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Interview: Sofia Coppola for Cartier

Sofia Coppola is a terribly busy woman with her finger in myriad pies, but unlike a jack of all trades, she is a master of every single thing she does. The films of the American director, including Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette and Somewhere, rank among the best of 21st-century cinema, and are still watched and talked about by people today. Her style – which editors and bloggers term “effortlessly elegant with a subtle, Parisian ease” – still turns heads, and remains relevant today and, most certainly, tomorrow. This innate timelessness, which Coppola embraces in the stories she tells through her flicks, in her style choices and in the way she broaches life, is a big draw for Cartier, the French jeweler and watchmaker that has tapped the popular figure as its new friend. “I have always loved Cartier,” says Coppola. “It is the height of beauty, heritage, craftsmanship and history.”

Sofia Coppola wearing the new Clé de Cartier timepiece.

Sofia Coppola wearing the new Clé de Cartier timepiece.

Everyone remembers their first encounter with Cartier – do you?

“Absolutely! I have this strong memory of Cartier’s red box and how exciting it looked.”

What is it about that famous red box – la petite boîte rouge – that fascinated you so?

“There’s something sexy about Cartier’s little red box because it is both for men and women, and it often comes accompanied with a sense of celebration! The box also suggests confidence because it’s simple in appearance and doesn’t have too much on it. I still feel very spoiled when I receive one!” Soffia-Coppola-Cartier-box

As you say, Cartier has something for both women and men. That aspect gives it a different and even sexier energy, doesn’t it?

“Cartier certainly has major sex appeal. Men wear Cartier and love it as much as women do. There’s a straightforwardness here, which is nice.”

What was your first Cartier timepiece?

“I remember buying my first Cartier watch – a mini Tank – when I had finished filming Marie Antoinette in 2005. I often do that after a big project – I buy myself a treat to remember it by. So I went into the shop and found this miniature one. It was little and narrow, and had a matte crocodile strap; I like how the strap clicked open. I really love Cartier’s attention to detail.”

Designed for the Parisian woman, stunners in Cartier’s Paris Nouvelle Vague collection are some of Sofia Coppola’s favourite. White gold earrings with diamonds.

Designed for the Parisian woman, stunners in Cartier’s Paris Nouvelle Vague collection are some of Sofia Coppola’s favourite. White gold earrings with diamonds.

To Cartier, you embody talent, creativity, style and a distinct vision and voice. What does Cartier mean to you?

“Cartier has always been linked to creative people, like Yves Saint Laurent, who appreciate good design. There is something really cool about the Cartier style, it is not overly ornate, but classic and timeless. I bought my mini Tank more than 10 years ago and I still love it. Cartier makes pieces that you keep your entire life. I definitely have pieces of my own which I really treasure. I mean, my wedding ring is from Cartier! I also have a slender bracelet from the Nouvelle Vague collection that I wear every day. It’s made from platinum and looks like nothing much, but is in fact very subtly embellished with diamonds. That’s what I like about Cartier: It can be understated or extravagant, depending on your mood. It is sometimes elegant, sometimes playful.”

1963 Tutti Frutti platinum and white gold necklace with sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds.

1963 Tutti Frutti platinum and white gold necklace with sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds.

Cartier, playful? Really?

“Yes! Cartier can be playful. They have pieces which come apart and turn into other things. There’s something fun about discovering that a piece of jewelry can transform.”

Cartier clients like Wallis Simpson, Barbara Hutton, Doris Duke and Millicent Rogers were all American-born style icons. What is it about Cartier and chic Americans?

“Babe Paley must have worn Cartier, too. I love all these women, especially pictures of them during the era they lived in. They traveled to Europe and knew how to mix jewels in a more casual way that was intrinsically more American.”

The Duchess of Windsor wearing the Flamingo brooch made by Cartier in 1940. She was one of Cartier’s most regular clients.

The Duchess of Windsor wearing the Flamingo brooch made by Cartier in 1940. She was one of Cartier’s most regular clients.

What about American women today?

“With super minimal clothing taking over, I feel that women want to wear jewelry again. Pairing a simple shirt with a really beautiful necklace… there’s nothing like a piece of jewelry to liven things up. I love jewelry! There’s something fun about wearing it. It gives a spark and you feel a thrill, and I feel that the older you get, the more you can wear it.”

Late American film star Gloria Swanson helped shape Cartier’s glorious reputation 
in cinema.

Late American film star Gloria Swanson helped shape Cartier’s glorious reputation 
in cinema.

What’s been your favorite Cartier moment?

“Recently, I’ve enjoyed wearing Cartier’s Art Deco diamond earrings. They are so beautiful and I got to wear them at the Marrakech Film Festival when giving an award to Bill Murray. I never wear earrings, but I couldn’t resist these!”

The panther became Cartier’s emblem in 1914. Today, the panther remains the brand’s icon. Do you have an affinity with this creature?

“I love that it has remained Cartier’s iconic motif. The panther is playful, sexy, and a bit dangerous. I like the idea of the panther as a bracelet, cavorting around your wrist. Thomas, my husband, gave me a little panther ring, which has tiny emerald eyes. There’s something decadent and, yes, playful at the same time about it – there’s an aspect of folly!”Soffia-Coppola-Cartier-bracelet

Story credits

Text by Kenny Loh

Images by Cartier Archives © Cartier, Vincent Wulveryck © Cartier 2013, Andrew Durham

This story was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

Focus: Fred Allard Bridges Fashion, Art

French artist Fred Allard says, “Art is the way I express my feelings.” Allard’s style is creating art pieces surrounding fashion using different textures, colors and pictures that express his artistic voice. As a result, Allard revolutionizes the way we look at the bag as a fun, characterful and quirky object.

His recent project ‘Vide son bag’, features a series of bag designs that combine the ordinary with luxury: Campbell soup cans with Chanel handbags, Coke cans with Louis Vuitton bags, Chup-a-chup lollipops with Cartier paper bags – resulting in a style that is funky, unique and fresh. The bags of ‘Vide son bag’, fall in three different categories: the IT Bag, the Basket Bag and the Shopping Paper Bag. With each of these types of bag, he questions our way of using them – the shopping bag does not contain luxury articles but is amongst the most practical; the basket bag, an epitome of practicality and function; and the IT bag, authentic high fashion bags that he fills with everyday products to show the place of the luxury in our everyday lives.

With a background in fashion, Allard has a keen sense of textiles and colors and how they shape imprints, iconographies and culture. He is deeply inspired by street art, pop art, and music and finds food for thought in magazines and department stores. He finds value from observing the street, mixing the array of colors and materials from everyday life in his pieces and weaving commonplace objects into his works. The Allard style is an enthusiasm for materials, words and colors. He manifests his style onto his bags, which he seems to treat as sculptures of the humanistic desire for material wealth: the bag is a symbol of the lives we carry with us – it is both an intimate and personal object.

Beyond just the commonplace, at the heart of Allard’s works is the desire to portray the zeitgeist of the modern society: how our consumerist attitudes and need for status symbols blinds the simple joy of living in the ordinary. His works capture the “everyday objects, like uniting two opposites, the contradiction and the mix,” says Allard. By aligning Hello Kitty next to Hermes, he highlights the contradiction by “combining high end shopping bags and filling them in with products that can be bought from the supermarket, a perfect combination which perfectly blends together to create a unique object.”

Allard studio mirrors that of his works – spray cans lying around, graffiti all over the walls, machinery to create his sculptures of bags, as well as his artist tools: sand, boards, buckets, masks, clamps, brushes, hammer, screws. His studio has the same wealth of textures as his bags have colours. It is no wonder that his studio in the south of France is the incubator for his expressive thoughts.

“Luxury becomes popular and what’s popular become precious”, says Allard. ‘Vide son bag’ juxtaposes the ordinary with the luxury to bring out the fun contradiction of everyday living.

*For more information, please visit www.galeries-bartoux.com.

This story first appeared in Art Republik.

23 Watches Offering Multiple Complications

Whether for increased functionality, to uphold tradition, or just because, an extra serving of complex mechanics always delights the connoisseur. Here, we take a look at several timepieces that will make you do a double take.

Chronograph + Calendar

Breitling Navitimer 01

Breitling Navitimer 01

Mention the chronograph, and a sporty timepiece invariably comes to mind. It’s an easy association to make, since the complication has played pivotal roles in the tales of derring-do that have taken place in cockpits, race cars, and even outer space. Its contributions in less thrilling situations may be oft overlooked, but aren’t any less significant. Doctors in the past, for instance, relied on chronographs with pulsometer scales to quickly and accurately determine their patients’ heart rates. The chronograph’s myriad uses make it one of the handiest complications to have on the wrist – even today – whether in a robust, sporty timepiece designed to brave the elements, or a dressier one meant for the office. So what better complication to pair it with, than another perennially useful one – the calendar?

Date And Time
Omega Speedmaster White Side of the Moon

Omega Speedmaster White Side of the Moon

The calendar is the most relevant astronomical complication for daily life, bar none, which explains its ubiquity in watches. Combine it with the chronograph, and a winner emerges. On the technical front, this isn’t particularly difficult, since calendar modules can be stacked onto an existing movement relatively easily, if it doesn’t already have a date indicator. There are also plenty of choices, depending on the desired level of complexity for the watch, as well as the considerations for its dial design.

The most straightforward option is, of course, a simple date indicator that requires an adjustment at the end of every month with less than 31 days. Most integrated chronograph movements will already include such a complication, since it doesn’t take up much space, requires few parts, and is simple to accomplish. The Breitling Calibre 01 used in the Navitimer 01 is one such example, with the date display at 4:30 on the dial. Omega’s co-axial Calibre 9300 is another; its date window sits at six o’clock to maintain the symmetry of the watch’s bi-compax layout, as shown in the Speedmaster White Side of the Moon.

Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar

Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar

Annual Affair

To kick things up a notch, the chronograph can be paired with the annual calendar, which requires a manual correction just once a year at the end of every February. The added complexity of the complication is apparent on the dial, which now displays the day of the week and the month. This can be managed in different ways. In the Annual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5905P, Patek Philippe began by doing away with a running seconds hand, thus removing a sub-dial entirely. The hour totaliser was also excluded to leave a single counter at six o’clock, which marks the elapsed minutes, to further reduce clutter. Zenith, on the other hand, removed just the hour totaliser (arguably the least used portion of the chronograph), but kept the small seconds sub-dial on its El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar.

Good Till 2100
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition "75th Anniversary"

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary”

If the annual calendar isn’t enough, there’s always the perpetual calendar. The usage of this complication moves the watch into high watchmaking territory, and creates an interesting dichotomy at the same time. As long as the watch is kept running, the perpetual calendar requires no input from its wearer (at least until 2100), so having a chronograph function encourages him to interact more with it – start-stop-reset, start-stop-reset.

Presenting the information from a chronograph and a perpetual calendar becomes even more challenging with the inclusion of a leap year indicator. For Hublot, this necessitated the combination of multiple indicators into each sub-dial, as the Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar shows. The counter at nine o’clock, for instance, combines the month, leap year, and chronograph minute totaliser, with the information displayed in three concentric layers. The brand also organised the information with distinct visual cues – white arrow-tipped hands for the calendar, red-tipped hands for the chronograph, and plain stick hands for the time. The thoughtful layout has even enabled Hublot to sneak in a moon phase indicator.

Hublot Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar

Hublot Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar

IWC, on the other hand, took a different route by utilising digital displays in its Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘’75th Anniversary’’ watch. By confining the date and month to two such displays, the manufacture could free up valuable real estate on the dial for an airier design. The chronograph sub-dial reinforces this by merging the minute and hour totalisers, which also allows elapsed time to be read like a normal watch, rather than the more common 30-minute counter.

Time Zones + Alarm

Vulcain Aviator Cricket

Vulcain Aviator Cricket

The world timer was created to allow its wearer to keep track of multiple time zones at a glance. From this came the simpler GMT complication that Rolex developed for airline pilots, to provide them with an easy reference for Greenwich Mean Time, the basis of all flight operations. These complications didn’t remain the exclusive domain of businessmen and aviators though. Globalisation, best exemplified by the democratisation of air travel in the mid-20th century, made both the world timer and GMT complications popular with a far wider audience, and has kept them relevant even today.

Ringing Reminder
Hublot Big Bang Alarm Repeater

Hublot Big Bang Alarm Repeater

Of course, one could use a little help if he has multiple time zones to keep track of. A rotating bezel could work – just align the 12 o’clock marker to the important time, and it will serve as a reminder. Why not go one step further, though, and use an actual alarm? Archaic as it seems, a mechanical alarm does offer benefits over its digital counterpart that’s available on a smartphone. For one, it’s integrated with the watch, which never leaves its wearer’s wrist, so it cannot be misplaced. There’re also no concerns with battery life either. Since the complication is powered by a separate mainspring that’s wound up manually, keeping it ‘charged’ is a nonissue.

Blancpain Leman Réveil GMT

Blancpain Leman Réveil GMT

Although the mechanical alarm isn’t a common complication, some manufactures do offer it in watches that track multiple time zones. Vulcain is one of them, as the brand was already producing watches equipped with mechanical alarms for Swissair pilots in the 1950s to help them with the important milestones in a flight. The spiritual successor to those watches is the Aviator Cricket, which pairs the world timer with a mechanical alarm. Operating the watch is easy: The alarm is set by positioning the central red-tipped hand to the desired time. Blancpain and Hublot have similar offerings, albeit with the GMT complication instead of a world timer. Blancpain’s Leman Réveil GMT has a sub-dial for the second time zone at three o’clock, with the alarm set like Vulcain’s timepiece. Rounding up the trio is Hublot’s Big Bang Alarm Repeater, which allows the alarm time to be set to the minute through a separate sub-dial at four o’clock.

Hybrid Theory
Jaeger Le Coultre Master Geographic

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Geographic

What other complications can a GMT or a world timer synergise with? With each other! Strange as it sounds, the two actually complement each other perfectly. Consider this: The GMT complication is intuitive to use, but tracks just one other time zone; the world timer, on the other hand, sacrifices some legibility to display far more information. Therefore, a hybrid can offer the best of both worlds by showing a selected time zone prominently, while the rest is available on demand.

Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S

Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S

Fusing the GMT and world timer complications can be done in several ways. For the Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S, the red GMT hand continues to track home time, as the hour hand is set when one moves to a new time zone. To read the times in other cities, its user needs only to turn the bezel to align the home city on the inner flange with the GMT hand.

In A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange 1 Time Zone, local time is indicated by the larger sub-dial at nine o’clock. The smaller one at five o’clock has a triangular arrow that points at the city ring on the flange, and displays its corresponding time. Actuating the pusher at eight o’clock advances this city ring, and changes the time in the smaller sub-dial accordingly.

A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone

A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Geographic works similarly, with the crown at 10 o’clock responsible for changing the city at six o’clock. The time for the chosen city is then displayed accordingly in the sub-dial immediately above it. Granted, these three examples are not world timers per se. They do, however, have the ability to offer the time in more than 2 cities with just a little extra effort.

IWC Timezoner Chronographer

IWC Timezoner Chronographer

IWC’s Timezoner Chronograph, a 2016 novelty, deserves a special mention here. The timepiece displays the time of just a single city – the one at 12 o’clock on the bezel – in both 12- and 24-hour formats. Turn the bezel, however, and the white and red central hands that indicate the hours will jump accordingly, with the corresponding date correctly displayed at three o’clock. It’s both a GMT and a world timer watch, yet paradoxically it is also neither.

Perpetual Calendar + Moon phase

Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar "Terraluna" requires an adjustment for its moon phase dispaly just once every 1,058 years.

Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna” requires an adjustment for its moon phase dispaly just once every 1,058 years.

The perpetual calendar was covered earlier as a pairing option for the chronograph. On its own, however, this complication has almost always been paired with the moon phase display. For the man on the street, an indicator showing the current phase of the moon has about as much use as one that tracks the equation of time. This hasn’t stopped manufactures from including it in their perpetual calendar watches though, and for good reason – the moon phase display is the perfect feminine balance to the masculine perpetual calendar and its practical concerns with accuracy. Besides, it also lends a poetic touch to the dial that might otherwise be cluttered with hard information like the month and the day of the week – one certainly can’t argue against this, if he still appreciates wearing a mechanical watch in this day and age.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun

Integrating a moon phase display into a calendar complication is easy. The period of the lunar cycle is roughly 29.53059 days, so a wheel with 59 teeth is commonly used. This wheel is advanced by a finger once every day, just like the rest of the calendar’s displays. The tiny difference between the two accumulates over time though, so a correction of one day is needed every 2.64 years. For the perfectionists out there, there’s good news – alternative gearing ratios for the moon phase do exist, and can drastically increase the complication’s accuracy. The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna”, for instance, has a moon phase display that requires a correction just once every 1,058 years.

Montbalnc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire

Montbalnc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire

Technical details aside, the way the moon phase indicator meshes with the perpetual calendar’s displays also bears some study, and Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Perpetual Calendar is about as classic as it gets. Three sub-dials for the perpetual calendar’s full array of information, balanced by the graphical moon phase indicator. To reduce clutter, the manufacture merged the month and leap year into a single hand at 12 o’clock, which makes a complete revolution just once every four years. This reductionist approach extends to the simple aperture that shows the moon phase.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar

Montblanc’s Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire has all its information sorted into the same positions on the dial, but looks far more contemporary because of its smoked sapphire dial, and the more elaborate sub-dial for the moon phase. IWC’s Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun is another variation on the theme, with the information presented in a slightly different arrangement. The highlight here is the double moon indicator at 12 o’clock, which simultaneously displays the moon phase as it is viewed from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Glashütte Original Senator Perpetual Calendar

Glashütte Original Senator Perpetual Calendar

Finally, there’s Glashütte Original, which has stripped things to the bare minimum on the Senator Perpetual Calendar. The central hour and minute hands remain alongside a sweep seconds hand. All other information is shown via five apertures on the dial, including a single coloured dot that indicates the leap year.

Minute Repeater + tourbillon

It’s impossible to talk about the minute repeater without bringing out the superlatives. The complication remains the most revered among watchmakers and collectors alike, not least because of its complexity; a ‘simple’ minute repeater watch consists of over 300 parts that must all be finished, assembled, and adjusted. What’s more, there’s no room for error in several of the steps, like the removal of material to tune the gongs, as they are irreversible. It’s little wonder then, that the minute repeater remains the last bastion of high watchmaking that’s still well out of mass production’s reach. Its rarity is just part of its charm though. There’s nothing quite like listening to a minute repeater ‘live’ as its chimes announce the time down to the exact minute.

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater with Flying Tourbillon

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater with Flying Tourbillon

Spins & Strikes

Although minute repeaters frequently display their inner mechanisms through transparent case backs or open-worked dials, to admire them is to, above all else, have an auditory experience. As such, what better complication than the tourbillon to pair it with in order to create a multi-sensorial experience?

Jaeger- LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon

Jaeger- LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon

The tourbillon was conceived to even out a balance’s positional errors by constantly spinning it through all its possible positions. It might be an unintended consequence, but the rotating tourbillon carriage is mesmerising to watch, to say the least. Franck Muller was the first to recognise this and designed a movement where the device was first visible from the dial side of the watch, to create a constantly moving spectacle on the wrist. Combining the minute repeater with the tourbillon results in a timepiece with both audio and visual interest in spades.

