NEW YORK — Cartier is launching its newest collection with an unexpected distribution plan — and a criminal marketing twist.

The new Menotte collection is inspired by handcuffs, and while it won’t launch fully until November, the venerable jeweler is introducing the first piece at select Cartier boutiques and, for a limited run, at Jeffrey in New York and Atlanta this week. Cartier typically only wholesales its watches, so Jeffrey will be the only retailer other than the jeweler’s own boutiques to offer Cartier jewelry in the U.S.

“We believe that today we want to be surprised,” said Stanislas de Quercize, president and chief executive officer for Cartier in the U.S. “That element of surprise is built into Cartier and now the distribution will also reflect that surprise. It is not a new wholesale strategy, but a launch strategy.”

Cartier has once before embarked on a similar project when in 2000 it launched a new collection of Trinity rings at the hip Paris boutique Colette.

Menotte was designed to symbolize attachment, and features rings and bracelets inspired by handcuffs in 18-karat white or rose gold. Some pieces feature diamonds and closures in cabochon-cut rhodolite garnet, onyx or turquoise, but Jeffrey is only offering the 18-karat white gold bracelet at $3,995.

“Jeffrey is always promoting selling, discovering the most intriguing and glamourous articles in fashion, so we are launching it there for three months,” de Quercize said.

Jeffrey Kalinsky, owner of Jeffrey in New York and Atlanta, said: “The bracelet is perfect for our store and clientele. It is very timeless, and ageless, and at the same time very cool. And at that price, it can be an impulse buy for my clientele.”

From Friday, the bracelet will be displayed at Cartier’s Fifth Avenue boutique and Jeffrey in New York as part of a staged crime scene. Each window will be treated to look smashed and covered in yellow police tape that will state “Love Scene” rather than the expected “Crime Scene.” In addition, cones will be scattered around the site to underscore the crime-scene theme.

Did Cartier have to pin down Kalinsky and handcuff him to agree to this unusual project?“They did not, I was so happy about it,” said Kalinsky.

We might have to handcuff the product because it is already flying out the door,” added de Quercize.

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