Cartier: The Best of Both Worlds

by Pressroom

Cartier introduces 3 unique precious creations that unite the best of jewellery and time-telling.

First and foremost a jeweller, Cartier’s timepieces have often blurred the lines between watches and jewellery, with mastery. It takes a precise balance of the elements that define each category to ensure the best of both are brought out in their union. Embodying this spirit are three unique creations that showcase the Maison’s expert execution.

The Panthère Songeuse Watch

The sleek panther has become synonymous with the Maison since its first appearance on a wristwatch, sporting a dotted coat of diamonds and onyx, in 1914. This year, Cartier is making this emblematic animal the guardian of its precious hours through the Panthère Songeuse watch.

The realistic interpretation of the feline commands Cartier’s savoir-faire in all its three versions: the two diamond-paved watches feature the delicate exercise of applying the art of jewellery to the scale of watchmaking, while the third, a limited edition of 30 individually numbered watches, showcases champlevé enamelling. This artisanal technique requires the utmost concentration of the master craftsmen at the Maison des Métiers d’Art, where enamel powder is first deposited into tiny cavities in the metal.  The five different colours of enamel are then fired before the polisher adds the final touch to soften the gradient effect. The enamel work itself takes 4 days to complete, while setting the dial and case takes 15 hours, and setting the panther motif takes another 120 hours.

“The complexity of Cartier watchmaking is due to its duality. It is being able to express creative freedom while working under technical constraints. This intellectual challenge is exciting. And the challenge is all the greater when aesthetics take precedence over the rest. It means that we must master the technical side, making it feel like second nature so that emotion is able to emerge. This intuitive intelligence has always been evident in our designs. The creative process is the result of a controlled tension between the head and heart, an alchemy from which meaning and identity emanate.”

Marie-Laure Cerede Director of Design for Watchmaking at Cartier

From the pear-cut emerald eyes and black onyx nose, to the diamond-embellished paws, defined musculature and limb structure, precision is key to bring the panther to life. The feline is given the right dimension and layout with a round, ample and generous dial. Diamonds of different cuts, rigorously selected to meet Cartier’s criteria, are hand-set one at a time on the dial to bring out the brilliance of each stone with the interplay of light.

The Reptilis Watch

Flirting with a more abstract interpretation of another animal in movement is the Reptilis Watch, an evening watch that pays tribute to traditional diamond evening jewellery. The precious timepiece is 12.8mm thick, featuring a 6.6mm rhodium-finish white gold case and 232 brilliant-cut diamonds (3.75 cts) and 70 princess-cut diamonds (6.06 cts).

Interwoven diamond-paved chevrons edged with princess-cut diamonds embrace the wrist like precious scales with a fiery elegance. The bracelet’s centrepiece is a rectangular watch dial accentuated by four diamond hour markers. With every slight movement, the Reptilis dazzles with sensuality.

The Rosary Watch

The Rosary Watch, on the other hand, plays with a rhythmic succession of curved discs, paved and set with a small black square geometry, echoing an Art Deco influence. The geometric graphical treatment is extended to its dial, a cross between a circle and a square, on which a singular hour marker at 12 o’clock is defined by a black square.

At 17mm thickness, with an 8.26 mm 18K rhodium-finish white gold case, dial, and bracelet set with 1191 brilliant-cut diamonds (5.57 cts), the Rosary represents the creative liberty associated with the Maison’s commitment to continuous improvement, guaranteeing responsible procurement and developing best industry practices. In 2005, as an echo of its pioneering spirit, Cartier co-founded the Responsible Jewellery Council, which endeavours to abide by responsible practices starting at the mines and continuing all the way to point of sale.

Images courtesy of Cartier, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.

Related Links:

Cartier: A Culture of Design

Maillon de Cartier: Gems in Motion

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