This year, Cartier has released two new limited edition Métiers d’Art watches featuring the arts of marquetry, enamelling, miniature painting, and gem-setting to highlight its ‘house mascot’, the panthère.
Meet the new Ronde Louis Cartier Straw and Gold Marquetry, and the Ronde Louis Cartier Enamel Filigree. They are all about the dials, but it is worth noting that both of these new pieces use the manually wound Calibre 430 MC which beats at 21,600 VPH and has a power reserve of 38 hours.
The Straw and Gold Marquetry model comes in a 42mm sized 18 kt white gold case with a crown set with a sapphire cabochon. The dial, which takes 97 hours to create, is made by the in-house marquetry crafts people at Cartier who, with the assistance of the in-house jewellers, have combined straw marquetry with gold and enameling work.
Starting with the base dial, seventy-five blades of straw in different sizes and eleven colours are applied to its surface. Yellow gold wires are then filled with the straw marquetry. Within the straw and gold marquetry, tiny slivers of straw in various colours are placed, mixed with strands of gold. The panther’s head is comprised of more than sixty-five elements in white, yellow, and pink gold, which are satin-finished. Its spots and eyes are enamel, in various shades between opaline and yellow. The eyes alone have four shades. The spots in the background are painted.
It comes on a grey alligator strap in a limited edition of 30 numbered pieces and the RRP is AUD 119,000.
Next, we have the new Ronde Louis Cartier Enamel Filigree watch, which combines filigree metalwork with enamelling to create a depiction of a panther in a bamboo forest in a snowy landscape.
The miniature painting work for this piece is for the sky and bamboo in the background. The bamboo in the foreground is champlevé enamel. The green enamel powder is heated, and the glass is stretched until it takes the texture and shape of bamboo, before being set and fixed to the dial by strands of yellow gold.
Similarly, the outlines of the panther and the placement of the black enamel spots are made using gold wire, into which the enamel is added before firing. The panther is set in diamonds, with emeralds for its eyes.
The Ronde Louis Cartier Enamel Filigree Watch is in a 36mm sized 18 kt white gold case with a crown set with a brilliant-cut diamond (0.08 ct). In total, the bezel, dial, and buckle (on a blue alligator strap) are set with 269 brilliant-cut diamonds (1.99 ct). It comes in a limited edition of 30 individually numbered pieces. The RRP is AUD 183,000.
[Photo credit: Cartier]