Cartier at SIHH 2013

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Words Annabel McLeod   Photograph Ali Madhavi/Cartier 2012   Pictured Crash watch with pink gold gem-set bazel

Cartier, the iconic French jeweler and watchmaker, has been at the forefront of ingenuity, wizardry and exquisite design since its beginnings in 1847. ARISE Digital headed to the renowned watch expo Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), for its 23rd edition to get the scoop on the premier brand’s latest collection.

Now you see it, now you don't...

Photograph Photo 2000 / Cartier   Pictured Parrot ring

For Cartier, a ladies watch can play several roles at once – a broach, a pendant, a necklace or even a tiara. And like any well-to-do lady, they can be just as mysterious too.  Semi-precious jewels abound the Heures Fabuleuses de Cartier collection. A standout of the 41 pieces is the Turtle Watch,  which features a 18-carat turtle studded with diamond scales; the turtle sliding away to reveal the dial (much faster than your average turtle, we should add). Or the Frog Watch (pictured below), which comprises an elaborately enameled clip brooch with a diamond encrusted frog perched on lotus flowers set with pink sapphires.

Photograph Jean-Jacques Pallot / Cartier   Pictured Frog watch

Hate time wasting? Cartier, does too. ID Two concept watch consumes 50 per cent less energy than a conventional watch movement, and retains 30 per cent more energy. That’s 32 days of extra watch time. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait longer to get your hands on this revolutionary watch. But as the old saying goes, time flies.

For Cartier’s next trick we were treated to the 9454 MC Double Mystery Tourbillon, Calibre 9454 MC and the 42MM Rotonde de Cartier Mystery Calibre 9981 MC, where the tourbillion appeared to be disabled from the mechanism, its hands floating in delightful suspense.

And finally... Legend has it the Crash watch has its roots from a client returning to Cartier to fix a watch face that been distorted in an accident. The visit to the store inspired the Dali-like design. Now available in pink gold and white gold, and also entirely gem-set with 471 diamonds.

French cultural icon Jean Cocteau described Cartier’s craftsmanship as, “a cunning magician, who can capture scraps of moonlight against a gold thread of sunlight.” We couldn’t agree more.

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