Breguet Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref.7087

Breguet Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref.7087

Several manufactures offer such a match currently, but their executions differ widely from each other. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon has its tourbillon prominently displayed at six o’clock, but keeps the minute repeater hidden when the watch is viewed from the dial side. Cartier’s Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater with Flying Tourbillon, on the other hand, has its gongs and hammers in the same position, while its tourbillon is moved to 12 o’clock to provide balance instead.

Girard Perregaux Minute Repeater Tourbillon With Gold Bridges

Girard-Perregaux Minute Repeater Tourbillon With Gold Bridges

Those who want even more visual details will do well to consider either Breguet’s Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref. 7087, or Girard-Perregaux’s Minute Repeater Tourbillon With Gold Bridges. In each watch, the movement design allows large portions of the minute repeater mechanism to be visible from the dial side. These components only come to life when the strike train is activated though, which leaves the tourbillon as the star attraction normally.

Patek Philippe Ref.5539G-001

Patek Philippe Ref.5539G-001

Patek Philippe’s Ref. 5539G-001 deserves special mention here. Ever the stalwart of tradition, the manufacture has kept the tourbillon on the back of the watch, with the only hint of its existence being the text on its dial at six o’clock.

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

This story was first published in World of Watches.

Drive de Cartier 1904-PS MC

Taut curves and refined lines – the Cartier manufacture has experimented (and mastered) all types of shapes throughout its established history – but the Drive de Cartier may be the most elegantly balanced and sophisticated model yet, complete with a dash of sportiness.

DRIVE_DE_-CARTIER_WATCH FACE

Unlike last year’s unisex Clé de Cartier, however, the Drive de Cartier is a strictly men’s-only wristwatch. With the patterning of the guilloché dial resembling that of an old radiator grill, and the winding crown inspired by bolts used to hold a car together, the vintage automative-inspired wristwatch boasts an indisputable presence of a motor car and makes for a very masculine timepiece.

The Drive de Cartier sits impeccably on the wrist with its rounded cushion shape. The case, available in pink gold or steel variants, measures a reasonable 40mm, enveloping a black, grey or white guilloché dial marked by Roman numerals and punctuated by blued steel sword hands – pure Cartier.

04_DRIVE_DE_-CARTIER

Inside, three calibres power the Drive de Cartier watch: the 1904-PS MC, the 1904-FU MC for the small complication and the 9452 MC for the Fine Watchmaking version – but we’ll talk about the 1904 MC today. The first movement entirely made in-house by Cartier, the 11½ line calibre is today well known for its reliability and technical refinement. In terms of functions, it covers all the basics: hours, minutes, small seconds and the date. Observant watch lovers will recognize the 1904 MC from previous iterations in the Calibre de Cartier, notably. The Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges, oscillating weight and polished screw-heads are affirmation of the house’s high standards of quality. Designed to maintain chronometric stability, the watch also uses a double barrel system to ensure mainspring torque consistency over a long period, a testament to the house’s dedication to long-term reliability.

 

 

Christie’s Auctions Jewels from Princess Gabriela

It is not every day one can stand a chance to own jewelry that once belonged to royalty. On May 18, Christie’s will give you that opportunity with the sale of exquisite jewels that include several from the collection of H.S.H Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen. The former spouse of the current Aga Khan is letting go of a few memorable and personal pieces that were gifted to her by her second husband (The first being the Prince of Leiningen, hence her title). Before the sale however, the jewels will be on display in Geneva from May 13; the collection is currently making its way to New York as part of a tour.

The Pohl diamond, 36.09 carats

The Pohl diamond, 36.09 carats

“Sophisticated and classically beautiful, H.S.H Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen’s extensive collection is a true reflection of its owner. A woman of charisma, wisdom, elegance and above all joy” said François Curiel. The Chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific added “ Each jewel represents a special moment in her life and the happiness she experienced at the time. We are honored to present superb jewels from her collection and extend to all the wonderful karma it brings.”

The Princess Colombian emerald and diamond necklace, by Cartier, the pendant weighing 39.70 carats.

The Princess Colombian emerald and diamond necklace, by Cartier, the pendant weighing 39.70 carats.

The 46 lots set to go under the hammer in Geneva are estimated to be worth over $15 million. Bidders can expect to see spectacular items from Cartier, Boucheron, Tiffany & Co. and Van Cleef & Arpels. We highlight several key pieces that will certainly excite any avid jewelry collector. The first is the Pohl Diamond. What makes this 36-carat diamond so special is that it was the very first significant diamond that was polished in America (most diamonds are polished in Europe, India or Israel) before it was sold to the Chrysler family in 1943. Having been mined nearly a decade earlier as a 287-carat rough stone, the diamond came into the possession of the princess in 1998 and is now estimated to be worth $3.8 — 5.5 million.

The cultured pearl, diamond and yellow diamond fringe necklace

The cultured pearl, diamond and yellow diamond fringe necklace

The next is a creation by Cartier that would make any woman swoon. The diamond and emerald necklace features a 40-carat Colombian emerald. Worth somewhere between $2.5 — 3.5 million, the necklace with the matching earrings was worn at the official dinner that followed the wedding of Prince Felipe of Spain and Letizia Ortiz back in 2004. The other highlight in the collection is the cultured pearl and diamond fringe necklace. Its owner before coming into the possession of the princess was her former husband’s grandmother, Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan. Upon entering her enviable collection of jewelry, a matching pair of ear pendants and a bangle was commissioned from Van Cleef & Arpels to make a complete parure.

The "Persepolis" necklace

The “Persepolis” necklace

Other pieces that will certainly get your attention, include a suite of emerald, diamond and pearl jewelry from Cartier, an elegant five strand pearl and diamond necklace as well as the “Persepolis” necklace and pair of “Persane” earrings. With graduated emerald bead drops and a larger emerald beat pendant suspended, the suite also features a briolette-cut diamond and oval cabochon emerald surmount. The five strand pearl necklace is made up of nearly 500 natural pearls and daimond roundel spacers.With emeralds, diamonds and sapphires of several cuts, the “Persepolis” neckalce and “Persane” earrings are a set that certainly cannot be missed.

The elegant five strand pearl and diamond necklace

The elegant five strand pearl and diamond necklace

“Aside from their beauty, many of these jewels bare a compelling history of their own” said the Princess. She added “To me they embody wonderful and loving personal memories as well as exciting chapters of my life, full of color, travel and encounters. They have brought me great joy and happiness. Now I wish their journey to continue, bringing joy and happiness to their new owners.”

The sale will be held on May 18, 7pm at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva. For more information on the auction, visit Christie’s.

Drive de Cartier: Driving Force

When it comes to shaped watches, few brands can claim to match Cartier’s product variety and success. The classic Tank, the relatively new Clé de Cartier, and the highly atypical Crash, which makes recurring appearances over the years, are just a sampling of the manufacture’s offerings. This year, Cartier continues its trek off the beaten path of good ol’ round watches with the Drive de Cartier.

Foremost, Drive de Cartier is defined by a cushion-shaped silhouette and slim profile, lugs that extend smoothly from the case, which has both polished and satinated surfaces, a domed crystal, and a facetted crown set with a sapphire cabochon. The collection debuted with three models across seven references, including a Fine Watchmaking version, the Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon, which is the flagship. Like its siblings, this watch’s dial design is Cartier through and through: Roman numeral hour indexes, sword-shaped hands in blued steel, and a scalloped sunburst guilloché pattern are all present as identifying elements. But unlike its siblings, this piece has a more elaborate two-tier structure. The guilloché pattern is confined to a lower layer that is overlaid with an upper dial sporting the markers and chapter rings.Driving-Force-Cle-de-Cartier

The engine within the Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon is the manufacture’s in-house Calibre 9452 MC. As its name suggests, the calibre contains a flying tourbillon, which is prominently displayed at six o’clock on the dial. The lack of an upper bridge here affords an airier design for a view right through the movement. This is complemented by the tourbillon’s upper cage, which has been rendered in Cartier’s characteristic “C”. Design aside, the personalised cage also serves as a demonstration of watchmaking savoir faire. Finally, the feather in the cap is 9452 MC’s Poinçon de Genève certification, which attests to the movement’s finishing standards and origins.

Specs

  • Dimension: 40 x 41mm
  • Function: Hours, minutes
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Manual- winding Calibre 9452 MC with flying tourbillon and Poinçon de Genève certification
  • Case: 40 x 41mm in pink gold
  • Water resistance: 30m
  • Strap: Brown alligator leather with pink gold deployant buckle

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

This story was first published in WOW.

6 Designer Sunglasses for Spring/Summer 2016

With the summer sun upon us, intense light is a further burden to those of us already braving the heat. Spring/Summer 2016 eyewear collections have elegant and innovative designer shades on offer, allowing one to stay fashionable and comfortable, without having to squint all day long.

Offering up a big dollop of high-glitz glamor, Jimmy Choo’s Vivy shades feature round nude colored or gloss black acetate frames with Swarovski crystals as decoration. As an added plus, the jewels are fully detachable, allowing you to adapt your style for any scenario.

Jimmy-Choo-Designer-Glasses

Vivy by Jimmy Choo

With the geek chic aesthetic brought back into vogue by the likes of brands like Gucci, Tom Ford has decided to tap into that with the Greta model. These shades sport thick geometric frames in retro inspired colors such as ‘transparent pink’ and ‘honey/brown’.

Tom-Ford-Designer-Glasses

Tom Ford Greta Sunglasses Pink

Fendi takes a leap into the future with its Eye Shine collection, yet still holding within it a bit of the retro vibe. Ingeniously featuring a ‘frame within a frame’, these round glasses have a 1970s color scheme of golden yellows and turquoise blues, but have a cat’s-eye silhouette.

