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

Gas and its Bohemian workshop

A visit to the Gas workshop, the beating heart of the brand’s “solar chic” style de the hills above Marseille. After a lunch with a chorus of cicadas, under...

1970s Piaget watches at Artcurial

This exceptional sale entitled “Time is Feminine” features fifteen vintage women’s watches signed Piaget.

“Precious Ballerinas” by Van Cleef & Arpels

The ballerinas at the heart of the new Van Cleef & Arpels exhibition were inspired in the 1940s by the paintings of Edgard Degas.

“Time is feminine” the french jewelry post editorial

It is with great pleasure that we present the editorial for this Artcurial catalogue, which pays tribute to the vintage watches gathered for this...

Couture jewelry at The Vintage Collector’s Fair

On December 1 and 2, fashion antiques dealer Catherine Lecomte is bringing together fifteen or so colleagues at the Bristol Hotel. “High-end vintage”...

“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...