For 2020, the maison Cartier is staging meetings through its watchmaking novelties. Unexpected, daring or revisited, let's take a closer look at the new watches unveiled virtually on the Watches & Wonders platform.
The chain-link bracelet remains a composed centrepiece, one that plays on classic codes, whilst reinventing today’s attitudes. The Maillon de Cartier watch is firstly a jewel designed by the Cartier watchmaking studios. A bracelet whose chain-links are offset and aligned on the bias by Cartier. Well- rounded and opulent, they move in time with the ultra-feminine elegance of the Maillon de Cartier watch.
This torsion emphasising the perspective within which the watch dial blends. This interpretation allows the case and links to entwine themselves in one graphic motion. Rectangular links, a hexagonal dial, bevelled brancards: the design of the Maillon de Cartier watch incites Cartier’s rhythmic geometry. An ambition to structure the watch, from the form of its links to its faceted case, radicalises the spirit of the watch. Its volume is tangible, angular and dense. The Maillon de Cartier watch is also the subject of exceptional pieces enhanced by gemstones and lacquer which further enhance the graphic effect.
Straw and gold marquetry and enamel filigree – this year, the artisans in La Chaux-de-Fonds reveal two new “Métiers d’Art” watches, created around the natural and the precious, edited in a limited and numbered series of 30 pieces. Since its first appearance in its abstract form in 1914, Cartier has continually reinterpreted the panther. From motif to material or volume, everything related to the animal provides reason to go beyond the different crafts and techniques allowing new creative territories resulting from unexpected encounters
Made entirely by the marquetry craftsman from the Maison des Métiers d’Art in La Chaux-de-Fonds, this year, the Ronde Louis Cartier watch unveils the technique of straw and gold marquetry. The precious metal is added to the palette of materials already used in marquetry, making it possible to work with volume and create a rendering reminiscent of bas-relief.Seventy-five blades of straw in different sizes and shades, produced in 11 colours, make up the parts of the décor. The feline’s head is comprised of more than sixty-five elements in white, yellow and pink gold, which are shaped and satin-finished one by one. With an unusual play of meta-exploration, yellow gold wires are embedded in natural straw elements, adding complexity and sophistication that the craftsmen explored for the first time.
Cartier combines ceramic arts with the art of composition, to which marquetry belongs, by enamelling the spots on the coat and eyes. The rich colour palette contrasts black and white with a large number of shades between opaline and yellow. The gaze comes to life with sparkle, shine and depth, an expression of Cartier’s figurative and realist art. The spots in the background are created with miniature paint. Brought to life after more than 100 hours, 97 of which are spent on the dial alone.
This year, designers and craftsmen from the Maison des Métiers d’Art have adapted the filigree technique to be used with enamel. With this technique, the enamel powder is heated, and the glass is stretched until it takes the shape of bamboo, before being set and fixed to the dial by tiny strands of yellow gold. This creates the bamboo effect used in the foreground. To add perspective to the motif and play with the effects of depth, the craftsmen had to turn to other areas of expertise: domed champlevé enamel for the bamboo in the background and black spots of the beast’s fur and eyes, as well as miniature painting for the sky and the background bamboo. With a scene entirely dedicated to the Maison’s emblematic animal, this watch is available in a limited edition of 30 individually numbered piece.
The Cartier Privé collection highlights the design of the Maison’s legendary watches. This year it is the Tank Asymétrique’s turn to enter the exclusive circle of this connoisseurs’ club in a limited edition of 100 numbered pieces. The Tank was Louis Cartier’s bright idea to give a watch the shape of a rectangle in 1917, at a time when timepieces were round. From 1917 to 1936, it saw multiple incarnations. When it appeared in 1936, the Tank Asymétrique watch – also known at the time as the Parallélogramme or Losange – marked a break with tradition: unlike any other watch, it questioned the established order of things. Everything on the dial was shifted 30 degrees to the right. With its two horizontal shafts connected by two oblique ones, and its numerals off-set by 30° to the right, the presence of this new Tank Asymétrique on the wrist is striking. In its refined volume, Cartier watchmakers have included the Manufacture 1917 MC movement. On the dial, the Arabic numerals and their separating indexes have been completely redesigned. The watch is available in pink gold, in yellow gold and in platinum. The made-to-measure straps are fitted with an ardillon buckle.