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Both icons of the famed jewelry house, the Love and Juste Un Clou collections by Cartier are some of the most coveted and recognizable fine jewelry designs ever made. If you’re trying to decide whether to treat yourself to a Cartier Love or Juste Un Clou piece but haven’t quite made up your mind yet, join us as we delve into the history, design inspiration, and options of each Cartier jewelry collection.

Cartier Love or Juste Un Clou?
Cartier Love or Juste Un Clou?

Aldo Cipullo Designed Cartier Love and Juste Un Clou

Aldo Cipullo was an Italian jewelry designer that moved to New York in the late 1950s and began his career at Cartier a decade later. In 1969, Cartier unveiled the Aldo Cipullo-designed Love bracelet, which would go on to become tremendously popular.

Cartier Jewelry Love Bracelet
Cartier Love Bracelet

Positioned as “modern love handcuffs,” secured by accompanying screwdrivers, the Cartier Love bracelet was intended to be purchased by couples as a symbol of their unbreakable bond. The oval-shape of the bracelet ensures that the bangle sits closely around the wrist. The screw motif peppered throughout the Love jewelry pieces is said to be inspired by the screws on the bezel of the Cartier Santos watch–a timepiece that made its debut in 1904. The Love jewelry lineup has been in continuous production since 1969 and remains one of Cartier’s flagship collections.

Cartier Love Bracelet
The Cartier Love Bracelet is Secured to the Wrist With a Screwdriver

In the 1970s, Aldo Cipullo designed yet another groundbreaking jewelry piece, this time using a nail as inspiration. Aldo Cipullo’s bent nail bracelet came at the height of the industrial jewelry design trend and gained a strong cult following.

Vintage Juste Un Clou Bracelet
Vintage Cartier Nail Bracelet designed by Aldo Cipullo

Cartier brought back the nail jewelry collection in 2012 and named it Juste Un Clou (Just a Nail) in honor of Aldo Cipullo’s original design. Just like in the seventies, the modern Cartier Juste Un Clou jewelry pieces are highly popular thanks to its distinctive design.

Juste Un Clou Cartier Jewelry Collection
The Modern Cartier Juste Un Clou Bracelet

Cartier Love and Juste Un Clou Collections

Cartier Love and the Juste Un Clou are both varied jewelry collections, available in an assortment of metals, styles, and sizes. There’s, of course, the option of diamonds too.

Gold and Diamond Cartier Love Ring

While the original Love bracelets from the late 60s/early 70s were gold and silver plated, Cartier Love jewelry pieces are now exclusively crafted from precious metals such as gold (yellow, white, or pink) or platinum. Cartier introduced the very first diamond-studded Love bracelet in 1979. It’s important to note that vintage Love bracelet may not necessarily have serial numbers, however, due to the number of fake Love bracelets that hit the market, Cartier now engraves each bracelet with a unique serial number. The Love collection now includes matching necklaces, rings, earrings, alongside the famed bracelet that started it all.

White Gold and Diamonds Cartier Juste Un Clou Bracelet
The Cartier Juste Un Clou Bracelet in White Gold with Diamonds

When Cartier introduced Juste Un Clou in 2012, the collection was made up of yellow gold, white gold, and pink gold bracelets and rings. Since then, the Maison has rounded out the nail-inspired fine jewelry collection with necklaces, earrings, and pendants as well.

Love Or Juste Un Clou?

So, which one is right for you–Cartier Love or Juste Un Clou? Generally, the Cartier Love jewelry pieces are more understated featuring timeless silhouettes that are embellished with the signature screw details. On the other hand, the Juste Un Clou jewelry pieces are bolder and avant-garde, using the shape of a nail quite literally in its design.

Matching Cartier Love bracelets symbolize a couple "locked in love"
Matching Cartier Love bracelets symbolize a couple “locked in love”

It’s worth noting that both the Cartier Love and the Juste Un Clou are classified as unisex jewelry, enjoyed by both men and women. And while the Cartier Love was originally intended as a symbol of love between a couple, there’s no reason not to treat yourself to a Love bracelet!

Yellow Gold Cartier Juste Un Clou Ring
Yellow Gold Cartier Juste Un Clou Ring

If your personal tastes lean towards the classics then the Cartier Love is a great option. However, if you prefer fine jewelry that makes a statement, then the Cartier Juste Un Clou is a fantastic choice. Alternatively, you can always buy pieces from both the Love and Juste Un Clou collections and switch out your Cartier jewelry depending on your mood.

Written by

Celine Simon

Celine is a freelance luxury watch writer who has enjoyed working in the horology industry for over ten years. Like many of the high-end timepieces she writes about, she comes from Switzerland—the heart of fine watchmaking. From Singapore to Montreal to Geneva to Dubai, Celine has lived all over the world but now calls Southern California home.