Yes, Cartier is a luxury watch brand; but above all, it is a jeweller, known for its rare and one-of-a-kind gemstones, awe-inspiring gem-setting techniques and creative expression. And at Watches & Wonders 2022, Cartier did not depart from its identity, releasing five new timepieces evocative of whimsy, wonder and vibrancy. Here’s our round-up of some of the gems that adorn (and accentuate) the new Cartier watches:
Masse Mystérieuse and Rubies
After nearly eight years of work, this mystery timepiece was brought to aficionados at W&W 2022. First introduced in 1912, the watch comprised qualities that kept the wearer mystified. The new timepiece is no different. It boasts movement unique to the maison—a mobile calibre in a semicircle, transformed into skeletonised oscillating weight. With floating hands and a skeletonised rotor that rotates in both directions at irregular speed to ensure that the balance wheel stays vertical, one might think that the platinum timepiece is only about the technique. However, take a closer look and you’ll find more standout features, like the presence of dome-shaped cabochon rubies on the crown and movement.
Coussin de Cartier and Coloured Gemstones
As the name suggests, this new timepiece is all about its cushioning effect. Present in two of the four watches in this collection, flexible cushion cases in the two 39.3 x 31.9 mm timepieces allow them to be compressed and moulded. The semi-solid architecture infuses a dose of fun to the watch. This is elevated by the many gemstones on the timepieces. While one features 1011 brilliant-cut diamonds, the other features coloured stones, including 85 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.38 cts), 21 emeralds, 536 sapphires, 276 tsavorites and 18 blue tourmalines. Apart from these two, there are other models, too, that don’t squish but are stunning nonetheless. While one features diamonds and black spinels, the two-tone iteration takes on the maison’s characteristic colours, bearing the intense blue of Paraiba tourmalines and tsavorites or green garnets. What’s more? These are set in an inverted manner, with the pavilion facing the wearer. The compressible timepieces are a limited edition of only 20 pieces.
A beautiful dress watch, the Cartier Libre features diamonds and black spinels in the white gold version; diamonds, black spinels, moonstones and red garnets in a rose gold version; and sapphires, spinels, chrysoprase and red coral stones in another rose gold version. It is inspired by the 1930s rock crystal and diamond bracelet worn by actress Gloria Swanson. The best part? This versatile watch is reversible, giving its wearer the opportunity to simply flip it to turn it into a bracelet and then a watch. This is made possible with the watch’s triangular links.
Crash Métiers d’Art
A feast for the eyes, this timepiece is all about its design. Inspired by African animals—more specifically, Cartier’s trademark animal, Panther—it’s crafted using a range of techniques, which require the knowledge of enamel, marquetry and gold-based granulation. Along with the riot of colours, the watch is adorned with brilliant-cut diamonds. First introduced in 1967 embodying Swinging London, today, the watch features an asymmetrical dial bearing stones of different colours. Encapsulating Cartier’s creative capabilities, this artistic timepiece is definitely worth adding to your collection.
With artistic expression at the forefront, Cartier has launched many dazzling watches. Be it the Panthère de Cartier featuring a diamond-set bezel or the iconic Cartier Tank with a crown bearing sapphire and spinel cabochon gemstones—the new timepieces had plenty of bling to offer. Diamonds, emeralds, onyx, spinels, sapphires, rubies and more found their place in one or more Cartier watches, and safe to say, they belonged.