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Cartier Beauties at Watches and Wonders 2024

Watches and Wonders 2024 has been a whirlwind of luxury, navigating through the exquisite displays of renowned watchmakers. The abundance of collections, each vying for attention with its exceptional craftsmanship, has created a delightful dilemma of choice. Among the myriad booths, one stood out in its sheer splendor—the Cartier booth. Cartier epitomizes luxury in both jewelry and watches, showcasing a series of collections that demand admiration and discussion. Here are a few notable pieces that deserve special mention.

The Cartier Tank Mini: Keeping the Flame of Small Watches Alive

The rise of tiny watches among collectors is a recent phenomenon, driven by the proliferation of social media content that has captured the imagination of enthusiasts across generations. This surge in demand for smaller, intricately designed timepieces has garnered significant attention, especially with male celebrities embracing ladies’ watches, sparking a wider conversation about the trend of ‘men in small watches.’ Furthermore, luxury brands are challenging traditional notions of gender in their latest offerings, adopting a more fluid approach that reflects the evolving landscape of the watch industry. This shift indicates a growing openness and inclusivity in watch design and appeal.

The unveiling of the Mini Tank may not be surprising given its alignment with current trends. Yet, its diminutive size remains a point of fascination, provoking strong reactions, and still feels classic. The stark contrast of this petite timepiece on a robust wrist is visually striking, prompting curiosity to witness its actual appearance firsthand. Numerous enthusiasts would acquire one simply to experience the unique sensation of wearing a different style of watch.

The new Cartier Tank Mini LC, measuring 24mm x 16.5mm, features a quartz movement encased in Gold with Roman Indexes and is water-resistant up to 30 meters and features a beautifully glossy black alligator leather strap. The main distinction from its larger modern counterpart is the absence of a chemin-de-fer minutes track. Instead, a subtle line adorns the petite dial, ensuring a clean and uncluttered look. Its smaller dimensions do not detract from its timeless elegance; instead, the watch maintains its classic allure without feeling like a timid miniature version of its larger predecessor.

However, my enthusiasm for the Tank Mini was unexpected. It’s not just small in a traditional “ladies’ watch” sense but rather embodies a wear-what-you-like attitude. Each person has their own way of styling the Tank Mini. The piece strikes a balance between delicacy and practicality, making it easily stackable yet distinct from jewelry-like pieces such as the Baignoire bangle. This downsizing reflects confidence in market trends, responding directly to a clear demand rather than experimenting.

This isn’t a “ladies’ watch” but a “Tiny Tank for all.” Cartier isn’t marketing it divisively; they’re leaving it to us to decide who it fits. It’s a step towards gender fluidity, not just a smaller Tank LC but a mini Tank LC in its own league.
Priced at roughly about $7,000

Reflection de Cartier

The maison also unveiled its latest Reflection de Cartier timepieces, blending elements of jewelry and watches in a unique manner unlike others.

The new Reflection de Cartier leans towards a more classic approach to high jewelry watch design compared to the Baignoire bangle. Its core essence echoing that women crave contemporary, sculptural, and bold gold jewelry infused with timekeeping elements. Offered in plain yellow gold, plain rose gold, and three gem-set options in white gold, this quartz-powered watch is discreetly housed within the cuff’s opening. It has Roman Indexes, with Water resistance to 30 meters. The “reflection” occurs on the opposite side of the cuff’s opening, projecting onto the polished gold surface, creating a captivating reverse time-telling optical illusion. Cartier’s recent endeavors clearly showcase a penchant for enchanting feats. To further elaborate the gemstone options: The first design showcases exclusively white snow-set brilliant-cut diamonds. The second option combines white diamonds with chrysoprase, obsidian, emeralds, and Paraiba tourmalines. Lastly, the third variant includes white diamonds alongside opal, tiger’s eye, amethysts, and spessartite garnets.

In all, there are five new Reflection de Cartier models available.

Diameter: 18.4 x 17.5 mm
Thickness: 8.9 mm

To conclude, the Reflection de Cartier serves as a bold counterpart to the delicate Baignoire bangle, offering a weightier and geometric statement that positions it as a strong contender against the Bulgari Serpenti or a vintage Piaget cuff.

Cartier’s Wild New Animal Jewelry Watch Collection

While Cartier has unveiled numerous captivating new timepiece collections at Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024, it’s this high-jeweled, high-art series that is truly stealing hearts and capturing attention. Their master artisans showcase their expertise with precision in the creation of several new watches, such as the crocodile, tiger, and panther designs, which are meticulously crafted as three-dimensional sculptured timepieces adorned with diamonds and gemstones.

This year introduces multiple interpretations of the crocodile and panther, but the standout Crocodile Jewelry Watches feature the creature’s body and head as the case, encircling the round dial. Available in three white gold variations, each adorned with a distinct color palette of gemstones, these watches showcase the crocodile’s sculpted form, with its head and body encompassing the case from 10:00 to 7:00, ending with the tail elegantly sweeping onto the dial at 7:00. The space between 7:00 and 10:00 is entirely gem-set, complementing the gem-set dial. In each rendition, the crocodile’s body is exquisitely adorned with diamonds.

One variation features a watch entirely set with diamonds, including the dial, case, and crocodile motif. The second version showcases a diamond crocodile set against a backdrop of diamonds and sapphires on both the case and dial. The third iteration boasts a diamond-set bracelet, crocodile design, and a dial adorned with diamonds, sapphires, tourmalines, and emeralds. In all cases, the sculpted crocodile, meticulously set with gems, features a captivating emerald eye.

Another standout is the Panther Jewelry watch, featuring the meticulously sculpted body and head of a panther encircling the round case. The panther is adorned with diamonds and showcases a black enamel spot motif, complemented by a case and dial set with rhodolite garnets, spessartite garnets, onyx, and a mix of yellow and white diamonds.

Another series of exquisite timepieces takes form as sculptures, featuring the head of wild animals—panther, tiger, or crocodile—extending from the bracelet and reaching onto the watch case with their jaws, almost as if ready to seize the lustrous, coveted timepiece. Each of these three watches showcases a sinewy bracelet meticulously set with gemstones, enhancing their allure and craftsmanship. The panther, crafted in 18-karat gold, is adorned with diamonds, while the crocodile features a striking combination of diamonds and emeralds, reflecting its natural habitat. As for the tiger, it is embellished with spinels, spessartite garnets, and yellow and orange sapphires, with a black lacquer nose to authentically replicate the stripes of this enigmatic feline.

Cartier also introduces a series of Animal Jewelry watches that offer a more abstract interpretation of the animals. These timepieces reflect the animals’ coats through a round case intricately adorned with gemstones surrounding a marquis-shaped dial. Variations include a case featuring stripes made of tsavorites, diamonds, and black lacquer, another with black spinel and diamonds, and a rose gold version with rubies, diamonds, and black lacquer. The design leaves observers pondering whether they depict zebras, a blend of zebra and crocodile or tiger, especially when viewed from different angles due to the multiple layers and levels of the case.

In summary, Cartier’s new collection of Animal Jewelry Watches, all featuring quartz movements, is both mesmerizing and enigmatic, drawing viewers in with allure yet hinting at a subtle sense of anticipation. It’s this captivating charm that Cartier’s master designers and artisans aim for, ensuring that every design holds an element of surprise. This collection is a must-see for all enthusiasts.

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