Cartier says its new Libre collection of jewelry watches “was born of a desire to play with the Maison’s signature watch shapes.” The luxury brand seemed to have done more than play with new shapes as these watches are stretched, shrunk and transformed into objects without boundaries. Libre means “free” and in this case it is interpreted as unlimited in scope with proportions disrupted, volumes accentuated and lines lengthened.
All of the jewelry watches in the collection, which will be officially unveiled at SIHH 2018, are limited-edition and individually numbered. Three of the watches combine white gold, diamonds and black spinels. All of the watches are unusual recreations of the oval shape. Although it is a new collection, a few of the watches are an interpretation of familiar Cartier models.
Baignoire Débordante (Bath Overflowing)
This oval-shaped watch is made of white gold in an open-worked design that extends well beyond the case and dotted with white diamonds and black spinels. It is powered by a quartz movement and is limited to 50 pieces.
Baignoire Infinie (Infinite Bath)
This is a new streamlined interpretation of the Baignoire Allongée watch that is stretched and flattened, The dial is paved with baguette-cut diamonds, white mother-of-pearl, Tahitian mother-of-pearl, and black spinels that appear like tile on the watch face set in a white gold case. In the center is a minuscule black dial. It is powered by a quartz movement and is limited to 20 pieces.
Baignoire Etoilée (Starry Bath)
The white gold case and bracelet is adorned with a crystalline cascade of glittering diamonds and black spinels that appear suspended across the skin. The contrasting colors cast sparkling illusions around a petite black oval dial turned sideways and set with a double row of diamonds and black spinels. It is powered by a quartz movement and limited to 15 pieces.
Baignoire Interdite (Forbidden Bath)
Like the previous watch, this piece turns the oval case on its side. Oversized Roman made of black ADLC (amorphous diamond-like carbon) wraps around the white case and diamond bezel in strips providing a distorted view of the dial. It is powered by a quartz movement and is limited to 50 pieces.
Crash Radieuse (Radiant Crash)
The Crash is one of Cartier’s best-known watch shapes. In this new interpretation of the 50-year-old design, the crushed dial and yellow-gold case feature gadroon-shaped black lines and edges that appear like shockwaves. Behind the lines on the dial are outsize Roman numerals. Combined they create a hallucinogenic effect that Cartier says is even more extreme than the already extreme watch shape. It is the only watch in the new collection powered by a manually wound movement, the caliber 8970 MC. It is limited to 50 pieces.