17 February 2016

The suspended time of Cartier

During the 2016 SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) in Geneva, Cartier has presented its mysterious watch transposed onto sumptuous bracelets.

Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, a famous illusionist and enthusiast of automatons and also watches, invented the Cartier mysterious watch movement integrated into pieces of jewelry featuring a dragon or a snake. In the nineteenth century, it was he who developed a transparent dial with an isolated movement where the hands are seemingly suspended in space. In reality, they are fixed in two turning crystal discs with serrated metal edges that are connected to a hidden rack in the frame. The latter’s attachment is usually hidden in the base of the mechanism. This “magic trick” won over Cartier that began regularly producing models from 1912. This unprecedented combination highlights the ingenuity and virtuosity of these singular workings amidst the decorative patterns of Eastern inspiration like chimeras, dragons and Buddhas. For over 100 years, the wealth of materials, onyx, enamel, jade, diamonds or moonstone echoes these architectural lines. Time in reality, does seem suspended.

Most popular articles

“Tuaregs” at the Musée des Confluences

This exhibition highlights the jewelry of the nomadic tribes of the Sahara. Often dismissed as worthless trinkets by the public, they are in fact rich in...

Contemporary art in the “Medusa” exhibition

Around twenty works of contemporary art set the pace of the “Medusa”exhibition, helping to break the clichés linked to the jewel of the “too precious”, the...

Precious wood

Wood is not immediately associated with jewelry and yet … It allows contemporary creators to free themselves from the constraints of such traditional...

The Leopards Awards

Promoting history, the present and the future of British jewelry: this is the goal of the first Leopards Awards, to be launched on November 15th at a gala...

Avant-garde jewelry in the “Medusa” exhibition

A large part of the exhibition is dedicated to this type of jewelry, also known as “contemporary” jewelry and still relatively unknown in...

In bits

Contrary to popular thought, the more precious the materials with which a jewelry piece is made, the less likely it will come through time intact.