If you are experiencing symptoms of cabin fever during this difficult period meant to safeguard your well-being at the cost of travel and retail liberty, there is a reason to tide you over until everyone is well and the boutique resumes operation. The reason happens to be the Maillon de Cartier collection.
The new watch isn’t another interpretation of the over-a-century-old classic duo of Tank de Cartier and Santos de Cartier, but in the mould of the Drive de Cartier, launched in 2016. In other words, the Maillon de Cartier is entirely and discernibly new from the shape to the techniques used in the making of the watch. The manner in which Cartier approaches the watch, however, remains unchanged. The maison’s ambition and capacity to create a desirable and palatable watch of an emotive and distinctive design ensures the Maillon de Cartier is instantly recognisable, much like Cartier’s current stable of watches and jewellery.
The unique proposition of this watch is its bracelet. According to Marie-Laure Cérède, Cartier’s timepieces creation director, the maison wanted to deconstruct the bracelet and transcend its design through a volume approach. The result is an unorthodox reimagination of an orthodox chain-link metal bracelet through a literal, contoured, oblong twist. The spiral adaptation delivers a voluminous, geometric and elegant perspective while maintaining a level of simplicity. It succeeds in giving whomever laying her sight on the watch an emotional high through the masterful use of few elements – like Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne Opus 9, Number 2. This observation is especially true for models that offer bracelets in precious solid 18k yellow gold, pink gold and white gold.
On the other hand, the models where their bracelets are opulently set with brilliant-cut diamonds are richer and symphonic, evocative of a full-size orchestra designed to swashbuckle and bedazzle.
To complement the torsion of the bracelet, Cartier cuts away parts of the watch case to present an unconventional hexagon. It is further bevelled to amplify the watch’s geometry while presenting a silky-smooth silhouette like it is perpetually in motion. The case is exceptionally petite and thin, measuring 16mm x 17mm, with a thickness of 6.8mm. There is also a hint of versatility and the Maillon de Cartier should perfect an ensemble as casual as a tunic dress and as chic as a peplum dress.
The watch tells only hours and minutes, which is unsurprising, as Cartier reveals the Maillon de Cartier is foremost a jewellery, albeit one designed by its watchmaking studio. Classic Cartier touches remain imbued in the watch if you examine closely, including the pair of blued hands and a stone on the crown, as well as the propensity to use Roman numerals as hour markers. Driving the watch is a quartz movement.
Making their debut are six models, each more embellished than the other. The quintessential model is in 18k yellow gold without precious stones and adorned with a single sapphire cabochon on the crown. Two other models in 18k pink gold and white gold respectively are each rimmed with 24 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.54ct) on the bezel and whose crown is set with a brilliant-cut diamond (0.07ct). The remaining three models have their bracelets and bezels set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The 18k pink gold model houses 400 brilliant-cut diamonds (8.3ct) and topped with a single brilliant-cut diamond (0.07ct) on its crown. The 18k white gold model is set with 486 brilliant-cut diamonds (8.64ct), inclusive of a dial paved with diamonds, as well as an additional diamond (0.07ct) set on the crown.
Finally, the pinnacle of the collection makes its presence felt with a liturgical black lacquered dial. The 18k yellow gold model is set with 580 brilliant-cut diamonds (9.33ct), with an extra brilliant-cut diamond (0.07ct) set on the crown. Limited to 50 pieces, this audacious model is the sole limited edition and numbered piece of the Maillon de Cartier collection, destined to project a daring attitude onto any woman elected to wear it.