The world’s first watch exhibition of 2015, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is bustling. With 12,000 watch retailers and watch journalists descending on Geneva for the unveiling of the newest timepieces from 16 top luxury brands – the excitement is high.
As anticipated, Cartier does not disappoint us. This year, the brand releases so many special watches – from artistic masterpieces to haute horlogerie and haute Joaillerie that it is difficult to cull out the top three. But, we do so nonetheless, offering one in each design camp — and we promise more news Post-SIHH.
So the three top picks from Cartier this year:
Cartier’s watchmakers moved forward with daring new technical feats, unveiling the Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon (which minimizes the movement and escapement to new levels for the brand). The watch houses the Calibre 9458 MC mechanical movement with manual wind. Complete with flying tourbillon, the movement consists of 167 parts – attesting to its minimal yet dynamic appeal. Essentially the watch offers free space on the dial thanks to displaying just hours, minutes and seconds. It then brings the caliber bridges and tourbillon dial side for aesthetic and alluring looks. Crafted in 18-karat white gold, the 46mm watch features a sapphire case back and carries the certified “Poincon de Genève” hallmark.
The Cartier Crash Skeleton is a blend of technical prowess and design allure. First unveiled to the world in 1967, the Crash watch is famed for its unusual case shape that is said to be inspired by Salvador Dali’s painting “The Persistence of Memory.” It has been a favorite of Cartier lovers for decades. Now, the brand unveils a skeletonized version of the watch – no easy feat, since the entire Manufacture made caliber (MC9618) had to be rebuilt to fit within the Crash case. The skeletonized beauty is expected to retail for about $62,000.
Representing the pinnacle of creative dials, the Louis Cartier Rotonde XL watch with panther cubs created in the ancient art of filigree is the standout piece of art and horology this year. Cartier’s master craftsmen take a full month to create the filigree panther motif with gold and platinum wires soldered together and molded to create an openwork lace-like design with the desired motif. At Cartier’s Maison des Métiers d’Arts, the craftsmen work with beaten gold and platinum micro-wires that are twisted, rolled, curled into tiny rings that are assembled in open worked filigree and then attached to the case sides. The black-lacquer-spotted coats of the panthers are literally woven from fine filigree, set with diamonds and emerald eyes and positioned against a starry background. The 42 mm watch is crafted in 18-karat yellow gold and houses the caliber 430 MC mechanical movement with manual winding. Just 20 numbered pieces will be made.