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Cartier - Majestic Cartier

Cartier Majestic Cartier

Cartier’s booth at the SIHH provided a comprehensive demonstration of the company’s savoir-faire. The craftsmanship of its high jewellery pieces, often one-off items, always rare and exquisite, is truly awe-inspiring.

There’s an immense oval Australian opal, a peardrop-shaped white diamond as fat as a crocodile tear, and an 87-carat rubellite cabochon. Big stones are difficult to incorporate into anything as compact as a watch, however extravagant it might be. And yet Cartier succeeds, year after year, with its high jewellery watch collections.

Majestic Cartier

Archipel High Jewellery wristwatch and Saturday High Jewellery wristwatch © Cartier

But the Parisian Maison’s creativity extends far beyond impressive gem-setting. In fact, its imagination seems virtually limitless. A conceptually straightforward Chinese Tank is ushered into a new dimension thanks to two rows of baguette-cut rubies. A couple of crossed lines might appear unremarkable, but when one is made of black jade, and the other is a graduated skein of yellow diamonds, this seemingly casual pairing, christened Saturne Dorée, is elevated out of the ordinary.

Majestic Cartier

Saturne Dorée High Jewellery wristwatch and Tank Chinoise Red © Cartier

One concept that would appear hopelessly unfashionable is the pendant watch. But what could be more futuristic than the Sirius? The arrowhead-shaped pendant, paved with baguette-cut diamonds, frames a Double Tourbillon Mystérieux. The dangling briolette, designed to capture light, magnifies the pendant’s bold, sweeping architecture.

Majestic Cartier

Sirius de Cartier High Jewellery pendant necklace © Cartier

The Desert Rose is distantly inspired by a cactus. The secret watch is concealed beneath a delicate trellis of diamonds that, further around the bracelet, enfolds an immense crimson gemstone. Cartier’s expertise is tangible in the way the stone is set so naturally, its impact softened by the four-sided cabochon cut and its six curving diamond-set claws.

Majestic Cartier

Désert Rose High Jewellery secret watch © Cartier

Let’s take a look at the sumptuous diamond orchid, the Sypria. The petals of the Lady’s-slipper appear almost alive under their diamond mantle. The central bud is formed from an Ethiopian opal cabochon, accentuated by orange garnets. Exuberant, grandiose and eccentric – this high jewellery watch is a sublime example of the naturalistic genre.

Majestic Cartier

Sypria High Jewellery Wristwatch © Cartier

The inspiration of these pieces is inseparable from the history of the Maison itself. The Ronde Louis Cartier Regard de Panthère, a mosaic of mother-of-pearl and stones, looks its wearer directly in the eyes. It is a familiar pose for the iconic feline, and yet you have the distinct impression you’re seeing it for the first time.

Majestic Cartier

Ronde Louis Cartier Regard de Panthère watch © Cartier

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Characterised by audacity and inventiveness, Cartier’s watchmaking history reflects a unique state of mind: “jeweller of kings and king of jewellers”. Its renown is bound up in the tradition of excellence to which it is heir. Cartier was a forerunner in the use of platinum in jewellery and one of the pioneers of watchmaking.

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