Fendi-Designer-Glasses

Eye Shine collection by Fendi

On the other side of the spectrum, Moncler went all the way back to the 1950s with a stylized range of butterfly shaped lenses in pastel colors like taupes, corals, and mint greens. All perfect for a laid back feminine vibe.

Moncler-Designer-Glasses

Moncler Spring/Summer 2016

The ultra-modern Chanel went for style blended with technology by having a flat-mirrored eye-mask/visor like design engraved with laser padding. This Plein Soleil 2016 line uses colors subtly based on acetate to allow for slipping back and forth from black to blue on a solar cat’s eye, or from black to white on an oval optic.

Chanel-Designer-Glasses

Chanel Eyewear Spring/Summer 2016

Finally, we take a look at Cartier. Popularly known as aviators, the Panthére de Cartier features the Maison’s emblematic panther making an unexpected appearance in the lens. The three-dimensional jeweled panther is completed in gold or platinum with black lacquer, much like most of the eyewear. Choose between a golden flash or graduated grey lenses with silver toned reflections for a sleek and polished look under the sun.

The Panthére de Cartier

The Panthére de Cartier

Images courtesy of the brands.

In Pictures: Many Facets of Iroshini Chua

Dr Iroshini Chua wears many hats as a mother of two, family physician, travel columnist, high society fixture, party planner, accomplished home chef, charity crusader, style influencer, among others. The multi-hyphenate is also well known for her good taste in accessories and her love of gemstones. She has designed jewelry as a hobby business in the past, and is planning to launch her own brand in the near future. We asked her to share a few secrets on how she balances style and comfort so effortlessly.

Hostess With The Mostest

Special thanks to The St. Regis Singapore for hosting the photo shoot at its lavishly appointed Presidential Suite, which features a master bedroom, living room, dining room, executive office, gym, and terrace. Displayed on the premises are prized artworks by masters including Marc Chagall, Mark Tobey, Le Pho, and Sam Francis. Hand-painted silk panels adorn the walls, while custom-made Czech crystal chandeliers cast a warm glow. Other highlights include a luxurious bedroom and a beautiful master bathroom with its own Jacuzzi and separate jet massage shower with marble steam chamber.

Special thanks to The St. Regis Singapore for hosting the photo shoot at its lavishly appointed Presidential Suite, which features a master bedroom, living room, dining room, executive office, gym, and terrace. Displayed on the premises are prized artworks by masters including Marc Chagall, Mark Tobey, Le Pho, and Sam Francis. Hand-painted silk panels adorn the walls, while custom-made Czech crystal chandeliers cast a warm glow. Other highlights include a luxurious bedroom and a beautiful master bathroom with its own Jacuzzi and separate jet massage shower with marble steam chamber.

Van Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra one-motif white gold and diamond long necklace, Perlée white gold hoop earrings, Cadenas white gold and diamond watch; Emporio Armani embroidered cotton-mix pleated dress.

Career Woman

Christian Dior La Mini D de Dior 19mm watch, Rose Dior Pré Catalan pink gold and amethyst necklace, earrings, and ring, polyamide-mix pleated dress.

Christian Dior La Mini D de Dior 19mm watch, Rose Dior Pré Catalan pink gold and amethyst necklace, earrings, and ring, polyamide-mix pleated dress.

“I like wearing timeless and feminine clothes and jewelry that can easily take me from the clinic to an evening engagement.”

Mummy Duty

The Presidential Suite is part of The St. Regis Singapore’s Suite Society programme, which also features the Manhattan, Metropolitan, Knickerbocker, Astoria, and King Cole Suites. Guests who book them are offered exclusive access to exceptional dining and lifestyle privileges.

The Presidential Suite is part of The St. Regis Singapore’s Suite Society program, which also features the Manhattan, Metropolitan, Knickerbocker, Astoria, and King Cole Suites. Guests who book them are offered exclusive access to exceptional dining and lifestyle privileges.

Audemars Piguet Ladies Royal Oak Self-winding 37mm diamond watch; Chanel pearl sautoir; Iroshini’s own pearl and diamond ring; Christian Dior printed cotton-knit top and viscose-mix skirt.

Jet-setter

Available across all St. Regis properties around the world, the St. Regis Aficionado programme provides guests with exceptional bespoke experiences, such as private access to the world’s premier lifestyle collections and auctions, tasting rare private vintages, and getting a custom-tailored garment made.

Available across all St. Regis properties around the world, the St. Regis Aficionado programme provides guests with exceptional bespoke experiences, such as private access to the world’s premier lifestyle collections and auctions, tasting rare private vintages, and getting a custom-tailored garment made.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Small Model 33mm watch with diamonds; Iroshini’s own yellow sapphire ring, blue sapphire earrings; Ondademar silk kimono, cotton camisole, woven hat, heels.

“I love to discover new destinations, and I holiday at resorts about eight to 10 times a year. I don’t believe one should eschew style for comfort or vice-versa. This resort outfit is my perfect solution as it is comfortable for lounging by the pool as well as a chic ensemble for the restaurants. Matching it well is this Vacheron Constantin watch, which is so versatile and offers a pop of color.”

Lady Of Leisure

Chopard L’Heure du Diamant collection white gold necklace with 4.85 carats of diamonds, High Jewellery white gold ring with 13.6 carats of yellow diamonds and 1.28 carats of white diamonds, High Jewellery white gold and diamond ear studs; Diane von Furstenberg appliqué cotton-mix dress; Wedgwood Daisy Tea Story teacup and saucer set.

Chopard L’Heure du Diamant collection white gold necklace with 4.85 carats of diamonds, High Jewellery white gold ring with 13.6 carats of yellow diamonds and 1.28 carats of white diamonds, High Jewellery white gold and diamond ear studs; Diane von Furstenberg appliqué cotton-mix dress; Wedgwood Daisy Tea Story teacup and saucer set.

“I believe that diamonds can be beautifully paired with a busy print or loud colors to pull an entire look together without competing with them. This way, each can be admired in its own right.”

Belle Of The Ball

Home to one of the finest private art collections in Southeast Asia, The St. Regis Singapore offers exclusive access to museum-quality art. The collection showcases over 70 original works of art, including sculptures, paintings, and prints by internationally renowned artists. Hotel guests are invited to partake in The Art of Living tour around the hotel, conducted by the hotel butlers at 6pm daily.

Home to one of the finest private art collections in Southeast Asia, The St. Regis Singapore offers exclusive access to museum-quality art. The collection showcases over 70 original works of art, including sculptures, paintings, and prints by internationally renowned artists. Hotel guests are invited to partake in The Art of Living tour around the hotel, conducted by the hotel butlers at 6pm daily.

Piaget Extremely Piaget white gold ear cuff with 3.19 carats of diamonds and 12.76 carats of blue sapphires, Extremely Piaget white gold necklace with diamonds totalling 52.43 carats, a 20.06-carat cushion-cut sapphire, and a 7.35-carat pear-shaped blue sapphire, Limelight white gold secret watch with Polynesian mother-of-pearl and 506 multi-cut diamonds totaling 76.24 carats; Iroshini’s own Tex Saverio silk-mix laser-cut applique tiered gown; Jimmy Choo red suede clutch.

Party Princess

At The St. Regis Singapore, all guests have access to the signature St. Regis Butler Service, which includes food and beverage requests, unpacking and packing of luggage, garment pressing, and the e-butler option for access to the butler service, from within or outside the hotel, at any hour 
via e-mail.

At The St. Regis Singapore, all guests have access to the signature St. Regis Butler Service, which includes food and beverage requests, unpacking and packing of luggage, garment pressing, and the e-butler option for access to the butler service, from within or outside the hotel, at any hour 
via e-mail.

Cartier Panthère Captive de Cartier white gold watch with diamonds, emeralds, and onyx, Panthère de Cartier yellow gold earrings with tsavorites and diamonds, Panthère de Cartier yellow gold bracelets, one with tsavorites and onyx, the other with black lacquer, tsavorites, diamonds, and onyx; Iroshini’s own Tex Saverio polyester-mix laser-cut top; Marciano cotton-mix shorts; Ash gladiator heels

“My wardrobe contains edgy and architectural pieces for night outs. They allow me to have fun with fashion and be experimental. The iconic panther motif on the timepiece and jewels packs a punch and makes the entire look more impactful.”

Story Credits

Text by Yanni tan

Images by Wong Wei Liang

Styling by Vernon Sim

Styling Assistance by Christine Lim

Hair by Eileen Koh

Makeup by Amy Chow, using Chanel colors

Location The Presidential Suite at the St. Regis Singapore

This story first appeared in WOW Jewelry, Singapore.

Absolutely Brilliant: 14 Top Jewelry Watches

Like many things with a topping, jewellery watches tend to be larger than life. They may not be to everyone’s taste – there are those who wouldn’t touch a brew with cream and sugar in it or people who’d always scrape the icing off a cupcake; but when a watch is dressed in a Technicolor coat of precious stones, everything goes up a notch, or 10. Price for one, for not just the material, skill, design, and man-hours, but also sourcing stones from the ends of the Earth and working tirelessly over them, polishing, cutting, and setting racks up significantly higher costs. And secondly, there’s wattage: Not the electricity it takes to light a bulb, but metaphorically, an index of the amount of attention a jewelled watch is going to attract.

This happy circumstance of putting hand to stone, far from creating broken windows, has instead birthed a bewildering range of jewellery watches of every shade of colour, and taste, limited only by the collective imagination of the human race. Some watches go for subtlety, with just a light dusting of precious stones to bring up the lustre. In other instances, it is the diamonds and precious stones paved like tarmac that do the talking for the timepiece.

In both, and the continuum of moderation in between, a watch is worn all the better when the degree of ornamentation is pitched exactly to what the wearer intends. Here are some that have caught our eye.

