A strong idea, says Pierre Rainero, isn’t static. Not ever. Strong ideas pave the way for new creative expressions long after they are conceived, maybe even generations after. This, he says, is one of the core tenets of Cartier replica watches, which has guaranteed the longevity of the brand and the loyalty of it’s clientele since it was founded 170 years ago, in 1847, in Paris, France.
“Ideas are strong when they open doors to other ideas. The strength of an idea relies only on it’s capacity to do this,” he says, with a glint in his eye that could match the many bejewelled creations of the brand.
Rainero, who is the image, style and heritage director at Cartier, was alluding to the Replica Ronde Louis Cartier XL flame gold watch, one of the stunning new timepieces presented by the maison at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Geneve (SIHH) in Geneva, Switzerland three weeks ago.
The watch boasts a rather traditional white gold canvas framed with a bezel of baguette-cut diamonds. But a glance at the dial will knock down any notion of this being, in any way, shape or form, a traditional timepiece.
The dial showcases a brand new technique called flamed gold, originally a method of manually heating the hands and screws of a watch to a shade of rich blue to harden and strengthen the components. The technique is the same but the results go beyond fortifying components here.
Cartier applies the technique first on the watch’s solid gold dial, which features the engraving of a panther’s face on it. Various degrees of heat are used to achieve different nuances of colour on the dial. First, a very high temperature is applied, resulting in a deep blue. Then, parts of this layer are brushed or engraved further before the process is repeated, with a slightly lower heat, to get a lighter shade of blue. This process is repeated many times in different temperatures until the mens cartier replica watches and the panther are immaculately shaded – the head of the panther in softer shades of beige and brown against a brilliant blue backdrop.
It’s a painstaking process, Rainero admits, but one that will be revisited by the maison in the future.
“This is what I mean by a strong idea. This technique will open doors to many other interpretations (in the future) even though it is particularly relevant in this piece in depicting the nuances on the head of the panther. It’s not like anything else and we are really pleased with it,” he says with obvious pride not just in the Ronde Louis Cartier piece but the heritage of Cartier the maison which he has been a part of since 1984.
“We have enormous pleasure in what we do. We all feel a sort of pride and honour to be able to work within a house like this. At the same time, the weight of responsibility is huge as what we do now will not just be judged today but also in the future,” he explains.
Another timepiece that drew gasps when presented to the media at the show was the Panthère Joueuse de Cartier, a playful piece featuring the signature panther which was a motif first introduced by Cartier designer Jeanne Toussaint in the early 1900s.
This piece is just pure delight – elegant, bold and playful all at once. A diamond-set 18 carot white gold panther sits as the centrepiece on the pitch black dial and appears to be in pursuit of a ball – a large diamond representing the hours. There are no hands on this watch, the panther’s paw (as it chases the ball) represents the minutes and when it actually catches the ball, an hour has passed. It’s dazzling (255 diamonds were used for cat alone with black lacquer spots and two shaped emeralds to form the eyes), it’s cool and ingenious. The watch is powered by the in-house Calibre 9918 MC automatic movement with a 48 power reserve and is housed in a 40mm white gold case paved with 320 diamonds and fitted with an alligator strap. There is also a version with a pavé bracelet.
Also a crowd pleaser was the panthère de cartier replica series, originally introduced in 1984 and another classic representation of Cartier. The Panthère de Cartier is a volume collection with multiple references and price points which is something that will surely be appreciated in the current market.
The design is exactly the same as the original – a square case with screws on the bezel, Roman numerals, a railway track index and a discreet Cartier logo on top.
The line which was discontinued in the early 2000s, is now resurrected as a full collection in three sizes with a pave version, a lacquer and pink gold version and a yellow gold version.
“I am very happy to bring back the Panthère. It is a very beautiful and strong design … so strong that we didn’t need to make any adjustments. We did consider it but we decided it is just right the way it is. I think that shows you how proud we are of this watch,” says Rainero.
A stand out is definitely the new pink gold and lacquer version which from afar looks like the spots of a panther but upon closer inspection is very modern and geometrical in its alternating squares.
Rainero and his team had toyed with the ideas of bringing back the Panthère for a few years but this year, he says, it felt right.
“We saw signs around us. Clients who had decided to wear it again or daughters who were taking it from their mothers’ collections. We began to see more of it on social media too which was an indication that it was (getting more) popular.
“But really, it was more a feeling than a thinking. We wanted a fake cartier women’s watches just for ladies this year that was a cross between a watch and a piece of jewellery. This is it … it is perfect. Strong but also feminine with it’s curved, round shapes. Creation is always that … part thinking, part feeling,” says Rainero, adding that the response to the reintroduction of the Panthère so far has proven that their gut feeling was spot on.