time-keeper


An introduction to Cartier’s Precious Watches collection

May 2021


An introduction to Cartier's Precious Watches collection

Reptilis Watch, Rosary Watch, Panthere Songeuse Watch: Cartier shares its Precious Watches collection.

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artier presents new timepieces in its Precious Watches collection. The first of the, the Reptilis watch, is an evening watch that belongs to the great tradition of diamond evening jewellery and stands out for its elegance, mastery of design, and fiery stones. Like a precious brocade, the diamond-paved chevrons weave into each other, edged with princess-cut diamonds.

Like precious scales, these mobile elements snake around the wrist like a flexible, hinged ribbon. At the centre, a rectangular dial accentuated by four diamond hour markers. Light bursts forth, reflects and resonates all over.

A supremely precious piece that offers a new reptilian interpretation and invites you to discover the sensuality of this animal in movement, undulating in a white flash.

An introduction to Cartier's Precious Watches collection

The Rosary watch is a timepiece that blurs the lines and runs counter-current to the rules of watchmaking and jewellery. A piece of jewellery that reveals the time, or an evening watch, the boundaries are fading.

Geometric elegance with the richness of random paving all the way to the heart of the dial. Everything is treated graphically; the refined design is pushed to the extreme between round and square. The tempo of its forms is born from the rhythmic succession of curved discs, paved and set with a small black square, evoking an Art Deco influence. At 12 o’clock lies a singular hour marker, also a black square.

This creative liberty is intrinsically linked to a respect for the Maison’s values. This is why Cartier has long been committed to continuous improvement, to guarantee responsible procurement and to taking steps to develop best practices in the industry. In 2005, as an echo of its pioneering spirit, the Maison 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.

An introduction to Cartier's Precious Watches collection

Making its emblematic animal the guardian of its precious hours is the approach that Cartier has taken this year, presenting a new interpretation of the feline through three exceptional timepieces. Designers, artisans… when it comes to this incarnation, jewellery and watchmaking speak the same language. Since 1914 when it first appeared on a wristwatch in the form of a spotted coat of diamonds and onyx, now, more than ever, the feline is The Cartier signature.

A jewellery watch or a piece of jewellery that displays the time? These pieces summon Cartier’s savoir-faire with three versions, all treated in a realistic manner: the jewellery craftsmanship of two diamond-paved watches and champlevé enamelling for the third. This artisanal enamelling technique is among the many areas of expertise of the Maison des Métiers d’Art in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Since 2014, the Maison des Métiers d’Art has been implementing Cartier’s commitments to the development and continuity of expertise and skills. In this exceptional space, a true melting pot for the creation of rare practices applied to watchmaking, Cartier’s long-term work continues in bringing about the unexpected. Here, traditional artisans meet; here, rare, almost extinct trades regain energy and creative impetus; here, ancestral know-how becomes a driving force for innovation.

An introduction to Cartier's Precious Watches collection

From design to gold work and setting, all of these stages have only one objective - bringing the panther to life. It isn’t about imitating or exactly reproducing the animal, instead it’s about offering a new take on the richness of this source of inspiration. Together, designers and jewellers define the notions of accurate lines and elegance. Moving from design to reality presents a challenge. It is about capturing the essence of the panther to then transcribe it in the most accurate way possible while ensuring it matches the Maison’s vocabulary.

Eyes, ears, nose, paws, musculature, and limb structure: each detail is treated as precisely as possible. To give the right dimension and layout to this new appearance of the feline, a round, ample and generous dial has been developed. The diamonds, which are rigorously selected according to Cartier criteria, are hand-set one at a time on the dial. The random paving of stones of different cuts brings out the beauty of the material and the interplay of light.

An introduction to Cartier's Precious Watches collection

Emerald eyes, sapphire or black lacquer spots, two versions pay tribute to the delicate exercise of transposing the art of jewellery to the scale of watchmaking. A third creation showcases an artisanal technique that is dear to Cartier: champlevé enamel and the rich diversity of its chromatic range. The techniques required for this skill, mastered by the craftsmen of the Maison des Métiers d’Art, are carried out with the greatest concentration.

The enamel powder is deposited in tiny cavities in the metal. After the five different colours of enamel are fired, the polisher adds the final touch which enhances the end result – the gradient effect is thus softened. The enamel work requires four days to be completed. Setting the dial and case takes 15 hours and setting the panther motif takes 120 hours. This enamel creation is a limited edition of 30 individually numbered watches.

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