RAPPERS & ROCK STARS

If a wattage could be ascribed to this class, it would be on the top end of the scale, by the sheer weight of stones, usually diamonds, paved onto every nook and cranny of the timepiece’s three-dimensional form. It’s conceivable only the night sky will have more stars by number, however, the point is not really to count, but to declare, “Here I am!” People will stare for sure because watches in this class aren’t just slathered with the good stuff; they are also designed in a way that proclaims wealth, loud and proud.

01-Audemars-Piguet-Royal-Oak-Offshore-Chronograph

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
When one of the most established Swiss watchmaking houses creates something that is modern and captures the spirit of the times, an icon is birthed. In this case, the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph, much-beloved of elite rapper and sports celebrities, is released in nearly as many special editions to match. Wholly carpeted with diamonds – save for onyxes to mark the hours – the result is a thoroughly aspirational emblem of excess.

102075_BGOW43D2GD2DBR-DANIEL ROTH

Bulgari Octo Bi-Retrograde Full Diamonds
Squat and sleek at the same time, it’s like wearing a bunker on one’s wrist, its walls laid over with diamonds, and dual arcs in black ceramic for the retrograde minutes and date. Utterly glamorous with a commanding presence.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Collection EX45 Spyder 505SQ

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Skeleton Flying Tourbillon with Diamonds
It’s a little ironic that a watch from which so much material has been excised should have such a long name. And in comparison with other megawatt watches in this category, it hasn’t got that many carats on its spec sheet either. But in both senses, whether metal or stone, the Spider Tourbillon exemplifies the ideal of projecting so much presence with so little. And what diamonds it’s got are set using a unique process, into the rubber moulding wrapped around the bezel.

07-Hublot-Big-Bang-Unico-10-Years-Haute-Joaillerie-Red

Hublot Big Bang Unico “10 Years” Haute Joaillerie
It’s been 10 years since Hublot’s Big Bang stormed into the watch collecting scene, and to celebrate, the company introduced three new Big Bang models valued at a combined $10 million – an arresting statement from a company that writes the book on making statements! In particular, the Unico Haute Joaillerie comes in four references, set to the hilt in precious stones: black diamonds, white diamonds, white diamonds and blue sapphires, and white diamonds and red rubies.

OLD MONEY

If elegance is conveyed in a whisper, that is only relative in a manner of speaking. Timepieces here are not ‘loud’; but for sheer beauty and luxury, they give no quarter in their ability to draw one’s eye. Not by the collar, as compared to pieces that are all about bold expression – that would not be very refined. Rather, they cast their spell by compelling persuasion, even seduction. Enthrallment rather than shock and awe, and once ensnared, many would find they’d rather do backflips than look away.

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Vacheron Constantin Malte Tourbillon High Jewellery
There’s a white gold case forming the core of the watch, but one doesn’t get to see it, because the entire timepiece, save for the tourbillon and including the bracelet, is entirely paved with baguette-cut diamonds using an invisible setting technique. Working at tolerances down to 100th of a millimetre, the fit is perfect, no different from a second skin. A true creature of light.

09-BVlgari-Octo-Tourbillon-Full-Diamonds

Bulgari Octo Tourbillon Full Diamonds
The distinctiveness of its octagonal case and its angular lugs project immense presence. At the same time, the arctic blaze of the diamonds tiled over the whole watch finds beautiful contrast in the warmth and animation of the tourbillon.

10-Breguet-Classique-5238

Breguet Classique 5238
Even with diamonds up to its ears, paved on case, bezel, and lugs, the Classique 5238 with openworked dial has not shed a whit of the formal elegance and visual purity of the rest of the Classique family. Somehow, it manages to look luxurious without being extravagant, stealing the show without being 
overtly showy. Brilliant!

11-Breguet-5719-Classique-Hora-Mundi-Haute-Joaillerie

Breguet 5719 Classique Hora Mundi Haute Joaillerie
What looks to be a glamour piece for the ballroom actually scores very high on utility, featuring a self-winding movement with instant jump second time zone display at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions. Engraved day/night indicator is deliciously quaint, and the continent of one’s choice (America, Europe or Asia/Oceania) rendered in round-cut diamonds and set against wavy rose engine turned ocean is a sight to behold.

BEAUTY QUEENS

Every watch marched out of a serious watchmaking factory has had a lot of design thought into its creation: nothing is random, accidental, and every flourish makes a point even if it’s mechanically superfluous. But these watches take design a nudge further, ties are loosened if not flung away, and brushes are inked a little wetter for bolder strokes.

13-Cartier-Pasha-De-Cartier-42MM-Skeleton-Dragon-Motif-Watch-White

Cartier Pasha de Cartier 42mm Skeleton Dragon Motif Watch
Watch aficionados light up for the skeletonised manufacture movement specially shaped to complement the dragon motif; but the latter itself is wonderfully stylised, drawn with softer lines that are a departure from the more regular renditions, all snarly, teeth and talons. Exquisite; and the Pasha’s distinctive crown has just a bit of the oriental vibe to match.

Métiers d'Art Swan 86677-000G-B116

Vacheron Constantin Métiers D’art L’éloge De La Nature Swan
The swan being a symbol of enduring love, it is fitting that this watch should come as a pair, a men’s and a women’s model in 42mm and 39mm cases respectively. It takes two months to complete each dial, and four crafts – enamelling, engraving, guilloche, gem-setting – to impart vividness and liveliness to stone and metal, effecting a breath-taking rendition of a lustrous swan spreading its wings on a lake of enamel.

TECH WIZ

Very much of watchmaking is about technology and technique. The Swiss anchor and hairspring are important milestones in man’s technological advancement, a long way from stone tools and time measurement in drips and drabs. But especially in the 21st century, well into the age of digital and information technology holding sway, some watchmakers remain adamant about performing incredible feats of mechanical engineering, extending the relevance and wonder of the gear-driven timepiece.

15-Hublot-MP-05-Laferrari-Golden-Jubilee

Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari Golden Jubilee
The plain vanilla MP-05 is already more exclusive than its supercar namesake, being limited to 50 pieces. But the Golden Jubilee created to celebrate SG50 and Big Bang’s 10th anniversary is even more so, as a unique piece. As unique as its orientation, which is not top-down like most watches, but front-back, like a stack of coins stood on their edges. The watch has 11 barrels (most watches have one) stacked just like this, visible as the central spine on the watch face, terminating in a vertical tourbillon and flanked by marked cylinders telling time and power reserve, over a scale of 50 days! Golden Jubilee model adds plenty of diamonds, like scales on a cobra’s head.

16-Vacheron-Constantin-Traditionnelle-14day-Tourbillon

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon
It’s like the watchmakers pussy-footed on the documents, to make doubly sure the mechanical merits are highlighted by precious stones without being upstaged; the archetypal “watch with jewellery” as opposed to the reverse. In this case, a handsome balance has been struck. Being adequately embellished, it’s not just the diamonds, but the supreme refinement and conservative elegance of Vacheron Constantin’s tourbillon – with the distinctive Maltese Cross tourbillon cage and outstanding 14-day power reserve – that shines through.

17-Piaget-Emperador-Coussin-Tourbillon-Diamond-Set-Automatic-Skeleton

Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Diamond-Set Automatic Skeleton
How can one forget Piaget when thinking about gem-set watches? The manufacture’s dual expertise in watchmaking and jewellery crafting does not go unnoticed especially in such illustrious timepieces like this one. Of course the technical know-how is impressive; it’s not every day that a manufacture gets to successfully create an ultra-thin self-winding skeletonised flying tourbillon. But Piaget had already done that a few years ago, and with this new model, it went a step further, lavishing the movement Calibre 1270D with beautiful diamonds. The case, bezel, crown, and bracelet, as well as the micro-rotor, have all been set with a mix of brilliant- and baguette-cut gems.

18-Jaegar-Lecoultre-Master-Grande-Tradition-One

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition
The Grande Maison’s watchmaking mastery extends out of grand complications and into such luxuriant yet tasteful gem-setting as seen in these two stunning creations. We have the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétual with flawless baguette-cut gems cradling the tourbillon as well as set all around the bezel and crown, not to mention its indexes too, and the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique, which is fully paved with baguette-cut gemstones. In the latter, Jaeger-LeCoultre plays with colours, namely blue 
and silver, by mixing blue sapphires with diamonds, and white gold with blued steel.

Story Credits
Text by Yeo Suan Futt

This article was originally published on World of Watches

Design Focus: Etourdissant Cartier in 5 Points

When Etourdissant Cartier made its world debut in Singapore, Cartier’s image, strategy and heritage director, Pierre Rainero was on hand to share five things to know with the L’Officiel Singapore team. They were kind enough to share it with us.

Work on the Etourdissant Cartier starts two years in advance.

Even before an idea of where we want to go in terms of design and the very evolution of that design, we have to gather the stones first. The gathering of stones is always the first step, and that’s what we do on a regular basis as you don’t buy stones in a month for a collection of 100 pieces. We hold a meeting with our design team at the beginning of September and we put all physical stones on the table that are available for the collection, and we match all possibilities that the stones offer to a direction that we have in mind.

Platinum necklace with diamonds and white gold bracelet with emerald, rock crystal, onyxes and diamonds.

Platinum necklace with diamonds and white gold bracelet with emerald, rock crystal, onyxes and diamonds.

The making of the Etourdissant Cartier is planned in two stages.

One will make its debut a year and a half later and the other, two years later. In fact, we presented the first part of the Etourdissant Cartier collection in June and July and now we are presenting the second part. Pieces that require more time to create are normally left for the second part.

Cartier gathers the most exceptional stones possible.

In the Etourdissant Cartier you’ll find an incredible sapphire from Burma, emeralds from Colombia and a combination of pink and blue diamonds, amongst others. It is mandatory for us that every collection should present some extraordinary stones, be it historical or not. The stones lead us to an inspiration, and then, in terms of style, we decide which direction we’d like to take and innovate upon.

