Cartier embodies the notion that fashion fades, but style lives on forever with jewelry and watch creations that have defined timeless elegance for more than 150 years.
The new Ballon Blanc de Cartier collection takes its inspiration from the same spirit of sophisticated style by combining the brandís recognizable design codes in a watch that dazzles with a spectacular bracelet that features more than 9 carats of bezel-set diamonds.
Available in either white or rose gold, the 30mm pebble-shaped case is reminiscent of the Ballon Bleu. Unlike its cousin, however, the Ballon Blanc de Cartier uses a diamond to decorate the crown, which has been shifted to the 4 o'clock position. Even more diamonds cover the bezel, which circles the mother-of-pearl flinquè dial and blued-steel sword-shaped hands.
The firm expands its wildly popular Ballon Bleu de Cartier collection this year with two gem-set, bi-color models that put a fresh spin on this modern-day classic. Both versions accentuate the beautiful juxtaposition created by pairing warm rose gold with cool stainless steel.
The first is presented in a 36mm case and is powered by an automatic movement. Brilliant-cut diamonds cover the rose gold bezel and are used as hour markers on the guillochè dial. A mix of polished and satin finishes gives the gold and steel bracelet a dynamic look. The next model is similar, but with a few key distinctions. Its case is smaller at 33mm and comes on a steel bracelet. Another difference is the dial, which uses Roman numerals to indicate the hours.
Among the maison's most significant contributions to watchmaking has been its successful expansion of the idiom's visual vocabulary with beautiful shapes. From the angular Tank and oval Baignoire to the surrealistic Crash, the brand has never shied away from redefining the idea of what a watch can look like.
One shape in particular has an especially rich history. Round cases were the norm in 1912 when Louis Cartier unveiled the Tortue, a tortoise shell-inspired design that helped set watches free from the confining circular form. Cartier revisits that trailblazing shape this year with a newly redesigned Tortue. The curvilinear outline remains, but the soft, rounded profile of the past has been replaced with a crisp edge that projects a more contemporary character.
The medium-sized Tortue case (39 x 31mm) is offered in either white or rose gold, and its bezel can be set with brilliant-cut diamonds (1.5 carats). Light dances on the dialís undulating waves of fine guillochè, which is bound at the edge by Roman numerals. The brandís signature style informs the overall look, including the gorgeous bracelet. Exquisite finishing ensures its flat links feel soft against the skin as they wrap the wrist in a precious-metal embrace.