Cartier “Travel with Style” Concours d’Elegance


« Cartier Travel with Style »

Cartier is honoured to host the first ever international Concours d’Elegance in India
La Cote des Montres - November 10th, 2008

The Santos 100 watch,
décor Taj Mahal,
limited edition
The Cartier Travel With Style Concours will showcase this extraordinary collection of India’s unique Classic Cars over the weekend of the 31st October/2nd November 2008 at the Royal Western India Truf Club, Mumbai.

Owned by Indian royalty and private collectors, these magnificent automobiles have never been displayed on the international stage, in fact, many have not even been exhibited in India before. During the time of the Raj, India’s opulent ruling families bought the finest cars in the world in unbelievable quantity and the greatest coach builders and designers were specially commissioned to produce lavish, distinctive and sometimes bizarre specifications to satisfy the whims, taste and eccentricities of their fabulously rich clients.

The Cartier Travel with Style Concours will consist of 4 categories: Vintage Classics, Post-war Classics, Exotic Cars and Roadsters and, of course, “The Best Car of the Show Award”.

All the cars have been personally selected by Manvendra Smgh Batwarn, India’s most respected and experienced Classic car expert. The event was conceived and orchestrated by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s brother, conservationist and travel writer, Mark Shand.

Cartier “Travel with Style” Concours d’Elegance


In the setting of the luscious grounds of the Royal Western India Turf Club in Mumbai, Cartier unveiled its inaugural “Travel with Style” Concours d’Élégance, commemorating India’s splendid automobile heritage.

At this exclusive and unique event, the owners of superb heritage automobiles — Maharajas and other royalty, as well as private collectors — all agreed to display the subjects of their passion in public, in some cases for the very first time.

With the remarkable designs and craftsmanship which went into creating the most luxurious and distinctive of cars, these automobiles are classified as truly Indian cars, some of which rank among the most priceless and prestigious in the world due to their extraordinary and imaginative design.

A wonderful celebration of sixty hand chosen international classic cars from across the globe – utilitarian, sports or flamboyant, most of these elegant vehicles have never been exhibited on the international stage before.

“This event would not have been possible without the car owners, who kindly loaned us their remarkable automobiles, as part of this amazing Indian culture and like Cartier the jeweller, these 60 cars are jewels of India.” said Bernard Fornas, CEO of Cartier International.

Cartier guests were exclusively treated to the mystical opulence and elevated elegance with a private view of the Travel and Style exhibition celebrating the automotive design and coach building of India’s belle époque.

In attendance were a select group of aficionados and collectors, amongst which were International and Bollywood celebrities – Shah Rukh Khan, Yuvraj Singh and many others.

Details of awards for the Vintage Cars
Bernard Fornas, CEO of Cartier International
Farheen Khan, mannequin indienne — Indian model Farheen Khan

Remise des prix « Cartier Travel with Style »

Master of ceremonies, Alain de Cadenet announced the final winners which were judged by H.R.H Prince Michael of Kent, Imran Khan, The Honorable Sir Michael Kadoorie, Nick Mason, Yasmin Le Bon, Peter Stevens, Gordon Murray, James Lindsay, Don McCullin CBE, Mark Stewart and Simon Kidston in the following categories:




Winner: Delhaye – 135 MS -1939 - owned by Maharaj Duleep Singhji of Jodhpur



CLASSIC – Vintage Classic cars from the grand Marques which came into India. These cars have survived to become a part of India’s automobile heritage
Winners :
1st Rolls-Royce – 20hp – 1924 - owned by Shriji Arvind Singhji of Mewar
2nd Rolls-Royce – Phantom II Continental – 1935 - owned by Mr Amirali Jetha
3rd Lancia – Dilambda – 1930 - owned by Mr Hemant Kumar Ruia

POST-WAR CLASSIC – British, European and American cars from 1946 to 1959 – post independence era
Winner: Cadillac – Series 62 – 1952 - owned by Mr Diljeet Titus

Detail of a Cadillac car
ROADSTER – British, American and German convertible sports car from 1936 to 1946.
Winner: Healey – Westland – 1949 - owned by Mr P.P. Asher

EXOTIC – Special, non-conventional or rebodied cars which epitomise not only pure pleasure but also high points of design.
Winner: Rolls-Royce – 20 hp -1923 - owned by Mr Patnaik



From the Roadster class,
Jaguar XK120 – 1950- Owned by HH Rajmata Gayatri Devi of Jaipur

From the Classics,
Daimler – DB 18-1939 - Owned by Mr Viveck Goenka

Detail of the Delage logo
From the Post War classics,
Bentley – Mark VI-1949 - Owned by Mr Nishant Dossa

From the Roadster,
Jaguar SS – 100 – 1937 - Owned by Jackie Shroff

Koel Purie, actrice indienne — Indian actress Koel Purie

Cartier and India

The foundations of jewellery shrouded in myths and legends 

Cover of the catalogue for the Cartier exhibition, held in New York in 1913
Le Maharajah of ’Indore, Yashwant Rao Holkar
and three of his sons
It was in New York in November 1913 that Cartier’s vision of India made a splash with an exhibition on Fifth Avenue. Twenty pieces “inspired by Indian art” were also depicted in a previously unpublished catalogue, which had a cover illustrated with Indian miniatures. Cartier revealed the incredible diversity of its designs, drawn loosely on Islamic and Indian art.

