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While I've always been a fan of Cartier, especially their watches, I wouldn't have described them as a hip company or a cutting edge company or even a company in touch with an audience under 40 years of age.
However, their fabulous, artful and beautifully illustrated launch of their newest watch, the Ballon Bleu has changed my mind.
By creating a microsite that showcases six different comic book writers/illustrators' work as well as seven Ninth Art writers in an unusual visual odyssey they have made me re-examine my previous notion of this luxury jewelry and watch manufacturer.
I can hardly do the entire site justice without reproducing it, so let me just share a few of the illustrations and a few frames of the comics and let you experience the entire thing for yourself.
Click on the images below so you can see them larger and appreciate the art.
Above: six different illustrations, each showcasing the blue cabochon in a different visual interpretation.
Above: 3 different examples of partial comic strips written about the watch
Of course, the watch is stunning. It's most notable feature, the large blue cabochon sapphire winding mechanism incorporated into the bezel and open on both sides. Followed by the unusual slightly rounded shape of the front and back of the face.
Above: The unusually set blue sapphire cabochon winding mechanism on the newest Cartier watch
Above: A detail of the watch face
Like most of Cartier's bracelet watches it's available in 18k yellow, pink or white gold (with or without diamonds) and 18k yellow gold combined with stainless steel (no diamonds).
Above: The unusual shape of the Ballon Bleu
So, in addition to tempting me with yet another stunning horological adornment, Cartier's microsite has captured my eye as well and I wonder if they've produced hard copies of these 'stories'.
Most surprisingly of all, I must declare, Cartier is hip.
See for yourself here.
or buy the watch here.