish left their zigzag trails through the water’s surface. It was like fireworks on the surface of the sea. We also get clear sight of the city of Moharrek and further in the distance the villages of Sathin and Dir, which look like small islands but, in actual fact, are only separated from Moharrek by dunes.”

In the collection, everything from the luminous band encircling the boat, the phosphorescent sea, and distant sand dunes are captured in luxurious detail by precious stones and materials that mimic the scenery described. View Cartier’s captivating Ramadan collection in the gallery above, and find the first of three chapters from Cartier’s video campaign below.

Legendary Jeweler Cartier Showcases Designs Inspired by the Middle East
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