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At the 2008 SIHH, Cartier unveiled a slew of new watches. Although many blogs are talking about their new Le Cirque Animalier Collection, those are my least favorite of the new watches. There are several others worth gawking at as well and they are all shown below. The coolest watch they debuted was definitely the Triple faced Santos.
Santos Triple 100: The 3-D watch by Cartier
This extra-large Santos Triple 100 model combines a rotating-dial mechanism with a skeleton movement for the very first time; with a simple turn of the winding crown, a spectacular display of hidden faces unfurls. A work of art entirely set with precious stones, this numbered edition limited to 20 timepieces brings time to life in images, furnishing it with a magical and hypnotic hue.
The R&D unit of the Cartier Manufacture developed this mechanism, which is in the process of being patented, after many months of research. Manufacturing secret: Mobile prisms in 18 carat white gold, activated simultaneously by means of the crown, are driven by a system of miniature gear trains that causes the prisms to swivel gradually in one direction or the other, revealing three different dial faces.
The three different dial faces appear in succession: from a classic face featuring 12 Roman numerals:
to a face completely paved with round diamonds and black sapphires in a marvelous jeweler’s chessboard:
followed finally by a face engraved with a tiger’s head, which required over 40 hours’ work and meticulous attention to detail:
The mechanism of this extraordinary version of the Santos Triple 100 is combined with a Manufacture-crafted, mechanical, skeleton movement with manual winding, which has been decorated by hand and assembled at the Cartier Manufacture. The watch also boasts a double-barrel movement equipped with a 72-hour power reserve, which can be observed through its transparent case-back. Case in 18 carat white gold set with round diamonds, size XL. Hours and minutes functions.
Mechanism offering three modulating dials in 18 carat white gold: one face set with round diamonds and black sapphires, one face engraved with a tiger motif and one varnished face. Black alligator-skin strap with an adjustable, triple folding clasp with safety catch in 18 carat white gold. Contemporary, 9610MC -calibre, hand-wound, mechanical skeleton movement crafted by the Cartier Manufacture with a diameter of 11 1/2’’’140 PARTS and 21 jewels. Approximately 7.6 carats.
The Le Cirque Animalier De Cartier Collection (the much blogged about) is comprised of three watches. Just unveiled at the 2008 Salon International de la Haute Horologie (SIHH), this will be an ongoing collection and according to Serge Rabassa, Cartier's director of watch creation, it's like a travelling circus going around the world, with the first stop being Asia.
"The collection is inspired and based on the history of Cartier. We've always liked animals so we arrived at the concept that it should represent all the continents of the world. Asia was our first stop because of tradition ... this continent is very important because a number of our old pieces used Asian symbols so we decided to start here,'' says Rabassa.These three original creations, in a limited edition series of 50 individually-numbered timepieces, call upon all areas of watch making expertise from stone-setting to enamelling, from engine turning to diamond paving and from sculpting to engraving. Cartier exhibits the full extent of its jewelry making and technical virtuosity in each of these creations, all mounted on brushed canvas straps.
Specifications: Case in 18 carat, rhodium-plated, white gold set with round diamonds Panda in 18 carat, rhodium-plated, white gold set with round diamonds, black sapphires and emeralds (eyes), with some details outlined in black enamel. Dial in black and white enamel, Dark-grey, brushed, canvas strap with an ardillon buckle in 18 carat, rhodium-plated, white gold set with round diamonds, Quartz movement, Approximately 8 carats
Specifications: Case in 18 carat, pink gold set with round diamonds. Elephant in 18 carat, rhodium-plated, white gold set with round diamonds and an emerald. Dial in 18 carat, pink gold set with round diamonds and partially decorated with guilloche. Dark-grey, brushed, canvas strap with an ardillon buckle in 18 carat, pink gold set with round diamonds. Quartz movement. Approximately 7.2 carats
Specifications: Case in 18 carat, yellow gold set with round diamonds and sapphire crystal. Tiger in 18 carat, yellow gold set with yellow diamonds and 2 emeralds, with some details outlined in black enamel. Guilloché dial in 18-carat, yellow gold. Dark-grey, brushed, canvas strap with an ardillon buckle in 18 carat, yellow gold set with round diamonds. Quartz movement. Approximately 7 carats.
The New Carter Roadster XL:
This watch can be transformed thanks to its interchangeable bracelets: choose from a metal bracelet with central links in burr walnut, or a dark-brown, semi-matt, alligator-skin strap. Available in two versions, the options for this Roadster watch continue to multiply: in pink gold - numbered edition limited to 250 pieces - or white gold – numbered edition limited to 150 pieces - the choice is yours.
Specifications: Case and bezel in 18 carat, white gold, size XL. Hours, minutes, seconds and date functions. Dial in burr walnut (burr-walnut plating is applied to a metal plate and finished with a glossy polish). Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Bracelet in 18 carat, white gold with central links in burr walnut. An interchangeable bracelet system, exclusive to the Roadster Collection, offers the possibility of alternating between the metal bracelet and the dark-brown, semi-matte, alligator-skin strap, both of which come with the watch (triple, folding clasp in 18 carat, white gold). Mechanical movement with automatic winding, Cartier calibre 3110 (28,800 alternations/hour, 42-hour power reserve). Water resistant to 100 metres(10 bar)
The New Black Rubber & Rose Gold Santos:
A screw bezel for a dynamic “cockpit” with presence, the gold is pink and the rubber black and matt. Massive, powerful, a watch without limits. A giant dial, boundless space and one hundred percent time. A block of brushed pink gold draws a contrast with black. On the strap and dial, matt rubber dominates and is sealed with screws for enduring hallmarks of strength and light.
