Initially, I had thought about this piece also for my first Cartier bracelet because I wanted something different from the popular replica Cartier Love bracelet. Also, like you, I have never tried it on in person, but it interested me with its unique "bolts and nuts" design. However, in my mind, I always felt like it should come in a pair to look good, which could be very costly. Whereas, I feel the classic replica Cartier Love bracelet substantial enough to stand on its own.
After some research, I found that some people would complain about how the bolts would all fall to one side and not really stay in place. I feel this is a BIG downside of the replica Cartier bracelet because that would not look balanced. Also, I started thinking it was a bit too busy and not really a fluid design....not the clean, simple lines of the Love and possibly over time, I might get bored with it.
In the end, I chose the replica Cartier Love bracelet for my first bracelet as I feel it is more classic and holds its longevity more than any other bracelet in Cartier’s “toolbox” (bolts & nuts - Ecrou, screws - Love, & nails - JUC).
Having said all that, I feel Cartier broke boundaries by creating bracelets that appealed to both men and women and are completely unisex.
Therefore, I don’t think the Cartier Ecrou is too masculine. I think it’s just more unconventional and bolder and a bit more abstract in my opinion, but it’s certainly a work of art.