The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is the place where brands premiere their latest watches, the result of often years of intensive research. On this year’s event, scheduled from the 21st to the 25th of January, invitees will have a chance to see the debut of Cartier’s Rotonde de Cartier: Panther with Granulation.
The watch forms part of the Cartier d’Art line which showcases various artistic crafts, usually as part of the dial decoration. In this occasion, Cartier has managed to combine ancient Etruscan gold granulation process dating back to the first century with requirements of modern watchmaking and create one of the most stunning pieces in their Cartier d’Art line.
Cartier has opted for the reinterpretation of this millennia-old artistic craft to bring it back to life on its own unique way. Each tiny 22kt yellow gold granules of various sizes are hand applied using a pair of tweezers, one at a time to build up the picture of Panther. The gold balls are cut from a thread and then heated, applied and fused to the watch base.
The base for the gold granulation watch is the 42mm wide Rotonde de Cartier. Also in yellow gold, the case bezel and lugs are decorated with 306 brilliant-cut diamonds (3.63 carats). Inside the watch is an in-house made Cartier calibre 9601 MC manually wound movement that only shows the time (via the two blued steel pomme-style hands on the dial). The watch is attached to a black alligator strap.
Given the complicated process to make every watch, it’s not surprising that only 20 pieces of Cartier’s Rotonde de Cartier: Panther with Granulation will be produced.