Yellow gold ring with emeralds, rock crystal, onyxes and diamonds and yellow gold bracelet with emeralds, rock crystal, onyxes and brilliant-cut diamonds.

Yellow gold ring with emeralds, rock crystal, onyxes and diamonds and yellow gold bracelet with emeralds, rock crystal, onyxes and brilliant-cut diamonds.

Our heritage is always present.

Everything we do has to bear the Cartier style in two ways. First, it should be recognisable as Cartier immediately even if there’s a lot of innovation going on. Second, this is almost a responsibility for us because innovations add a new vocabulary to the Cartier language and that is the way we look at our heritage. Heritage for us lies in the notion of style, and style is like a living language. Grammar would be, for instance, proportion, a sense of colour and associating them with the fluidity on the human body. The vocabulary is the precise element of design.

It is Cartier’s role to convince and shift the modern woman’s interest onto a certain newness.

Our previous works are so well known and popular that many people tend to want exactly the same thing. But if they want to be associated to the innovation like the way some people were associated with the first panthers in the ’40s or the first Galveston pieces in the 1900s, they should focus on the novelties.

Platinum necklace with rubellite, obsidian, onyx spots, emeralds and diamonds and platinum earrings with rubellites, onyx spots, emeralds and diamonds.

Platinum necklace with rubellite, obsidian, onyx spots, emeralds and diamonds and platinum earrings with rubellites, onyx spots, emeralds and diamonds.

This article first appeared in L’Officiel Singapore.

Power On-Demand: Cartier Panthères et Colibri

Ahead of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva next year, jeweler and watchmaker Cartier has opted to release some details on this dazzler. A power-reserve on-demand timepiece, the watch deserves some quiet time to contemplate so we will do just that. Luxury icon Cartier has been working hard at marrying its competencies in jewelry and watchmaking to appeal to the world’s 1% while also inspiring the rest of us. Also, it is just beautiful and as far as what this watch is or means, that is all you need to know. Well, you have to revel in the beauty of the piece so do take a moment to really look at the watch because there is a lot going on here – more than meets the eye in fact.

Ok, so what’s going on here? The answer is a little more complicated than our initial paragraph implied so bear with us. The movement behind the timekeeping functions of the Cartier Panthères et Colibri is the in-house mechanical calibre 9915MC. To be sure, this little (36.18mm x 5.45mm is not actually that little, relatively speaking) wonder of moving parts needs to be wound up every three days. Yes, the power reserve here is 3 days and should you forget in that time to wind it up (not uncommon in our experience with watches with longer than 48 hours of power reserve), the power reserve indicator will remind you of the state of mainspring. So far, everything is properly impressive, if a little pedestrian. Pedestrian is not a word that the watchmakers of the La Chaux-de-Fonds manufacture traffic in…

Montre Panthe`re-Colibri sur cuir_v1

Here we see the watch at rest, before the crown is pressed to activate the power reserve display

Aesthetics-wise, having the power reserve front-and-centre takes up valuable space on the dial and only communicates limited information – no pun intended. Even the hour and minute hands are off to the side here in this showcase of bejeweled beauty so how to integrate power reserve information? The watchmaking team of Carole Forestier-Kasapi delivers an elegant solution to the power reserve issue not by putting the display on the caseback, but by making it available only on demand. In practical terms, pressing the crown allows a panther cub (always cute) to spring up from under its mum to give chase to a hummingbird; the length of the hummingbird’s flight is the amount of power remaining in the mainspring. This is what we call mechanical ingenuity!

Ok, what this means is that the cub-and-hummingbird interaction is in fact the main attraction of this piece, at once making it a very distinctive and serious mechanical pleasure while simultaneously demonstrating a whimsical attitude. Adding to the serious beauty of the Panthères et Colibri is the 18k white gold of the 42.75mm case, the rhodium treated 18k white gold dial, similarly rhodium-finished 18k white gold mother panther with 270 brilliant cut diamonds, spots in black lacquer and single pear-shaped emerald for the eye. The cub and hummingbird appear to be in rose or yellow gold but press time there is no information about these (Update: Cartier informs us that the cub and hummingbird are indeed in rose gold and the hands are in gilded steel).

Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding, calibre 9915 MC_Vincent Wulveryck c Cartier_01

Calibre 9915 MC, dial-side

Specs

  • Dimensions: 42.75mm x 11.4mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, on-demand power reserve
  • Power reserve: 3 Days
  • Movement: Mechanical, manual-winding, calibre 9915 MC
  • Water resistance: 30 meters
  • Material: 18k white gold, 314 brilliant cut diamonds, with black alligator strap (deployant folding clasp with 43 brilliant cut diamond). Also available with gem-set bracelet
  • Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding, calibre 9915 MC_Vincent Wulveryck c Cartier_03

    Calibre 9915 MC, back view

10 Ways to Wear Asia on Your Wrist

The most sublime artistic watches of 2015 are replete with motifs dear to Asia. Our friends at WOW curated this list of the 10 best examples, featuring a showcase of artisanal techniques in watchmaking such as champlevé enamelling but also incorporating outside crafts such as Aka-e painting.

HERMÈS

Travel back in time to ancient Kyoto with the 39.5mm Slim d’Hermès Koma Kurabe watch (pictured above), named after the famous millennial-old horse race at the Kamigamo Shrine. Fine French porcelain is further exalted with the Japanese art of Aka-e painting, under the expert brush of master Buzan Fukushima from Kutani in the Ishikawa Prefecture. One of the rare artisans who still practice this technique, Fukushima deftly paints on subtly graded shades of red and ochre, which he coats with a fine layer of gold before firing it three times. The watch also features the mechanical self-winding H1950 movement.

Jacquet Droz-r50

JAQUET DROZ

Honouring the Chinese Year of the Goat is this Petite Heure Minute Relief Goats, which features three goats carved out of white gold springing from the summit of an imaginary mountain. In the backdrop is a stylised dial evoking the motif of the plum blossom through champlevé enamelling of white and Jaquet Droz’s signature blue, with the finished result resembling an exquisite piece of Chinese paper cutting. 
This 41mm timepiece is endowed with a self-winding mechanical movement.

Piaget-r50

PIAGET

Also paying homage to the Chinese zodiac, the Altiplano Enamelled Cloisonné Goat watch displays the talent of world-renowned independent enamel artist Anita Porchet, who created this Grand Feu cloisonné enamel dial in soft shades of grey. The tones on the magnificent buck were painstakingly graded from intense to lighter nuances, while the ethereal background brings to mind a cloud-streaked sky over a mountain range. Housed within the 38mm watch is the Piaget 430P mechanical manual-winding movement.

VCA-r50

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS

A work of superlative savoir faire and craftsmanship, this Palais de la Chance Carpe Koï high jewelry bracelet watch is a tribute to Japanese culture, of which the koi is a symbol of love, life, and serenity. Requiring 3,450 hours of meticulous work, it is set with 8,000 colored stones that includes diamonds, spessartite garnets, and yellow sapphires for the body; black spinels for eyes; and Paraiba-like tourmalines and diamonds for the water motif. The bracelet of this watch, which is powered by a quartz movement, is unfastened by pressing on the koi’s tail.

Chaumet-r50

CHAUMET

Beautifully captured on the dial of the Lumières d’Eau Parure 11 watch is the elegance and grace of the carp, which in Chinese mythology is a symbol of success for its ability to transform into a dragon. It features four fish made of engraved yellow gold with blue sapphires for eyes, gliding across softly swirling water represented by a cream-colored lacquered dial set with brilliant diamonds for ripples. The long tails of the fish extend out over part of the bezel, the rest of which is set with 183 brilliant diamonds. The piece is powered by a Swiss mechanical self-winding movement.

Blancpain-r50

BLANCPAIN

The Hindu god of Ganesh is superbly immortalized on the dial of this Villeret Shakudo watch. Shakudo, which is a historical technique Japanese in origin, refers to an alloy principally composed of copper and gold that acquires a dark patina between blue and black. The 45mm timepiece also features engraving and damascening, which is another old technique that involves inlaying precious metals, in this case gold, into a base metal. It is endowed with the manual-winding Calibre 15B mechanical movement.

De Bethune-r50

DE  BETHUNE

Named after an ancient Mesoamerican feathered serpent, which is a deity of the summer winds and a protector of artisans, the DB25 Quetzalcoatl flaunts a solid gold dial sculpted by engraver Michèle Rothen. The head of the coiled snake at the center points to the hour, while its tail indicates the minutes. The hour markers resemble a series of temples viewed from the sky, while a circular guilloché motif makes the watch glow. Beating at the heart of this 44mm watch is the manual-winding Calibre DB2005.

Corum-r50

CORUM

The watchmaker’s legendary linear movement is paired up with a mythical creature, the dragon, to give us the audacious Golden Bridge Dragon. Immaculate hand-engraving work taking more than two weeks transforms a mold-poured piece of white gold into an incredibly detailed, three-dimensional piece of art. The dragon’s sinuous silhouette, which wraps around the movement without actually touching it, is covered with tiny depth-effect scales, and given impressive claws and a pearl-tipped tail. Encased within the 34mm x 51mm watch, with a bezel and lugs adorned with baguette diamonds, is the CO113 manual-winding movement.

Cartier-r50

CARTIER

The ancestral damascene technique is used on the dial of this Rotonde de Cartier 42mm to depict the amazingly life-like and detailed head of a majestic panther, which represents ferocity and strength to the Chinese. Wires in rose, yellow and white gold were hammered into troughs cut into a gold base, while the feline’s nose and spots 
were painted with black lacquer. Black onyx forms the background of the watch, which is equipped with the manual-winding mechanical movement 9601 MC.

