Top 10 exceptional Cartier watches from animal watch collection

Andrea Divirgilio / April 9, 2012

Cartier’s expertise in jewelry design has seen roots in its watch making acumen that has made watch collectors hanker for more. Whether it was the pocket watch of yore, the Santos design or aviator inspirations, Cartier’s design definitions have linked usability with a touch of elegance and glamor. Cartier’s Arts Series, an amalgam of animal and innovative materials and ancient techniques adds on to the novel experience in its timeless skills of horlogerie. The top 10 Cartier designs in the animal series are well worth a closer look.

PROMENADE D’UNE / Panther watch:

The Promenade D’une is one of Cartier’s watch entries in the ladies segment that makes it go beyond delicate design norms. This automatic rhodium-plated white gold creation combines a complicated in-house Cartier signature movement with a winding rotor that is inverted.

The rotor circles the dial snugly within a beautifully crafted wheel. The watch, an extension of Cartier’s jewelry and accessories under the Panthere series, is also embellished with round decorative diamonds. The diamond-set panther arouses interest because of its panther-shaped white gold oscillating weight at the front of the watch piece. The white gold panther shape oscillator bears dark purple mother of pearls throughout the body in its 6 o’clock to 9 o’clock placing in the watch model.

The 42mm casing, created with 18-carat rhodium-plated white gold has a thin layer of rhodium that covers the case as well as the ardillon buckle. The buckle, made up of white gold renders a “shiny” feel to the watch piece.

The watch piece is powered with Cartier’s own Caliber 9603 MC automatic movement and has a power reserve of 48-hours that needs to be rewound for energy efficiency. The black semi-matte alligator skin strap gets accentuated by the side crown, also made of white gold and decorated with a single diamond.

The rotor, placed at the lower part of the dial that bears the diamonds-set panther could perhaps make checking time a bit cumbersome to read the hour and minute hands below the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock time margins. As a jewelry piece it’s an innovative accessory!

Bird Watch/ Tourbillon and Bird Watch

The exquisite Tourbillon and Bird Watch theme is an 18k white gold creation that exemplifies Cartier designs adding vigor to its animal and bird series of watch models. The unique bird design is embedded and placed within the 6 o’clock to 9 o’clock positions.

The bejeweled watch accentuates the bird form with its exquisitely set cut-diamonds. The beaded crown is further set with sapphire crystals in addition to its diamond decoration. This unique Cartier ensemble justifies the mechanical movement with manual winding with its signature 9458 MC Caliber flying tourbillion.

The 18K white gold bird is coated with rhodium and is quite the pièce de résistance feature with its intricate combination of white diamonds and a brandy-colored diamond. The emerald eye of the bird gets accentuated by the translucent blue opaque, orange, yellow and white enamel finish of the bird form. In addition, the blue-steel sword-shaped hands provide the right ‘tick’ to mount the movements around it.

The 18K rhodium-plated white gold dial with its dark purple mother-of-pearl and Tahitian mother-of-pearl provides the right base to mount the bird tourbillion. The case dimensions at 44.5 mm offers a Geneva Seal certification on the transparent back. The watch is water resistant up to 3 bar (30 meters/100 feet).

The matted strap made of alligator skin, with its 18 mm adjustable buckle also comprises of 18K rhodium-plated white gold set in brilliant-cut diamonds. A watch accessory that could just add to one’s flight of fantasy!

Rotonde de Cartier/Tiger Motif

Blending in with Cartier’s innovative traditional and modern ethos in its watch creations, the Rotonde de Cartier Tiger Motif sets the pace for this wrist watch for men that generated quite an allure with its limited 100 timepieces. Each of the pieces with individual serial numbers pay tribute to the unique art of enameling technique or ‘Grisaille’ which has found extensive footage in Cartier’s signature bejeweled watch categories.

The Grisaille enamel technique borrows its character from the impact of gray shades in its designs and thus named ‘grisaille’ or ‘shades of grey’ in French. This monochrome grey character has been unleashed in Cartier’s mystical and hypnotizing tiger-faced dial, the prime feature of the Rotonde de Cartier Tiger Motif watch-work.

The black and white canvas unfolds the majestic allure of the 18-carat white gold tiger design, casting a mesmerizing spell. The ‘spellbinding tiger impact’ marks close to 40 hours of hard sweat by seasoned enamel artisans for this watch piece.

The “breguet-type” hands, created out of blued steel are placed at the center of dial, which in turn has been protected by a sapphire glass. The granular textured circular crown has been decorated with cabochon sapphire. There are no hour-markings on the dial which is powered with a Caliber 9601 MC mechanical movement. The manual winding requires to be rewound for efficiency.

With a diameter of 42 mm, the casing provides water resistance at a depth of 30 m. The semi-matte black alligator skin compliments the 18-carat white gold look of the case with its classic round shape. The crown, located at the right side of the case, is embedded with diamonds and sapphire cabochon.

This tiger model breathes life into the ancient Grisaille enameling technique and testifies the birth of this coveted piece!

