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Flamboyant & Innovative

While most brands at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2016 adopted the retro look, stayed with their vintage lines and continued with the tried and tested, Cartier – the flagship brand of the Richemont group led the way – with some strikingly innovative, artistic and flamboyant creations underlining their strength as a Maison at the ongoing expo in Geneva.

Building on the pillars of its success, fine watchmaking and high jewellery, Cartier underscored the power of its style and the expertise of its craft introducing a rich diversity of chromatic range to the Maison’s iconic feline.

The audacity of the creations this year is hard to define. For instance the tourbillon Mystérieux Azuré watch can be described both as a pendant or a medallion. This superb object intrigues from the very first glance with its interplay of transparency and gem-settings. Designed by an expert hand, out of which the form of a butterfly appears – the wings are comprised of sapphires, with rows of diamonds making up the body. At the centre of the totally transparent dial is a mysterious double tourbillon, the emblem of Cartier’s watchmaking expertise: suspended in the void.

This watch is unlike any other, the object of passion as the art of the jeweller and the watchmaker converge towards a common aim. Made of white gold, one 25.93-carat oval-shaped sapphire, diamonds, sapphires and onyx with a mechanical movement with manual winding, calibre 9463 MC, mysterious double tourbillon – this is a unique piece.

Another unique piece is the Dragon Mystérieux watch created with a mysterious dial in a never-seen-before swirl of diamond-set scales. This enigmatic creature is endowed with emerald eyes and a bewitching presence. A line of onyx brings tension and dynamism to the composition, housing the movement within its undulating forms. On either side, coral provides structure and rhythm to the design, even marking out the animal’s profile. it took some 1,100 hours of work to bring this creation to life. The watch is made of white gold, with one 23.77-carat cushion-shaped opal, diamond, coral, onyx, emerald eyes.

The Panthères et Colibri watch has a dial adorned with a panther resting with a hummingbird depicted alongside. The spectacle is truly charming until the winding-crown is pressed and a baby panther escapes its mother’s paws to chase after the golden-winged bird! The mechanism thus activated is in fact that of the power reserve. The watch is made from rhodium-finished 18-carat white gold set with brilliant-cut diamonds practically all over, except the eye which is made of a pear-shaped emerald, spots in black lacquer and a black alligator skin strap. These are a few of the thirteen distinctive creations and two new collections launched by Cartier this year.