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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

Unbroken success as both jeweller and watchmaker such as what Cartier can boast is rather unique. Therefore, one of the ultimate highlights of SIHH is the visit at the Maison.

The company introduced a number of novelties in three main lines: the Panthére De Cartier has made a comeback in 2017, the Drive defined last year went even slimmer and of course, exceptional new creations and high jewellery watches emerged, too.

In this article, we take a closer look at a few exceptional mechanical pieces, while in the next post we will follow the footsteps of the Panther.

Exceptional Mystery timepieces

I remember when I first saw a Mystery clock by Maurice Coüet for Cartier at Siegelson – once I absorbed its beautiful Art Déco lines, curiosity kept me staring at it for furtherlong minutes. A grandiose set of mystery clocks together with the mythical story of the Maison were showcased in late 2013 at the Cartier: Le Style at L’historie exhibition in the Grand Palais, Paris. We participated in it and covered the history of mystery clocks back then in this article.

Cartier has not ceased to create mystery clocks – just think of the Rotonde de Cartier Astromystérieux watch or the Tourbillon Mystérieux Azuré pendant watch from last year.

The company continued on this route with two new models.

 

Rotonde De Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Hour

The floating mystery hands are this time combined with another Cartier signature: the skeleton movement. The Roman numerals support the off-centred transparent dial like the pillars of a building. The barrel of the manually wound Calibre 9983 MC is visible through the larger opening between the Roman I and II with the coiled mainspring on it. Moving downwards parts of the gear train peek out from behind the bars. The crown, standing out from the palladium case, is beaded and set with a sapphire cabochon.

Rotonde De Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Hour
Rotonde De Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Hour
Rotonde De Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Hour
Rotonde De Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Hour

 

Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon

This piece is again a combination of a mystery drive – this time a floating double tourbillon – and a minute repeater complication. Just like a good magician, who opens the arms, hands and fingers to demonstrate he has nothing to hide, the timepiece showcases its entire movement. The illusion is perfect and the secret is not revealed: the cause of the sapphire disk’s rotation is not visible. The Calibre 9407 MC is attached to the titanium case in four points and the gong via an additional two points to increase the transmission of vibrations and thus the volume. The movement bears the “Poinçon de Genève” hallmark.

The marvel is not just technical but it is equally visual: the tourbillon is floating in a “pond” and the technical looking black rhodium plated mechanism is in appealing contrast with the classical rounded case. The entire construction is only 11.15 mm thick.

Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater
Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon

 

Panthère Joueuse

Playfulness is one of the aces in the deck of luxury to evoke emotions. Cartier’s successes can be well attributed to their ability to capture the child in grown-ups and drag their mind to new adventures. Beyond mysteries, Cartier’s eternal graceful yet cheeky friend has been the Panthère, showing up on various models, but also in situations – just think of it climbing the Burj Khalifa or wandering around the world in the L’Odyssée de Cartier commercial in the former years.

In 2017, it plays the ball in front of the Panthère Joueuse exceptional timepiece, which is a perfect example of haute joaillerie and haute horlogerie. The location of the ball reflects the hours, while the chasing paw of the panther represents the minutes. The Calibre 9918 MC self-winding movement is situated under the panther’s body and revolves together with it.

The case is white gold and the bezel is set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The body of the animal is gold and diamond too, with lacquered spots and two deep emeralds for the eyes.

The never-ending game of the panther continues in our next article, where we examine the Ronde Louis Cartier XL artistic piece made with a rare flamed gold technique, and the return of the Panthére De Cartier collection.

Panthère Joueuse
Panthère Joueuse
Panthère Joueuse
Panthère Joueuse

 

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