Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (“Jackie”) is remembered and revered as one of the most compelling women in history. She was a champion of the arts, literature, and culture. And, she was a fashion icon who continues to inspire women and members of the fashion community today with her timeless charm and effortless style.
From an early age, it was clear that Jackie was destined for greatness. Despite her privileged upbringing, she had strong ambitions and didn’t intend to rely on her beauty, family name, or social standing.
Onassis attended Vassar College and was deeply devoted to her studies. After studying abroad in Paris her junior year, she transferred to George Washington University in Washington D.C. She graduated in 1951 and got a job with the Washington Times-Herald newspaper, where she worked for two years. In May of 1952, she attended a dinner party where she first met John F. Kennedy. He asked her on a date, and a year later they were married.
When Kennedy was elected President in 1960, Jackie took her role as First Lady very seriously—she refused to be just a figurehead. Her first undertaking was transforming the White House into a museum of American culture and history. She worked tirelessly to find art, furniture, and other artifacts owned by past presidents, back to George Washington, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln. After two years of diligent efforts, she debuted the restored White House in a nationally televised tour.
A few months before President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, she received a Cartier Tank from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw Radziwill with an inscription on the caseback reading,”Stas to Jackie / 23 Feb. 63 / 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM.” This sleek and sophisticated watch embodies her graceful spirit and has gone on to be an emblem of a strong and powerful woman. (And, it will be up for auction by Christie’s in June 2017.)
In addition to this iconic timepiece, Jackie is known for her ultra-feminine yellow Piaget with a jade dial and diamond bezel. For the 2016 biopic Jackie, Piaget provided the original watch from their private museum collection for Natalie Portman to wear in the film. In conjunction, it released a special limited edition re-release of the iconic watch in three different bracelet and dial color combinations.
From her days as a budding journalist in Washington D.C. to her short time as a First Lady and beyond, Jackie Kennedy Onassis epitomized poise and refinement. Both her Cartier Tank and her Piaget reflect the timeless elegance that embodies her legacy.
Image Credits: Header,1; Getty. 2; Piaget. 3; Christie’s.