We have always been entrepreneurial. We take risks, and we like the challenges that come with entering new markets. Cartier has been in Asia for a long time—we were in Singapore in the early ’70s, and our first boutique in Hong Kong was opened in 1970 at Peninsula Arcade in The Peninsula Hotel. We have 30 boutiques in Japan and we have 18 boutiques in China as of January this year. We have always taken Southeast Asia seriously. There are still markets in Asia that we would like to explore, and South Korea is one example. We have re-opened our boutique in Ginza, Tokyo, which is simply amazing. The US is still a key market, but that doesn’t mean we can leave it alone, of course not. We will have to reinforce our presence there, and so, we will be reopening our 5th Avenue store.
The most distinctive element of the new Clé is the brand new crown shape. It took the developing team a year to develop. The entire watch took a couple of years to complete, from the design to the final product.
On inspirations and ideas.
The inspiration behind the design and the aesthetic comes from architecture and every element from the daily life of our designers, and anything that they find interesting. It has all the elements of Cartier’s DNA, from its Art Deco design influence to the blue numerals on the dial, which are iconic of Cartier. We have a huge archive for inspirations. We have been making watches for more than century and created many shapes throughout that time, and it is almost impossible to remember them all. We felt that it was the right time to come up with a new shape, mainly to surprise and excite the clients with something new, instead of looking at the old ones over and over again. It would be something new for our fans to add to their large collection of Cartier watches. The new shape also helps to create a new emotion.
On in-house manufacture calibre: The Clé de Cartier is a brand new watch and, yes, we have also created a new movement, the Calibre 1847MC, which we named after the year that the company was founded, naturally. It is more basic: it has a base movement, one rapid barrel that helps increase chronometry and a self-winding mechanism. Yes, you will see it in our watches in the near future. We have been very busy over the last 10 years and we have about 40 different calibres in our watches now. Why so many? Our objective is to create the right movement to serve the right style. We don’t design our watches around the movement; they are designed together. Perhaps design comes first. After all, we are a jeweller as well, and we are in the business of always creating something new. They reinvent the watch, but we create.