Cartier high jewelery watches encompass playful design codes
The Indomitables de Cartier watch collection draws on Cartier’s history of incorporating animals into iconic designs
A menagerie of animals combines to make fantastical forms in the new Cartier high jewelery watches. Crocodiles, panthers, zebras, giraffes and tigers playfully wrest a diamond-studded dial in the Indomitables de Cartier collection, which draws on Cartier’s rich history of incorporating animals into humorous and intricate designs.
‘Two animals or the same animal’s head facing another head is tradition in ancient jewelery from Greece or China and even the Middle East, so it is really as old as jewelery is,’ points out Cartier director of image, style and heritage Pierre Rainero. ‘So it’s an allusion to the essence of the roots of jewellery, but also a play with the Cartier way of representing animals, because we always had that kind of representation in rings, necklaces, and bracelets, but this time we went further, opposing or creating encounters between different animals, and Cartier animals because all of them belong to the traditional Cartier Bestiary: the crocodiles, the tigers, the panthers, the giraffes, the zebras. So we also have that playfulness here, and it’s intentional.’ With the animals embracing unexpected patterns, the pieces not only subvert traditional representations but also encompass playful design codes.
The depiction of the animals themselves is a naturalistic one, reflected in the glistening of the crocodile’s scales and the graphic stripes of the zebra. ‘There is a refinement linked to the naturalistic approach, which is in the design,’ says Rainero. ‘The design on paper is an intention to show the effect or the field in which we want to put the creation, but then there’s a step which is very important, which is the sculpture itself. In fact, we can only be satisfied when the sculpture, which is a piece of art in a way, is achieved. The scales, fur or even expression of the head of each of the animals is decided at the stage of a sculpture.’
He adds: ‘It is a spontaneous creation, and the motivation is there to push further in the way Cartier creates and that sense of humor is something we discussed with the designers because it was very present, for instance, in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. We thought that today we needed that again.’ §