The Moghul jades, ruby beads, engraved emeralds… Indian stones bearing the history of civilisations, from their discovery in the 16th century by the Spaniards in Colombia, traded by the Portuguese in India before returning once again to Europe. A cultural and gemmological journey in which Cartier was one of the major players in its day.

Cartier, transporting the indian dream


Where religions and civilisations meet, India provides Cartier with the chance to use its myths and symbols, its jewellery tradition, its mysteries. A continent of creative and universal freedom that allows the jeweller one day to work on an emerald engraved with verses from the Koran, which he mounts for the Aga Khan in 1930, on another to produce an emerald engraved with the ascetic Hindu gods Shiva and Parvati seated on a tiger skin backdrop, the central stone in a necklace created at the New York workshops in 1925.

Daisy Fellowes wears the Tutti Frutti necklace
India had always had its own approach to stone cutting. Rubies and emeralds were ribbed or engraved, diamonds were briolette or rose cut. A timeless craft, such as these small enamelled plates from Jaipur, decorated in red, green and white with birds and branches in flower mounted by Cartier in the rigid and graphical frame of its vanity cases or cigarette-holder. A blend of East and West, a new and daring combination of stylistic influences in which, contrary to prejudices, the floral or figurative motifs do not conflict with Cartier’s geometric choices, but rather, lift them.The motifs, lotus flowers and palms or cone-shaped clusters of leaves with tilted points, as in the Kashmiri shawls, lightness laced with a powerful symbolism,which Cartier translated to the present-day.

Tutti Frutti necklace

Cartier bestowed upon indian antiques the secret of eternal youth


Column gravity pendulum,
Cartier Paris, 192 *
The Cartier brothers were enlightened travellers who landed in India in 1919. Jacques was to travel up and down the continent, returning from each stage with countless photos, documenting the unknown. On the first stopover in Bombay a branch was set up of “The Bombay Trading Company”. The private contemporary India of the maharajahs opened its doors to them, placing orders for their most stunning parures.

So, while the maharajahs had Cartier re-set their gold parures into platinum, Cartier, in turn, took an interest in traditional Indian creations. Works of art that it adapted and brought into the 20th century, Moghul miniatures whose natural brilliance embellished elegant everyday objects, such as jewellery boxes or ashtrays; intricate and formal portraits of Shah Bahadur I, the Shah Jahan who erected the Taj Mahal, that Cartier framed or highlighted with a line of red or green enamel.Transformed but retaining their original spirit, these 17th century turbaned figures appear as a mysterious punctuation mark on the bare, almost minimal front of a nephrite cigarette-case. Images from Indian tales, the subjects are anecdotal, the objects useful, the form pure, geometrical and precious. Once created, women clamoured for this Indian style. Everywhere, in Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar, from London to New York, they demanded the stunning blend of original authenticity and sophistication in these yellow gold jewels, some of which included antique pieces, such as a necklace made of a locket in the shape of a jade plate, engraved with a ruby flower motif and a choker highlighted with enamel squares set with stones. It was provocative to wear this native finery and the women of the day relished it.

* Column gravity pendulum Cartier Paris, 1927 - Sold to Sir Bhupindar Singh, maharajah of Patiala. Gold, lapis-lazuli, malachite, carnelian, turquoise, mother-of-pearl, coral, emeralds, diamonds and enamel. A rectangular base in lapis-lazuli, two mother-of-pearl plates encrusted with coral stars bordered with malachite, blue enamel and gold. A cylindrical column in lapis-lazuli with carnelian rings and turquoise cabochons. A sliding gold case edged with lapis-lazuli. A mother-of-pearl dial encrusted with coral Roman numerals. Gold and blue enamelled hands decorated with emerald cabochons and a rose cut diamond. The case drops slowly down the column. When it reaches the base, every eight days, it must be returned to the top, manually. The movement is driven by the motion of the case drawn down the column by gravity.
Height: 25.4 cm

Hindu vanity case Cartier Paris, 1956 Indian box in enamelled copper, golden leather lining

