Cartier luxury watches for men and women: The new Ronde Louis Cartier XL
Watches

Cartier Turns Up The Heat

How do you fan the flames of desire? With a watch dial coloured by fire
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Once a year, the watch industry’s top brands gather in Geneva and Basel to show the world their latest novelties. Some will break records with grand complications, while others, like Cartier, will wow the crowd with an expansive and uncommon artistic vocabulary. Among its most extraordinary are granulation (a process that involves precious gold threads being melted into small beads and arranged to create a desired motif; the regal panther was the Parisian house’s pick), flower marquetry (where beautiful brightly-coloured petals are gathered, cut and affixed onto dials) and filigree (where ultra-thin platinum and gold wires are painstakingly braided, hammered and shaped by hand).

Now, Cartier has raised the bar yet again by adding another rare technique to that repertoire. Its goal was to create a dial that would appear as luminous and as precise as a miniature enamel painting without actually using enamel paint but instead, a far more unusual ingredient – fire.

Named flamed gold, that remarkable technique, which is inspired by the method of bluing watch hands in a naked flame, involves the oxidisation of an 18K gold plate at various temperatures to obtain different colours (fun fact: a deep blue hue is produced at around 300°C while a pretty beige tint emerges at a far less intense 170°C).

The task is not as simple as it sounds. In between each successive firing stage, parts of the motif which are to be imbued with another colour are carefully stripped away by Cartier’s artisans. This is repeated until the final image, the stunning close-up of a panther, is revealed. Housed in the new Ronde Louis Cartier XL, the masterpiece’s allure is further enhanced with a slick case rendered in 18K white gold and a bezel generously adorned with baguette-cut diamonds.

 

This article first appeared in the June/July 2017 issue of L'Officiel Singapore (out now on Magzter and newsstands). Click here to subscribe.

This article first appeared in the June/July 2017 issue of L'Officiel Singapore (out now on Magzter and newsstands). Click here to subscribe.

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