Large model Tortue Watch

The 80-piece limited edition collection compliments Cartier’s time-tested innovations that render traditional artistry to its contemporary watch models. The mother-of-pearl, champlevé enameled version, bearing a cockatoo motif in the large model Tortue watch is a reckoner for this animal version watch piece.

The translucency of the mother-of-peal has been used to layer the dial with slivers of this material that stir up the soft plumage vision of the cockatoo bird at the center of the dial. This laborious color controlled art work combines this technique with naturalists’ motifs that defines 50 hours of timeless creation in this one piece!

This 18-carat rhodium-plated white gold watch case gets an extra fillip with its 2.1 carats 133 brilliant-cut diamonds. The two brilliantly-cut rows of diamonds on either side of the dial augment the vision of the cockatoo bird, supposedly urging for its flight to fancy!

The feathered engraving of the motif bears distinction in the chiseled impact of the burin, a tool that testifies a craftsman’s penchant to create subtle shades in the motif. The slow color regression from the fading pink pastel shade to arrive at the cloudy white hue imparts an illusion of depth, an intricate feature of the cockatoo dial design.

The rest of the bird pattern has been contrasted with bold colors; the beak and eye are shaded black with yellow depicting the comb of the bird.

The sparkling pink alligator skin strap is provided with an adjustable folding clutch, also made up of 18-carat, rhodium-plated white gold. With a manual-winding, mechanical caliber of 430 MC, the watch lays bare the passion of Cartier’s Artisans and their deep rooted sense of three-dimensional watch antiquity!

Panda Watch: Secret Panda Watch

Cartier’s famed and limited edition Le Cirque Animalier collection gives repute to the Secret Panda watch piece, an exquisite imagery of the panda, bejeweled in gold and finely cut-diamonds.

With 50 limited edition pieces that are individually numbered, the panda adds on a luxurious volume to the watch piece. No wonder, this piece was much acclaimed by the jury in its debut year of 2008 by winning the Best jewelry watch price.

The jeweled secret panda watch is an amusing creation that highlights its rhodium-plated case, set in white gold with well-cut rounded diamonds that decorate the body of the miniature panda. The gentle yet supple panda features bear resemblance to the exotic animal in its 3-D depiction through the use of black sapphires and emeralds for the eye, which adds on to the sparkle.

The panda watch creation has a hint of Cartier’s signature enamel technique with a few details that has been engraved in black and white enamel against the black dial. Bamboo stalks and eucalyptus leaves in white enamel depicts Chinese landscape. A part of the bejeweled panda’s paws is depicted as holding on to a disc of black enamel, a part of the studded inner dial.

The stylish dark grey brushed, canvas strap is attached to an ardillon; an 18k white gold buckle that has been decorated with round diamonds. The 8k quartz-propelled movement testifies Cartier’s exquisiteness in the panda jewelry design!

Horse Motif Watch

Traditional and delicate gem stone mosaic technique has found its pride of place in Cartier’s white gold Santos-Dumont XL watch gemstone mosaic theme.

A revival of traditional mosaic gemstone art, the hand-crafted process has found meticulous depiction at the base of the Horse Motif watch dial with tiny tiled squares that have been positioned individually. The metallic horse motif has been created using a group of irregularly shaped mosaic pieces or tesserae. While the neck, mane and nose is engraved in gold, the harness and tassel has been painted in red.

The horse relief is an intricate composition of 400-miniscule tesserae that adds depth giving an impact of light as part of the horse pattern. Cacholong or Kalmuck Agate, as it is commonly known is a form of Opal that outlines the head and neck of the horse relief in the form of irregularly shaped bits and chips. The creativity in the dial, a proud combination of mosaic intricacies adds to the allure of the esteem horse breed, that renders an almost springing action to the stallion!

Natural and time-tested stone chips of jasper and its variations such as Earth jasper, Kalahari jasper and grey Madagascar jasper has been interwoven with chocolate obsidian and pink opal to complete a colored stone palette for the base of the dial case.

The rectangular unisex watch piece is aimed as a watch accessory for both men and women. Powered by a 430 MC caliber movement, the rectangular watch bears a white gold crown that has been decorated with a facetted sapphire.

The stallion motif watch design showcases true craftsmanship with sheer labor requiring 120 work hours to create this one piece. With 50 hours pledged to create the horse and another 70 hours for the background, makes this piece a coveted one!

The unique horlogerie also gets a little bit more intriguing with 40 pieces of the limited-edition version being crafted without stones; whereas ten timepieces in the series has been set with baguette-cut diamonds that makes the collection an important one to vie for!

Panthère Secrète De Cartier Watch

Panthère Secrète De Cartier watch displays an elegant and feminine lineage, exclusively for women. The watch is positioned to lure the sophisticated lass with a penchant for mechanical caliber in modern watch accessories. According to Cartier, the design is a tribute to women and spells charisma and sensuality in the limited edition watch piece.