Story Credits

Text by Yanni Tan

Illustrations by Irene Arifin

cartier presents

WATCH: Cartier’s romantic “proposal”

French jeweler  has enlisted British film director Sean Ellis to produce its new promotional video “The Proposal.” Set in Paris, the mini film revolves around a game of hide-and-seek and misunderstandings.

As with L’Odyssée de Cartier in 2012, once again the real stars of the show are the pieces from Cartier’s latest luxury jewelry collection.

With “The Proposal,” Ellis and French screenwriter Olivier Lecot present three tales of Parisian romance in which the iconic red Cartier jewelry box unexpectedly pops up — at the Musée Rodin, in the lift of a philharmonic concert hall, and at a Paris airport to enliven an existing marriage.

The first love story starring Christa Theret, shows a youthful and affectionate treasure hunt in the gardens of the Musée Rodin, drawing to a close at the foot of the famous Thinker sculpture.

the proposal

The second tale unfolds with a rushed series of missed opportunities in front of the lift in a large Parisian concert hall, where the doors consistently close on the lovers, played by Oisin Stack and Ana Girardot.

And finally, the third scenario recounts a completely unexpected declaration that unfolds in a dramatic turn of events at the airport, following a series of new developments between a husband and wife. A passport is stolen and returned and finally a surprise “remarriage” proposal is elicited.

This last opus is performed by Nicolas Bridet (“You Will Be My Son” by Gilles Legrand) and Anne Charrier (Guy Mazarguil’s “L’Art de séduire”).

Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton 2015

The Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton

Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton

At the 2015 edition of Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), which takes place January 19 to 23 in Geneva, the French brand is presenting a new version of its Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon watch.

This skeletonized watch exhibits the best of the brand’s innovation and mastery, both technical and aesthetic.

After offering a new take on the traditional tourbillon with the first Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon in 2010, and after adding carbon crystal to the mix in 2012, Cartier is highlighting its sculptural prowess with this latest edition, which is entirely skeletonized.

The parts that make up the extraordinary Astrotourbillon complication blend into a dial that consists only of two roman numerals, XII and VI, the signatures of Cartier timepieces.

Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton 2015

Light and airy, the Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton Calibre 9461 MC is a testament to the brand’s innovation and mastery, as much from an aesthetic perspective as from a technical one.

On the technical side, watch enthusiasts will appreciate the Calibre 9461 MC, a hand-wound mechanical movement with an Astrotourbillon complication that completes one rotation per minute.

The watch comes in a 47mm 18K grey gold case and is produced in a limited edition of just 100 numbered units.

Pre-SIHH: Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon

The Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon watch gets its name from the topsy-turvy arrangement of its movement. Despite the ubiquity of tourbillons that are visible from the dial today, the complication was originally mounted closer to the case back and hidden from view. This watch’s flying tourbillon’s placement, however, has been “reversed” to the dial side, along with the mainspring and gear train.Pre Sihh Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Reversed Tourbillon 2These components are layered out of necessity, with the blued steel hands closest to the crystal, followed by the various wheels, bridges, and springs, and other components. This creates a delightfully layered appearance that must be appreciated in person, preferably with a loupe, in order to observe the dial from different angles. Because of this visual interest created by the movement components, they have been elevated to become the central element of the dial. The relatively simple guilloché dial takes a backseat on this watch, and serves to accentuate the perception of depth on the watch face.Pre Sihh Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Reversed Tourbillon 3This isn’t Cartier’s first Reversed Tourbillon watch from the Rotonde de Cartier collection though. The original, introduced and formerly known as the Cadran Lové Tourbillon watch, set the precedent in 2012 with its layered dial, off-centred layout, and second hand in the form of a capitalised “C”, as shown below. Besides these visual similarities, the newer iteration also retains the Calibre 9458 MC movement. The manual-winding flying tourbillon movement comes packed with a 50-hour power reserve, and clocks in at a wide 16¾ lignes. Naturally, the case remains unchanged at 46mm wide to accommodate it – certainly a tad too big to qualify as a dress watch, but an appropriate size for its purpose, which is to display the watch’s details in all their glory. Like the original, the new Reversed Tourbillon is certified Côtes de Genève due to the finishing standards on the movement.Pre Sihh Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Reversed Tourbillon 4

The Man by Cartier Exhibition

Cartier opens men’s pop up at Harrods

The Man by Cartier -Facade

Cartier has opened its first pop-up space at Harrods dedicated to men’s watches and accessories. ‘The Man by Cartier’ will run until November 19.

The exhibition features a range of pieces from the house’s archives, mixing vintage models and new watches, leather goods and accessories.

Key exhibits include classic models (The Santos, The Tank, and the Ballon Bleu) alongside the new Calibre de Cartier Diver.

The Man by Cartier - Fine Watch bar

 and  are both committed to providing clients with the ultimate luxury experience, which makes this exhibition not only an ideal partnership, but also an exciting opportunity for our customers to view rare Cartier pieces,” explained Helen David, Harrods Director of Womenswear, Accessories, Fine Jewellery, and Childrenswear.

“110 years after the creation of the first modern wristwatch by Louis Cartier, we pay homage and celebrate the man’s natural home in the Cartier universe,” added Laurent Feniou, Managing Director of Cartier UK.

The Man by Cartier - Private Client area

The French brand has also taken over four of the store’s Brompton Road windows for the duration of the project.

Harrods has had a busy year when it comes to brand events and goings-on, having hosted the month-long Pradasphere exhibition in May, and also featuring interactive Ermenegildo Zegna window displays earlier this month.

 

Jewellery Time 2014: Updates!

As we inch closer towards Jewellery Time 2014, Cortina Watch has revealed more details about the biennial luxury watch showcase. For the readers who might have forgotten, the seventh edition of Jewellery Time will take place from 25 September to 5 October, 11am to 9pm daily at the main atrium of Paragon in Singapore.Jewellery Time 2014 Updates 3

Beyond our initial report which previewed some of the timepieces that will be on display, we now also know that the event will be housed within the purpose-built Collector’s Mansion. Said mansion has been designed in a style reminiscent of the Renaissance, while its white mesh structure juxtaposes modernity with old-world charms. Within the mansion, the contrast continues as contemporary furnishings meet Art Deco elements, topped off by chandeliers hanging from its ceiling.

Jewellery Time 2014 Updates 7

Setting aside, other details have also emerged. The showcase, which is open to the public, will feature over a hundred jewelled timepieces curated by the twelve participating brands: Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, Corum, Ebel, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin and Zenith. Taiwanese model-actress Sonia Sui has also been revealed as the face of Jewellery Time 2014. Sui has over a decade of experience in the modelling, film and television industry, and will be in attendance at Jewellery Time 2014’s official opening party on 25 September.Jewellery Time 2014 Updates 1

To celebrate the occasion, Chopard has created the Imperiale Automatic Full Set, a pair of watches combining haute joaillerie and haute horlogerie. Conceptualised and designed as a unique set, the timepieces are entirely paved with diamonds save for the bezel, which has been set with multi-coloured baguette cut sapphires. The beating hearts of the watches are Calibre 01.03-Cs that run at 28,800 vibrations per hour and feature 60-hour power reserves. These movements are in-house developed and manufactured by Fleurier Ebauches, a company under the Chopard group that was founded to reinforce the brand’s vertical integration in watch production. The watches come in one unique piece of white and pink gold each, and will be delivered in a special box bearing an engraved plaque with “Cortina Watch” celebrating the occasion.

Interview with Stanislas de Quercize, President & CEO of Cartier

Not just a jeweller or a watchmaker, Cartier defies ordinary notions of a brand or a company. It might be more apt to define and approach Cartier as an institution in its own right because of its multiple faculties and indisputable expertise with each faculty. Jewellery, timepieces, small accessories, fragrances, and leather goods make up Cartier’s portfolio but the maison doesn’t see it that way. It refers to all of its products as objet d’art, and rightly so, for only recently had they been on exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris. Making that exhibition doubly impressive is the fact that it was initiated by the museum, not Cartier. So what does it mean to be the CEO of a company like this one? To Stanislas de Quercize, who ascended to this role one year ago in 2013, the rules are different, but the game remains the same.

Interview Stanislas De Quercize Cartier 5His appointment was not a big surprise especially to those who are familiar with the stellar results he had shown at sister high jewellery maison Van Cleef & Arpels. From 2005 to 2013, de Quercize had been the CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, which under his charge famously invented the concept of Poetic Complications, now a trademark of the maison. Apart from steering the company safely through the 2008/9 financial crisis, de Quercize also laid the foundation for a strong watchmaking division, and in recent years, watches by Van Cleef & Arpels set the standard for traditional artisanal crafts which are coupled with creative mechanisms to tell a story. Rather than competing in the fields of movement making know-how or watchmaking tradition, de Quercize went a completely different way and blazed a new path. Perhaps this is what makes him the perfect candidate to take over from ex-CEO Bernard Fornas.

But de Quercize is not a stranger to Cartier. As a matter of fact, before his tenure at Van Cleef & Arpels he was already with Cartier from 1999 to 2005, first as general manager, then CEO of the North American market. This definitely explains the love and respect he has for Cartier, even as luxury, it can be said, is in his blood; de Quercize has an aristocratic lineage that leads back to the 17th century French royal court.

Having recently taken over the helm at Cartier, can you tell us what your ambitions are for the brand?
First of all, we call Cartier a maison, not a brand. We have the mission to be an artist and create jewellery and watches that are universal and eternal. Universal in that it appeals to connoisseurs all over the world; timeless in that it is revered and dreamed of today and also 50 or 100 years from now. There was an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris showcasing 600 creations of Cartier since 1847. It’s called Cartier l’Histoire et le Style. This is really the root of the maison. Our creations go through decades and decades, yet they remain extremely relevant. That’s why it’s art, and that’s why they’re in a museum.

