“Mesmerizing” is the first word that came to mind when I first laid eyes on the Ballon Bleu de Cartier enamel granulation watch at this year’s SIHH in Geneva. The unique timepiece is entirely handmade at the Cartier Maison des Métiers d’Art, which was opened in 2014 in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. The latest addition to Cartier’s Métiers D’Art watch collection, this timepiece follows the Cartier Ronde Louis Cartier Filigree watch, which was launched around the same time last year.
The new Cartier piece introduces the artistic craft of enamel granulation, which employs the combined mastery of two great skills: enameling and the art of Etruscan granulation, a goldsmith’s skill that dates back to the 3,000 B.C. The Panther’s head featured on the piece is surprisingly lifelike, and it’s all too easy to get lost in the depth of the feline’s gaze.
A timepiece any collector would wear with pride, it’s 42 mm case is made from 18-carat yellow gold and is set with 124 brilliant-cut diamonds. Calibre 049 MC, a mechanical movement with automatic winding, powers the watch. A dark blue strap made from alligator skin adds the touch of subtle sophistication to the timepiece, making it look even more elegant and striking on the wrist.
The Ballon Bleu de Cartier enamel granulation watch is limited to a series 30 pieces, with each one being individually numbered.