Cartier has long been known for its extraordinary works of high jewelry and haute horology. A pioneer for more than 160 years in the watch and jewelry world, Cartier has always focused on artistry in its designs. In the past five years, this brand has created masterful new calibers in high watchmaking that has brought it to the forefront of complex watchmaking. However, one cannot forget that this is a brand rich with artistic prowess and creative excellence, and in the past decade, has intensified that spirit in its Cartier Art collection of unique watches.
This year, Cartier unveiled a series of six timepieces that clearly demonstrate the brand’s unparalleled mastery of the traditional arts: marquetry, mosaics, engraving and enamel. Each watch is more stunning and alluring than the next. Yet somehow, they have been overshadowed by the technical masteries on the market. It is our goal at Atimelyperspective to bring the exceptional marvels of Cartier to our readers.
Here, you see the magnificent Rotonde de Cartier 42mm watch, crafted in 18-karat pink gold and set with 1.39 carats of diamonds on it. The caliber is a Manufacture manual wind movement. The true work of art and craftsmanship comes on the dial however – with the turtle motif entirely created by hand – a mosaic of more than 1,000 stones. To build this masterpiece, a stone setters works with tweezers and ultimate patience — masterfully setting each and every mosaic stone into place, one at a time, arranging the colors with an eye for every single detail — to finish the dial in such a way that makes the tortoise one of the most realistic and alluring mosaic dials ever. The stones are onyx, tiger’s eye, falcon’s eye, yellow pietersite, carnelian, three colors of jasper, yellow and moss agate, coral and mother of pearl. No less than 60 hours of work are required to position the stones on this infinitely small scale; then they are cemented to ensure an even surface and an extraordinary fantasy comes to life in a mineral turtle that defines time. Just 10 individually numbered pieces will ever be created, each retailing for a very justifiable $178,000.