Apart from numerous watches that Cartier presented at SIHH 2013 and that we have already written about, the famous brand has also released some novelties from the Heures Fabuleuses and the Cartier d’Art collections. The former series represents a meeting point between watchmaking and jewelry and includes interesting products with animal motifs that in some cases include removable components. This way, a timepiece can be transformed into a bracelet, a brooch, a necklace or a ring. Most of these watches are made with quartz movements. However, there are two exceptions. These are Baguette Panther and Envol d’un Phœnix (Flight of a Phoenix) timekeeper with in-house self-winding movements. Novelties from the Cartier d’Art series use animals as the main theme, just like the pieces from the first series. The specific trait of this series whose expansions were shown at SIHH 2013 is the tendency to revive old and nearly forgotten crafts in order to make fantastic dials. Among the new watches, we are witnessing the masterpieces of crafts such as straw marquetry, granulation or agate cameo work. The most notable piece in the collection is Rotonde de Cartier Flying Tourbillon Crocodile Motif watch.
Les Heures Fabuleuses – The Fabulous Hours Collection
This lineage of Cartier Watches is the blend between high jewelry and watchmaking. Promoted under the logo “Two of a Kind”, the luxury collection offers ingenious transformable pieces. Some of the watches included in the selection are disguised as pieces of jewelry (for example Parrot watch and ring, Green beryl and diamonds watch-bracelet or Tortoise Secret timepiece duo), while the others have removable decorations that can be detached from the watch and used separately as pieces of jewelry, as it is the case with the timekeepers from the Indomitable sub-collection.
The collection consists of 41 watches (of which 26 are unique creations). It is, to say the least, a very versatile series which involves several types of artistic creations. Apart from transformable jewelry timekeepers, the Heures Fabuleuses de Cartier includes two “regular” wristwatches: Panthere divine piece (a limited edition of and Envol d’un Phoenix watch. The latter of two whose name means “Flight of a Phoenix” is especially interesting, since it is one of only two watches in the entire series which has a mechanical movement. The phoenix piece is equipped with self-winding manufacture Calibre 9603 MC with the oscillating weight which sports a phoenix motif. This masterfully crafted component which is utilized to wind the movement is made of rhodium-plated white gold set with brilliant cut diamonds. Set on a prominent place above a violet mother-of-pearl dial with a feather motif, the Phoenix with emerald eyes moves from side to side of the dial and charges the power storage in the process. The case of this timekeeper is made of 18 K rhodium-plated white gold and sapphire which is used for the crystal and the exhibition case back. More brilliant-cut diamonds are visible on the housing, the bezel, the crown and the buckle of the watch’s white alligator leather strap.
The other watch with a mechanical movement in the Fabulous Hours series is Baguette Panthère timepiece. The lavish product features a figure of panther made of diamonds which appears to be clinging to the side of the watch. The case and the bracelet are once again made of 18K rhodium-plated white gold and this time set with both brilliant and baguette cut diamonds. Baguete Panthère timekeeper has a translucent, lacquered and silvered face with a sunray motif. Inside the rectangular case, there is hand-wound 101 MC mechanical movement. The most notable feature of the piece, the panther decoration which can be removed from the product, is set with brilliant-cut diamonds. Its eyes are made from emeralds, while the nose is onyx.
All the other timekeepers in the series are made with quartz movements. Among the most notable newcomers, there are the ring-watch with a parrot-shaped jewelry disguise, the bracelet watch combination adorned with green beryl gemstone and Tortue Secrete pair. These two watches are camouflaged inside bracelets in the shape of a tortoise. The first one is with diamond paved cover and a black brushed calfskin strap, while the other one includes a morganite beryl gemstone and a white strap in the same material as the first version.
Apart from various pendants, rings, bracelets, pocket watches and other less common types of timepieces, the Heures Fabuleuses series includes three wristwatches from the Indomitable sub-collection. These pieces have decorations that can be used separately as brooches and each of them is dedicated to an animal. The sub-series displays lavish decorations on the watches named Frog (limited to 40 copies), Peacock (a limited edition of 60 pieces) and Snake (a 60 copies limited edition).
The Cartier d’Art Collection Novelties – Traditional Crafts Revived
Among the newcomers presented at SIHH 2013, there are several expansions to the Cartier d’Art collection. As it is common for the pieces from the lineage, the novelties revive some of obscure dial decorating techniques. This time, the techniques in question are granulation, straw marquetry and cameo works which were presented on Panther, Lion and Crocodile watches, respectively. Each of three watches is aesthetically immaculate; however, the most interesting among them is Rotonde de Cartier Crocodile Motif timepiece, since it apparently uses Calibre 9452 MC flying tourbillon movement with the Geneva seal. The blue relief dial of the watch which depicts a crocodile is made with the use of the agate cameo technique. It takes about 80 hours of work to complete this light-manipulating relief.
Another watch set in Rotonde de Cartier round casing with the diameter of 42mm is the timepiece which depicts a panther made with the use of the granulation craft. This ancient technique utilizes gold granules made from threads of 22K gold which are cut and then heated over a flame. Subsequently, gold spheres are set one by one and fused with the gold baseplate of the dial. This creates a sumptuous relief which is in this instance made in the shape of a panther. The lovely timepiece is fitted into an 18K yellow gold housing ornamented with no less than 306 brilliant-cut diamonds (with the total weight of 3.63 carats). Another lush detail in the overall luxury styling of the timepiece is a cabochon crown for manual winding of its in-house 9601 MC Caliber. Rotonde de Cartier Panther Motif timekeeper has a semi-matt black alligator skin strap with a double adjustable folding clasp which, as it is expected, boasts more gemstones (43 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing around 0.43 carats). The panther piece from Cartier d’Art collection is launched in a limited edition which consists of 20 individually numbered pieces.
Finally, the third expansion to the series comes in the form of the Lion motif watch which has the dial made in the straw marquetry technique. Rotonde de Cartier Lion timekeeper is another example of the brand’s craftiness in the discipline that uses straw as its medium. The dial is made from the straw which is initially split and flattened, then carefully cut with a special marquetry saw and finally assembled individually by hand. The final result of the process that lasts for about 45 hours is the artistic dial in warm and natural colors. Just like the previous model, this model with a cabochon crown with a prominent sapphire and a brown leather alligator strap is supplied with 9601 MC Caliber.