THE FE­LINE PROWLS AGAIN

Cartier re­launches the Pan­thère de Cartier

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Contents - Text Ter­ence Lim

Cartier shows off its pan­ther prow­ess again

In a tough year be­sieged with re­tail woes and a slow econ­omy, ev­ery watch brand—big or small— needs a vol­ume driver. A col­lec­tion that will fly off the shelves, if you will. It will hope­fully cush­ion any short­fall caused by other fac­tors. In the case of Cartier, it finds its mag­i­cal fi­nan­cial panacea in the Pan­thère de Cartier.

It’s re­ally hard not to like the col­lec­tion. For one, it smacks of Eight­ies styling, mak­ing it au courant and in line with the vin­tage trend that the fash­ion world is ob­sessed with th­ese few sea­sons. The Pan­thère de­buted back in 1983 and fast be­came an icon for the House thanks its strong looks—square case with curved cor­ners, screws on the bezel, Ro­man nu­mer­als and railway track in­dex. It even sported a tiny Cartier logo in one of the strokes of the X digit. It be­came wildly pop­u­lar then be­cause of its wear­a­bil­ity and the op­tions of­fered—there were many ref­er­ences at mul­ti­ple price points, which meant that the Pan­thère spoke to a very wide au­di­ence. Be­cause of chang­ing trends, the col­lec­tion was dis­con­tin­ued in the early 2000s.

This year, Cartier —smartly—res­ur­rected the Pan­thère de Cartier as a full col­lec­tion. It even adopts the same tack in the Eight­ies, of­fer­ing it as a watch for ev­ery­one. It comes in three sizes with steel, pink, yel­low or white gold vari­ants. There are be­jew­elled ver­sions of vary­ing de­grees and even a lac­quer and pink gold one (right).

Prices range from $5,500 to $194,000. Aes­thet­ics-wise, it is an ex­act replica of the orig­i­nal with changes made to only the move­ment and bracelet. The quartz cal­i­bre that pow­ers the col­lec­tion is a mod­ern and more re­li­able one, while the bracelet has been re­designed to be more sup­ple and er­gonomic.

And in a move to up the col­lec­tion’s hip fac­tor, Cartier en­gaged award-win­ning di­rec­tor Sofia Coppola to di­rect a short film. With Coppola grow­ing up in the Eight­ies, the Cartier fan chan­nelled her vision of the decade and in­ter­pre­ta­tion of a Pan­thère woman into the film.

“When Cartier told me that they wanted to make a film for the re­launch of the Pan­thère de Cartier watch, I first thought: Who is a Pan­thère woman? What would her en­vi­ron­ment be? I love the Pan­thère watch, so I was happy to make a film which cap­tured the chic and the glam­our of what it says to me,” said the 46-year-old di­rec­tor.

“When the Pan­thère watch came out in 1983, there were so many great movies, and I love the stars of that time. I re­mem­ber the glam­ourous kind of women who wore a Pan­thère watch. It was just a stylish time to re­mem­ber and to pro­pose a mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of it. The Pan­thère woman is el­e­gant, so­phis­ti­cated, chic and glam­ourous, still sexy and fun.”

Known for her eye for de­tails, Coppola was spot-on with the zeit­geist of the 1980s in her film, which comes in 30- and 60-sec­ond ver­sions. Shot on lo­ca­tion in Los Angeles, the short stars Aus­tralian ac­tress Court­ney Ea­ton of Gods of Egypt fame and Brook­lyn and Amanda Su­dano, daugh­ters of 1970s disco queen Donna Sum­mer. Lo­ca­tions in­clude Union Sta­tion, Gior­gio’s (a fa­mous night­club) and Fox Res­i­dence— fa­mous spots with a glo­ri­ous past. The Beguiled di­rec­tor even colour-cor­rected the short fea­ture to in­clude a tinge of yel­low to evoke memories of the 1980s.

The Pan­thère de Cartier is no horo­log­i­cal magic and Cartier is not deny­ing it. In­stead it builds an at­trac­tive image that ap­peals to mod­ern women—and a younger de­mo­graphic, at that. In do­ing so, it speaks to its cur­rent clien­tele as well as as­pir­ing ones. The Pan­thère de Cartier is very much as a low-hang­ing fruit. But if it works—and it should— Cartier will be reap­ing the fruits of its suc­cess.

“The Pan­thère watch is unique be­cause it is a piece of jew­ellery that you can wear in the day as a glam­our look as well as in the evening.” — SOFIA COPPOLA (RIGHT), DI­REC­TOR.

The Pan­thère de Cartier is sim­ple, el­e­gant and fash­ion­able at the same time. Fac­ing page: Court­ney Ea­ton stars in the Coppola short film about the watch.

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