Just when you thought Cartier had reached the limits of creativity and inventiveness with it’s signature motif, the Panther, another exquisite manifestation appears to completely outdo the last. The Microsculpture scène Panthères takes watchmaking’s metiers to a whole new level, from simple engraved and hand-finished gold to miniature sculpture.
Not one but five sinuous panthers (three adults, two babies) circle the movement components in a deep, open-worked dial, a feat that required 160 hours of hand work. The Panthers are carved out of 18k white gold, against a backdrop of black onyx, and surrounded by foliage in what is meant to be a “savannah” scene. They appear to be stalking the movement – the Poinçon de Genève manual-wound flying tourbillon caliber 9458 MC.
In case this doesn’t catch your eye, the bezel, lugs and crown are set with about 250 diamonds, totaling seven carats. The white gold of the dial and sculptures is rhodiumized, which means it is given a coating of rhodium, a platinum group metal, that keeps it white and shiny. This is a limited edition of 30 pieces. If you are one of the lucky 30 who acquire one, and you are also an avid diver, you will be happy to know it is water resistant to 30 meters.