Stylist Kate Young
Stylist Kate Young surveys Cartier’s most iconic watches and jewelry pieces on her YouTube show, “Hello Fashion.”

Stylist Kate Young on Cartier’s Ever-Enduring Timepieces

Stylist Kate Young walks us through the French luxury house’s most iconic watches and jewelry pieces in the Season 2 debut of her “Hello Fashion” YouTube show.
By Emily Jiang
September 21, 2021
4 minute read

As a stylist, Kate Young has a particular affinity for well-designed things—that is, iconic items that stand the test of time. To her, Cartier is a paragon of this idea. “I think what’s so amazing about Cartier is there’s a very clear aesthetic that runs through everything,” Young says. “You know what Cartier is. It’s sexy. It’s French. It’s sort of, always, for me, rooted in the seventies.” To kick off Season 2 of Hello Fashion, her YouTube show created in collaboration with The Slowdown, the stylist walks through some of the famed French jewelry house’s most emblematic pieces.

The episode begins with Young’s favorite Cartier watch, the one, it just so happens, that she wears every day: an all-black vintage Cartier Must from the 1970s. Lacking numbers or frame—and pared down to a thin gold rectangle with a black face and strap—the watch is elegantly simple, a blue sapphire crown its only hint of opulence. Young explains that the conception of the watch’s simple design was catalyzed in part by the popularity of Seiko’s line of quartz watches, and in part by the success of the Must lighter, a sleek, ribbed, gold-plated apparatus. “The Must lighter, to me, is one of the greatest design pieces ever. It’s beautiful. It’s precious, but not too precious.” According to Young, the wide acclaim for both Seiko’s quartz watches and the Must lighter demonstrated to Cartier a need for “luxury at a more affordable and easier-to-wear price point.”

Next, she moves on to Cartier’s most renowned watch: the Tank. She explains how the design of the watch, modeled after its eponym in 1917, was directly rooted in the concurrent world war and its novel combat machinery. The timepiece has two thick parallel brancards, made to resemble the treads of a tank, and the face is meant to be the hull, where a driver would sit. The watch’s design also coincided with the inception of De Stijl, a Dutch art movement founded in 1917. Louis Cartier was inspired by the move away from Art Nouveau and toward art deco and Neoplasticism, especially by Mondrian squares and rectangles. This influence is evident in the watch face’s interior, which has a small checkerboard called a chemin de fer (French for “railway”), meant to evoke the idea of travel. The watch’s final signature element is its cabochon sapphire, a blue gemstone polished into a dome to serve as the watch’s crown.

In the video, Young stands in front of a wall with photos of famous Cartier Tank wearers—hardly a modest roster. Among them are Truman Capote, Duke Ellington, Andy Warhol, Rudolph Valentino, Princess Diana, Muhammad Ali, Patti Smith, Jon Hamm, Jackie Kennedy, and Kim Kardashian. Young observes that, collectively, they don’t have much in common—a testament to the watch’s classicality and versatility.

After briefly mentioning the Tank Française, which debuted in 1996, Young then discusses Cartier’s Nouvelle Vague jewelry collection, which came out while she was an assistant for Tonne Goodman at Vogue, in the ’90s. The collection was inspired by the French New Wave and, according to Young, was used on practically every Vogue shoot for a year or two. Young herself has a piece from the collection: a white gold beaded bracelet encrusted with small diamonds.

For Young, Cartier is a brand that has truly stood the test of time as a result of both its simplicity and its abidance by its core identity—its “codes.” “[It’s] a brand I love because I find it sexy... [The Tank] is the absolute essential of a luxury watch.”

Watch new and previous episodes of Kate Young’s YouTube show Hello Fashion at