A pioneer for more than 160 years, Cartier has always placed the artistic crafts at the very heart of its creations. For the last decade, this rich heritage has been particularly honoured by the watchmaking marvels in the Cartier Art collection. These unique watches preserve, revive and reinvent rare areas of expertise that are sometimes forgotten.
Black onyx outlines each detail, each scale of the animal’s shell. (Philippe Gontier © Cartier 2010)
Skeletonised bear dial before the plique-à-jour enamel is applied. (Patrick Lazic © Cartier 2010)
This year, six new creations testify to a desire to go even further, beyond the limits of an era that has passed, to project the nobility of the artistic crafts into today’s world. Reinterpreting and adapting these crafts around stones, enamel, engraving and wood has given birth to a new epoch.
Loyal to its inherent sense of creative craftsmanship, Cartier proposes a magical menagerie that showcases this unusual union of artisanal skills and watchmaking expertise. These artistic crafts enrich and complement each other, providing new realms of creativity.
Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch, large model, monkey motif in grand feu champlevé enamel, set with cognac diamonds (Studio Dieleman © Cartier 2010) Limited edition of 50 individually numbered timepieces.
Santos 100 watch, medium model, hummingbird motif in mother-of-pearl marquetry, champlevé grand feu enamel, set with pink sapphires. (Studio Dieleman © Cartier 2010) Limited edition of 50 individually numbered timepieces
Whether at the Cartier Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds or in the extraordinary setting of private workshops, Cartier Art watches are brought to life in the hands of outstanding craftsmen. They are exceptional pieces imbued with a passion for craftsmanship, for limits surpassed and for challenges resolved; such perfection and beauty in workings so infinitely small are truly astounding.
Tortue XL watch, jaguar motif. Engraving in relief and champlevé grand feu enamel. (Studio Dieleman © Cartier 2010) Limited edition of 80 individually numbered timepieces.
Time no longer matters; the hands work on, producing intaglio engravings, gold cloisonné creations, stone mosaics, overlays of enamel, wood marquetry, and so on, like a poem reeled off by the tips of fingers.