From exoticism to style… India’s definitive contribution to Cartier’s creations


Cartier created the fashion for Indian style which the West was clearly infatuated with, above all for the splendour of the stones, the Kashmiri sapphires, Burmese rubies and wonderful Moghul engraved emeralds. Cartier adored the poetry of the irregular shapes, threading them onto rows of twisted beads,strands of string held together by trimming cords.The stones were pear cut and then engraved. Some found them unrefined, while to others they were an expression of a natural style that lent elegance to these fragile platinum and diamond earrings, finished off with two supreme pear-cut emeralds. Motifs, stones, colours… Cartier had explored all the riches of India. With a single gesture that embraced a cosmopolitan and scintillating continent, Cartier encapsulated the cradle of flamboyant jewellery, transposing to it a sparkling splendour in the form of a style created in the pop years and baptised “Tutti Frutti”. An explosion of flower, fruit or anthemion motifs, smooth and ribbed beads, briolettes, rubies, sapphires and engraved emeralds with leaf motifs set in floral compositions, of which Daisy Fellowes’ necklace remains one of the best examples. The high priestess of fashion memorably wore this necklace at Carlos de Beistegui’s famous costume ball in Venice in 19513.

A triumphant meeting of two worlds, India with the profusion and tremendous variety of its gemstones, and the West, with its rigid structures but also its settings, the movement of its invisible hinges, the harmony of its superimpositions completed in Cartier’s workshops.

The marriage of these two genres is a mixture of abundant sensuality and artistic geometry, most purely represented in this sublime pendant composed of two engraved emeralds and a large cabochon sapphire, joined together with delicate rectangular links4.

Cartier offices in Delhi, run by the Hungarian expert Imre Schwaiger - 1911

The maharajahs and their extravagant orders


Cartier absorbed and incorporated the Orient. The influences came, went and replaced one another. Enter the maharajahs. They had money, stones, taste, Western aspirations, fashionable jewels and accessories, such as a yellow gold travel clock engraved with the coat of arms of the Maharajah of Rajpipla.

Charming princes, who were charmed by Paris, by Cartier, two words that sum up chic’s magical formula. They entrusted the jeweller of Rue de la Paix and New Bond Street with their family treasures so that they could be re-set to the fashions of the day. Nothing was too beautiful for these great dignitaries, nothing too spectacular, they were flamboyant spenders.

Platinum Bracelet mounted with the historic
“Star of the South” Diamond
The Maharajah of Patiala, the prince of the largest state in the Punjab ordered ceremonial necklaces, belt rings, buttons and upper arm bracelets from Cartier. This fabulous inventory was the subject of an unprecedented exhibition in the windows at the Rue de la Paix in 1928. Another exceptional creation, a gravity pendulum in lapis-lazuli and malachite dotted with coral stars5, testamentto a bold choice of colours, seduced this aesthete and his eclectic tastes.

The Maharajah of Kapurthala was also an enlightened admirer of European creativity. He had 250 timepieces, the majority of which were Cartier’s and for which he hired a servant who was in charge of winding up their mechanisms.

Supremely refined, he attached as much importance to the detail of his daily life as to his appearance when wearing ceremonial dress and ordered for his wife a gold cigarette-holder with clean lines held by a long stem and worn as a ring.

Simplicity became the hallmark of all Cartier creations for India, where the jeweller exploited the abundance of the stones and treasures, while stripping back and paring down the structures and settings,as exemplified by this elegant upper arm bracelet, made of 831 diamonds, a special commission in 1922 by Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomandji of Bombay. A platinum piece made up of an articulated central plate tobe adjusted around the arm and three leaf-shaped detachable parts, joined together by large rings decorated with a diamond pavage… A traditional Indian decoration transformed by Cartier. Here, as is often the case, the exotic is transcended for aesthetics, for a creative perspective, somewhere between geometric abstraction and exquisite oriental delights. This subtle, bold fusion, secures the future of Cartier, for whom style was never enslaved to a look. Every now and then, Cartier’s path returns to India. The India of stories and legends, the India of symbols, to which in 1991 it dedicated a collection entitled “On the road to the Indies” where the elephant was king. A historical India, whose grandeur was revived in 2000 when Cartier recreated the ceremonial necklace of Sir Bhupindar Singh, Maharajah of Patiala. But also the India of stones, such as the famous “Star of the South” diamond, which originated in Brazil and then went on to join one of the most beautiful Indian collections, that of the Maharajah of Baroda, later to be mounted on a bracelet by Cartier for the 2006 Biennale des Antiquaires.

And finally modern India, vibrant with energy, serene and spiritual, sensual and mysterious, the India upon which Cartier rests its marvelled and marvellous gaze with its latest jewellery collection opening its doors in September 2007 to spellbound creations.
Farheen Khan, mannequin indienne — Indian model Farheen Khan