Cartier unveils its latest women’s jewellery watch collection, the Maillon de Cartier. Comprised of seven gold references in jewellery, high jewellery and limited editions, everything about this watch collection denotes dynamic movement. From the sculptural offset link bracelet to the hexagonal bezel, every element is twisted and contorted to create a vibrant sense of motion that is an intrinsic feature of so many of the famous Parisian Maison’s watches.
Jewellery watches were a natural evolution of the Parisian Maison’s highly creative jewellery designs. Cartier’s iconic panther, for example, has appeared in some of the most delightful women’s watches over the years. The latest collection picks up on another emblematic Cartier theme: shaped watches. Cartier’s love affair with fascinating shaped watches has lasted for more than a century and you’d be hard-pressed to find a straightforward round watch chez la Maison. Unusual shapes, like the square Santos, the rectangular Tank, the barrel-shaped Tortue, or even the weird and wild 1967 Crash watch inspired by a Baignoire Allongée model that was purportedly mangled and melted in a car crash, have been and still are very much an identity trait of the brand. Last year Cartier introduced its Libre jewellery watch collection, once again populated with exotic shapes and dynamic stone setting to offset the lines.
Twisting a classic
Cartier’s Maillon design, composed of chunky rounded rectangular links, has been used across the board in jewellery (wedding rings, bracelets and necklaces) and now makes its way into this new collection of watches. From the hexagonal bezel to the sculptural link bracelet, everything has been twisted into a new shape. It’s almost as though the gold links of the bracelet and even the geometry of the case were wrung out like a piece of wet cloth and left to consolidate into this amazing fluid geometry.
Torsion and tension
According to Marie-Laure Cérède, the timepieces creation director at Cartier, the idea was to “deconstruct the bracelet and transcend its design through a volume approach”. The generous rectangular gold links of the bracelet defy a conventional chain-link bracelet arrangement and twist and contort to form a helix. The incredible motion above is harnessed below by an intricate flexible gold support system Each individual link is curved and polished or set with diamonds in the high jewellery models and black lacquer or luscious green tsavorites and touches of blue enamel in the two limited editions.
Given the tension provided by the torsion, the hexagonal dial is also twisted and aligned to follow the flow of the bracelet. In keeping with its jewellery watch appeal, the case is small and measures 16mm x 17mm with a slim height of just 6.8mm. Every surface, every bevel is beautifully polished to a mirror-like shine. Although it looks as though the case literally melts into the bracelet, the ingenious design includes two lugs extending from opposite ends of the case to attach it to the fluid bracelet.
Variations on the theme
The most ‘straightforward’ model is the 18k yellow gold version with its silvered dial, classic Roman numerals, blued hands and sapphire cabochon crown. There are two other ‘regular’ jewellery models, in pink and white gold with diamond-set bezels and a diamond cabochon in the crown moving up to a dazzling pink gold model with a diamond-set bracelet and a fully paved model set with 486 brilliant-cut diamonds. There are also two limited edition Maillon de Cartier versions: a yellow gold diamond-set bracelet and bezel with a black lacquer dial and black lacquer on the outer sides of the links (limited to 50 pieces) finishing with a spectacular white gold model fully paved with diamonds, tsavorites and touches of blue and turquoise lacquer (limited to 20 pieces).
All Maillon de Cartier models are equipped with quartz movements.
Price and availability
The watches will be available at Cartier boutiques from May 2020, excluding the two limited edition models. Prices start from EUR 21,000 for the plain yellow gold version to EUR 26,000 for the pink gold with diamond-set bezel to EUR 100,000 for the full diamond version.
For more information, please visit cartier.com.