The Skele­ton Key


Hong Kong Tatler - - Tatler Focus Cartier -

With an eye to be­ing in­ven­tive and bold, Cartier’s Fine Watch­mak­ing di­vi­sion has grown over the last few years, in­tro­duc­ing 29 move­ments in­clud­ing a num­ber of in­ter­est­ing horo­log­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions. Never los­ing sight of its her­itage and the de­sign codes which has made the brand fa­mous, it nev­er­the­less has man­aged to play with tra­di­tion and cre­ate ex­cit­ing new pieces that fans of the brand and watch col­lec­tors have en­joyed.

This year, the brand turns its at­ten­tion to the skele­tonised move­ment, launch­ing three pieces over the year that high­light the in­tri­ca­cies of the style, but also its adapt­abil­ity to dif­fer­ent cases and shapes. Since the 1930s when skele­tonised move­ments first be­gan to ap­pear, the Mai­son has pi­o­neered the art form and this year, has brought to life three in­no­va­tive pieces.

Launched at this year’s Watches and Won­ders in Hong Kong, the Pasha de Cartier 42mm Skele­ton Dragon Mo­tif com­bines in­spired cre­ativ­ity and an­cient Chi­nese leg­ends into one in­tri­cate, el­e­gant cal­i­bre. In hon­our of the brand’s first links to China which were

es­tab­lished in 1888, this piece in­tro­duces the cal­i­bre 9617 MC with man­ual wind­ing carved with the shape of a dragon and set with 233 di­a­monds and a mar­quise- cut tsa­vorite on the front. En­tirely vis­i­ble through the sap­phire case­back, the in­tri­cate dragon is a beau­ti­ful sight to be­hold.

The dragon is set in the Pasha de Cartier, one of the Mai­son’s clas­sic mod­els, which was in­spired by a round wrist­watch in­tro­duced to the Cartier col­lec­tion in 1943. Known for its round case and screw- down crown cap at­tached to the case by a small chain, the Pasha watch is a clas­sic model. The new Pasha de Cartier 42mm Skele­ton Dragon Mo­tif is a jew­ellery ver­sion of this piece with the case set with bril­liant­cut di­a­monds and a black al­li­ga­tor strap.

Also launched this year at Jan­uary’s SIHH, the new Tank Louis Cartier Sap­phire Skele­ton watch also plays on the con­cept of the skele­ton watch, com­bin­ing the el­e­gant but strong aes­thet­ics of the iconic Tank watch with a se­ries of “weight­less cir­cles” that make up the skele­ton move­ment.

Cre­ated back in 1917, the Tank is known for its case, which aligns with the size and shape of the strap, cre­at­ing a strong bracelet- shape that sits smoothly on the wrist. It blends both moder­nity and clas­si­cal el­e­ments. The new Tank Louis Cartier Sap­phire Skele­ton is both a new de­vel­op­ment for the Tank and skele­tonised move­ment as the move­ment fea­tures a patent- pend­ing trans­par­ent plate, which uses sap­phire crys­tal and fea­tures ad­join­ing cir­cles of metal that ap­pear to float in the air. Mea­sur­ing 30mm in di­ame­tre, the watch is a sub­tle bal­ance be­tween form and tech­ni­cal skill.

The sec­ond skele­tonised Tank launched at this year’s SIHH was the Tank MC TwoTone Skele­ton, a mas­cu­line time­piece that fea­tures the Mai­son’s first two- toned ver­sion of the cal­i­bre 9611 MC. With im­pos­ing sig­na­ture bridges and over­sized Ro­man nu­mer­als II, VI, IX and XII which struc­ture the move­ment, the watch feels big in per­son­al­ity. The two- tone treat­ment ac­cen­tu­ates this with the black ar­eas high­light­ing the tech­ni­cal na­ture of the move­ment and its num­ber cut- outs, while the fine gold cov­ers the an­gles of the cal­i­bre to match the case and high­light the tra­di­tional cham­fer­ing that is car­ried out by hand in the tra­di­tion of fine watch­mak­ing.

Pasha de Cartier 42mm Skele­ton Dragon Mo­tif

Tank MC Two-tone Skele­ton and Tank Louis Cartier Sap­phire Skele­ton

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