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Cartier - Trait d’Eclat watch

Cartier Trait d’Eclat watch

A ribbon of fire is wrapped around a small white gold watch, with rubies the star of the show.

Imagine an evening watch in white gold, made entirely of baguette-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds, with the addition of fifteen oval rubies that leave the diamonds somewhat in the shade. The Trait d’Eclat is one of twenty or so high jewellery watches unveiled by Cartier at the SIHH, with precious stones this year’s focus. The rubies’ ascendancy over the diamonds in the Trait d’Eclat is symbolic, given that the purest and most prestigious rubies – including the prized pigeons’-blood Burmese rubies – are rarer than diamonds, and for many years were considered more valuable.

Montre Trait d’Eclat

The ruby is a favoured stone at Cartier, and it has played an important role in the stylistic and historic evolution of the Maison. From the early 20th century Cartier began using rubies, known in India as the queen of gems, in the opulent pieces it created for the maharajas. In the ancient world, the ruby was a symbol of happiness, as well as being the stone of lovers. It is the protagonist of many romantic feminine creations, including the iconic Cartier tiara worn by Princess Grace at her marriage to Prince Rainier in 1956, and the suite of jewellery given to Elizabeth Taylor by Mike Todd at around the same time.

The flamboyance of rubies contrasts with the icy fire of diamonds, and the Trait d’Eclat watch is a prime example of this dramatic combination. The fifteen stones, with their combined weight of 24.93 carats, glow a deep red with silvery-pink accents, a colouring typical of rubies from Mozambique, which today are as highly reputed as Burmese rubies. The oval rubies form a strip of colour, offset by diamonds, around the case of the teardrop-shaped white gold watch face, and continue out along the slender bracelet. The diamond-paved dial of this discreet watch, nestled in the centre of its fiery coil, conceals the famous manually-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 101. Given that Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre both belong to the Richemont group, it should come as no surprise that the jeweller should have turned once again to the legendary Calibre 101.

Montre Trait d’Eclat

 

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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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