Specifications: Case in 18 carat, brushed, pink gold, large model. Hours, minutes and seconds functions. Bezel in 18 carat, pink gold, with cast-moulded black rubber. Matte, black dial. Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Black rubber strap with screws in 18 carat, pink gold and ardillon buckle in 18 carat, pink gold. Mechanical movement with automatic winding and Cartier calibre 049 (28,800 alternations/ hour, 42-hour power reserve). Water resistant to 100 metres (10 bar).
The New Pasha Seatimer:
Framed block, fettered cabochon, solid gold and black rubber, an impressive chronograph watch in a king-sized model for maximum effect. Crafted from yellow gold interspersed with black rubber and diamonds. A watch with unlimited sparkle, ready to take on any sporting or jewelry-based challenge. Extra-large volumes and one dimension for this precious, 42.5-mm chronograph that boasts a bezel set entirely with diamonds. The contrasting alliance of black and gold embellishes this Pasha Seatimer watch. Its chronograph push-pieces and crown cover are adorned with black ceramic decoration in the ‘clou de Paris’ style, as is the bezel ring. The bracelet features the same striking combination, as black rubber links are encircled by yellow gold links set with sparkling diamonds.
Specifications: Chronograph watch Pasha Seatimer paved with brilliant-cut diamonds. 42.5-mm case in 18 carat, yellow gold. Fixed bezel in 18 carat, yellow gold set with round diamonds. bezel ring with black ceramic ‘clou de Paris’ decor, chronograph push-pieces and crown cover decorated with black ceramic ‘clou de Paris’ motif. Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph and date functions. Matte black dial. Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Bracelet composed of links made from 18 carat, yellow gold set with diamonds and central links in matte black rubber. Mechanical movement with automatic winding, Cartier calibre 8630 (28,800 alternations/hour, 42-hour power reserve). Approximately 11.4 carats.
Three new models in their Libre Collection:
One watch, four circles. Circles within circles. Gleaming mother-of-pearl dials surrounded by diamonds and set with pearls. Giant black numerals, with a graceful graphical style, to count the hours.
Specifications: Case in 18 carat, rhodium-plated, white gold set with round diamonds and two freshwater pearls. White mother-of-pearl dial featuring a flinqué pattern. Dark-grey, brushed, canvas strap with an ardillon buckle in 18 carat, rhodium-plated, white gold set with round diamonds. Quartz movement. Approximately 2.9 carats.
This flat knot, in the style of a Japanese obi tied around the waist, is a sash of light mounted on a dark-grey strap of brushed canvas. Soft folds of small and large brilliant-cut diamonds, in a setting that adds rhythm and allure to any look, define this sleek watch that displays time horizontally on the wrist, across the radiant span of a precision dial stamped with two Roman numerals at 3 and 9 o’clock.
Specifications: Case in 18 carat, rhodium-plated, white gold set with round diamonds. Silver, lacquered dial featuring a sunray effect. Dark-grey, brushed, canvas strap with an ardillon buckle in 18 carat, rhodium-plated, white gold set with round diamonds. Quartz movement. Approximately 3.4 carats.
Pleats and folds lend movement and give rhythm to the alluring, Couture design of this diamond-encrusted watch. Its beauty fans out like pleats of diamond sunrays on white gold, opening like bejewelled curtains to reveal a miniature triangular dial, an angled glimmer of time, on which only the ’3’ is displayed in Roman numerals.
Specifications: Case in 18 carat, rhodium-plated, white gold set with round diamonds. Silver, lacquered dial featuring a sunray effect. Dark-grey, brushed, canvas strap with an ardillon buckle in 18 carat, rhodium-plated, white gold set with round diamonds. Quartz movement. Approximately 3.7 carats
And finally, some new versions of last year's introduction, the Ballon Bleu watch (which, by the way, had a very hip launch as I blogged about here).
The 9452 MC calibre, an exceptional tourbillon:
A manufacture-crafted mechanical movement with manual winding, the 9452 MC calibre is comprised of 142 parts and 19 jewels. Measuring 4.5 mm in depth, it is driven by a flying tourbillon with its C-shaped index indicating the seconds. With a diameter of 10 and ¾ lines, it beats at the rate of 21,600 vibrations per hour and has a power reserve of 50 hours. Instead of placing the tourbillon carriage in its traditional position, protected between the bridges and the main plate of the movement, the tourbillon on the Ballon bleu de Cartier watch has been designed in order to maximize its aesthetic appeal. The tourbillon carriage seems to ‘fly’ over the bridges and appears to float freely above the dial. This choice, more aesthetic in its appeal but technically also more risky, led our master watchmakers to pay particular attention to the design of the tourbillon carriage to provide it with the same level of shock resistance as a traditional tourbillon.
Technical specifications: Case in 18 carat pink gold., Diameter: 46 mm., Circular-grained crown in 18 carat pink gold set with a sapphire cabochon. Sapphire crystal. Transparent case-back with sapphire crystal. Galvanic, slate-coloured guilloché dial, sun-ray open-worked grid with Roman numerals. Sword-shaped, blued-steel hands. Brown alligator-skin strap with dual adjustment folding clasp in 18 carat pink gold. Manufacture-crafted mechanical movement with manual winding, 9452 MC calibre, bearing the Geneva Seal. Flying Tourbillon with its C-shaped index indicating the seconds. Diameter: 10 and ¾ lines. Depth: 4.5 mm. Number of jewels: 19. Balance: 21,600 vibrations per hour. Movement comprising 142 parts. Power reserve of approximately 50 hours.
The Ballon Blue has now been infused with spring colors:
Above: An orange, purple or pink alligator-skin strap, in pastel or elegant shades has been added to the 2007 Ballon Bleu.
If you didn't see the way Cartier launched the Ballon Bleu, you should. See it here.