Tell us more about the significance of this exhibition to Cartier.
This exhibition in the Grand Palais is the 27th Cartier exhibition worldwide. We’ve been welcomed at the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum, the Forbidden City, the Kremlin, and so on. You understand that the curator truly respects and assessed Cartier as an art form, an art decoratif. That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising to see that Cartier is the number one name in auctions for jewellery and the top three for horlogerie.

How do you spread yourself across the various divisions from jewellery to watches and from leather to fragrances?
Cartier has always been able to create. We are named the king of jewellers and jewellers of kings by Edward the Seventh, but we are also the king of creative watchmaking and objet d’arts. Louis Cartier said it. We wanted to create objets d’arts or gifts or leather accessories at the same quality as with the craftsmanship in jewellery and watchmaking because it’s the art de vivre. The luxurious art de vivire à la Parisienne.

How do you aim to achieve this?
The vision is to have a style that is recognisable from far away. We want you to say Cartier like you say Picasso. It has to have a recognisable style, a different style, bringing a different vision to the world. And it has to be something you want to keep forever.

So in terms of aesthetics, you want everything to have a distinctive look and feel?
Also it has to have audacity. Look at the AstroCalendaire. That’s in haute horlogerie a tour de force. It is something that’s unique, different and it brings a different view to tourbillons and style.

Interview Stanislas De Quercize Cartier 6

Cartier has undoubtedly achieved a lot since the Collection Privée Cartier Paris evolved into the Fine Watchmaking collection. Are there any other aspects of haute horlogerie you are striving for?
We believe haute horlogerie should be beautiful outside and inside. That’s why we embarked on the creation of 29 in-house movements for haute horlogerie. We believe the audacity of haute horlogerie is equivalent to the audacity it was for Louis Cartier when in 1904, he came up with the Santos Dumont, which was the first watch to be worn on the wrist. With the same audacity, Louis Cartier also came up with the Pendules Mysterieux in 1913. And we exhibited the same audacity when we put the mystery clock idea in a watch. The audacity of Cartier led us to bring newness to the market. Also the concept watches, ID One and ID Two, followed this vein in search of new ways to express horology in the 21st century.

With Cartier, we’re sensing a very broad approach, from concept watches to fine watchmaking to commercial pieces like the Santos. What are the challenges in managing such a broad selection of watches?
I see it as a staircase which is helping people to elevate and to go up and discover, during their whole life, different creations. Sometimes you want a watch for the day, sometimes you want one for the evening. Sometimes for business or casual or sport. We want this staircase to lead you and accompany you your whole life to discover new creations.

How inspired are you by the work of Carole Forestier-Kasapi?
I’m extremely excited. This excitement is the colour of passion. To be able to make people dream because you’re coming with something that will surprise them. You’re going to have this WOW effect, this emotion, which is part of life. But to do that, you have to create something which is audacious and different, like the Mystery Clock was different. To wear a watch on the wrist was different, to have the mystery dial on a watch is different. The AstroCalendaire with the tourbillon in the middle was unprecedented. That’s what we want to do. It was never-before seen and you can keep it forever. We bringing really artistic things to the world.

So this links back to your focus on breaking new ground yet remaining timeless?
If you think of it, what we are creating has two values. One is universal, so it’s recognised the world over whatever the colour of your passport or the language you speak. The second is timelessness, so a creation 20 or 50 years ago will always be sought after. When you have these two elements, these are the two characteristics of art. It’s an art form, an applied art, a decorative art. So you shouldn’t be surprised to see our works exhibited in museums or being part of art catalogues.

At the same time, having understood the robustness of the AstroCalendaire, I’m sure watch connoisseurs appreciate Cartier’s serious commitment to quality. Is quality something you think about a lot?
It’s essential because if you want to have timelessness, you need to be sure the timepieces will work forever. The quest for super quality is why we look for super materials like gold or diamonds or sapphire, and super craftsmanship. We know that watches are a symbol of passion, friendship or love, and so we want to assure that this passion or friendship or love will last forever.

Cartier has achieved quite a fair bit in the realm of haute horlogerie, what are you exploring right now?
It’s bringing new talents and new experiences like, for example, in métiers d’art for the first time, we use floral marquetry with rose petals done in the shape of a parrot. Never before has this been done in the history of haute horlogerie. We believe it is our mission to bring something which is not the repetition of the past. This is pushing the envelope. I believe the golden age of jewellery and watchmaking is now. Why now? Because golden age refers to an accumulation of crafts and experiences. We’ve been accumulating crafts and experiences since 1847, and the more we progress, the more we are experts. The more you’re an expert at what you’re doing, the more you can push the envelope.

Interview Stanislas De Quercize Cartier 3

Métiers d’arts is now fiercely pursued in haute horlogerie. Do you look at the competition’s achievements in general?
I think we are here more to conquer the market, you know. If you look at jewellery,
only 10 per cent of men and women buy jewellery with a name. It is a mistake to buy jewellery with no name and signature because if you want to sell it at the auction, it’s worth no more than the weight of the gold and diamonds. If you give it to your children, they will be puzzled because it’s not as valuable as when you have the signature of Cartier. That’s what all these craftsmen are here to do, to leave an everlasting mark in this world. We don’t look at the competition. We only look at ourselves, our mission. To be powerful and give power to the owners of Cartier’s creations. To be a reference, like a lighthouse. To be audacious and generous because we are here to evoke love and friendship.

What element of Cartier is its most valuable asset?
The passion of Cartier. That’s what makes Cartier so special. Red is the colour of passion. That makes Cartier unique. A passionate maison about creativity, crafting, and sharing in a passionate way. This year we celebrate 30 years of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. That’s passion. Helping young artists share their talent with the rest of the world.

Can you tell us where the Calibre de Cartier Diver fits in the overall scheme of things?
The Calibre de Cartier Diver caters to men and talks to them in the same way Louis Cartier talked to Santos Dumont, who was a pilot. The Santos watch was the first pilot’s watch to be worn on the wrist. This time, we have people with an active sports life who are seeking the elegance of Cartier to be on the wrist. That’s the ambition with this new watch.

Interview Stanislas De Quercize Cartier 2

What about the other commercial men’s collections like the Tank MC?
What I love about the Tank MC is its timelessness. That’s audacity because the idea of Tank is freedom. The inspiration was the first tanks of the British and American armies in the first world war which brought their liberation to Europe at that time. This idea of man bringing freedom to the world is truly inspirational. When you have this watch on your wrist, you have to bring something to the world. The Tank MC is a new interpretation of an icon of the maison. This is timeless style.

You’ve stressed on timelessness several times. Is that your definition of luxury?
You want to express your love and friendship, and you want that love and that friendship to stay forever. You want your creations to stay forever, to survive you. At the exhibition, you can see all the jewellery of the Duchess of Windsor and Grace Kelly and many more. They survived the lives of their owners to tell beautiful love stories.

What do you wish is Cartier’s greatest contribution to this world?
To make people dream. I help them express love and friendship and passion for art.

What events in our time would you consider are strong influences to Cartier?
Social media has helped increase faire savoir. The difference between savoir-faire and faire savoir is know-how and how to make something known, respectively. We have incredible savoir-faire in La Chaux-de-Fonds and in haute horlogerie as well as métiers d’arts. It’s interesting to be able to share this know-how, and social media helps people understand and appreciate the stories better. We love when people appreciate what they are having. There is the enjoyment in sharing in the pleasure of artistic creations.

Cartier, Shape Your Time Event At Takashimaya SC

Cartier has not forgotten us men. The Shape Your Time exhibition taking place this weekend is a watchmaking event dedicated to men, and celebrates all things masculine in Cartier’s timepieces.

With a unique design concept by Rafael de Cardenas, one of New York’s top architects, the event space represents a Cartier’s man’s living environment, with the five dedicated areas highlighted by icons specific to each of them. The area showcasing the Santos, for example, has a propeller suspended above to represent Louis Cartier’s friend Alberto Santos Dumont, for whom he created the eponymous watch to tell the time while flying.

Cartier Shape Your Time 

In addition to the display of Cartier’s iconic timepieces such as the Santos and Tank, the event also celebrates the newly launched Calibre de Cartier Diver collection – an ISO certified dive watch and Cartier’s first true tool watch. Visitors can expect a close up look of over 50 of these watches, as well as insights into their historical and contemporary developments both technical and aesthetic. Of course, no expenses have been spared in tailoring the medium for the message. The area’s setup includes videos, touch and 3D screens, interactive books and tablets, through which visitors can personally discover and learn about the French jewellery- and watchmaking maison. Social media integration has also been put in place for those looking to share their discoveries.

Cartier Shape Your Time 

Readers who are keen to find out more about Cartier’s men’s watchmaking can visit Takashimaya Shopping Centre’s Civic Plaza on 24th and 25th May, between 11am and 8pm. 

 

Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton: Decidedly Different

We first saw the Tank MC Skeleton at Watches and Wonders in Hong Kong in September last year, so the appearance of a new version was a little surprising. You might be expecting a new finishing style or perhaps a new material for the case – this being a skeleton, there is not a dial to ‘refresh’. Well, the Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton will both meet and exceed your expectations.

In fact, this new watch introduces a new finishing style to the skeletonised plates and bridges of the otherwise familiar calibre 9611 MC – and what a finish it is! This being a skeletonised movement, there two predominant finishing touches, brushed for the flat surfaces and polished for the angles. The brushed surfaces appear to have the grey finish typical of ruthenium, while the hand-chamfered angles are coated in pink gold. The end result, as you see it here in what is now the calibre 9619 MC, is creative elegance personified.

While the Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton is not a limited edition, it takes a gentleman of refined mores to appreciate the unusual beauty of the 34x43mm Two-Tone’s looks. The watch is only available in 18K pink gold (price on application), to better match the movement finish no doubt.

Tank Mc Two Tone Skeleton