The Panthère Secrète watch design follows Cartier’s signature trait in this series that heralds a white gold panther on the dial. The white gold case is plated with rhodium which adds to the durability; whereas the body of the panther as also the rest of the watch casing bears white diamonds. The panther gets its spots from the purple pearl decoration on its body adding a rare sparkle to the line.

Panthère Secrète is adjudged as a rare entity in women’s watch category for its timelessness in adhering to high standards of mechanical movement with a dial side rotor. The watch compliments the art and science of creating watches that redefines up-market style statement.

The Panther is beyond its aesthetic benefits and doubles up as the oscillating weight that triggers mainspring movements to power the hour and minute hands. Due to its special configuration, the watch design can provide dual symphony in its mechanical movement as well as serve as an automatic quartz watch.

The sliding panther head makes it unique in this range; there is an option to either cover the face of the watch with the panther head motif or to slide it up and reveal the exquisite craftsmanship of the panther’s in-built decorative appeal. The head of the panther is encrusted with round cut-diamonds while green tourmaline gems have been used to bring the opulence in the panther’s eyes.

The Panthère Secrète, a 42 mm diameter 18-carat white gold case is decorated with 6.8 carats worth of 633 jewels in all. The black mother-of-pearl dial is beaded with a diamond crown set. Powered by the self-winding 9603 MC mechanical movement, the entire watch piece is embellished with 31 jewels with a frequency of 4Hz. A black quasi matte strap made up of alligator skin adds to the look.

The movement is so set that it can prevent the Panther dial from spinning uncontrollably. The movement’s position is on the dial side of the watch which could make reading time a bit difficult. In fashion parlance, Panthère Secrète De Cartier could just be the one piece of jewelry that is slated to open up new design frontiers for women!

Bee Décor Watch

A unique combination of quartz, yellow gold, diamonds and fabric in the Bee Décor watch is another inspired piece in the Cartier Le Cirque Animalier watch range. This range goes beyond being time devices but, exemplifies the art of storytelling in its miniature bird, bees and animal creations.

The luxurious Bee Décor limited edition decorative watch piece is a delight to the eyes with its 18k finely-built pair of bees in miniature forms which form an integral part of the watch case. Adorned with radiant diamonds, Cartier’s signature black enamel finish imparts a spectacular quality to the bees rendering them almost ‘real’.

The bees are engulfed by a circle of brilliantly cut diamonds. The yellow gold finish of the sword-like hour hands is mounted on the translucent yellow signature champlevé enamel dial. Cartier’s signature beige toile brossee powdered fabric strap adds to the allure of the watch piece, blending in perfect harmony with the dial hue.

Touted in the luxury range, the bumble bee inspired creation is definitely a must for the fashion conscious queen bee of all!

Secret Watch with Phoenix Décor

The Cartier Secret watch with phoenix décor is an extraordinary jewelry piece that transcends time boundaries. It is a wonder jewelry piece that could pass off as a watch that transforms into a wrist-let or vice versa!

Embellished with around 3,000 odd diamonds and weighing close tot 80.13 carats, the unsurpassable $ 2,775,0002 design extravaganza remains popular since its launch in 2010. A Cartier masterpiece, the phoenix décor watch piece joins in the red carpet league for its bracelet-like ensemble. The diamonds and precious stones are patterned exquisitely on 18k rhodium-plated white gold.

The Cartier Secret watch with phoenix décor offers a luxurious twist to the ubiquitous wristwatch by shaping the timepiece in the form of the phoenix. The exoticism of the phoenix renders elegance to the watch model which is further accentuated by the use of emeralds for the eyes. A single pear-shaped cut diamond weighing 3.53 carats adds to the luster.

Whether you crave for a bracelet or an ultra-luxurious watch piece, the Cartier Secret watch with phoenix décor is a story that remains to be unraveled!

Cartier Cirque Animalier Elephant Watch

The Cartier Cirque Animalier Elephant Watch is a piece belonging to the original 2008 debut collection depicting Asian animals in the series. The limited edition trio-collection includes the panda, the tiger and the elephant. The collection pegged close to $156,600 per piece convey immaculate pieces conjured by Cartier’s line of top-end designers.

An exquisite piece built-in with 7.2k diamond and 18k rose gold holds the delicate little elephant with its sparkling diamonds facade. Embellished with innumerable diamonds, the 18k white gold elephant is programmed with an in-house quartz movement.

The large-eyed elephant form, outlined in white gold and covered with diamonds rests on the shimmery diamond outlay atop the pink and gold watch dial. The elephant renders a soothing and timid expression in the detailed watch appeal that is expressed with an emerald stud that defines the eye of the elephant.

The 18k carat rose gold case with a diameter of 46 mm is coated with rhodium. The dial has been partially adorned with guilloche. The ball outline that holds the elephant is adorned with four stars, also exquisitely made up of diamonds.

The Cirque Animalier collection depicts a story and the Cartier elephant piece stages the first step while depicting the passage of time within two concentric circles that complement each other. The entire elephant motif along with the dial design is mounted on a dark grey, brushed canvas strap that is adorned with a pink gold and diamond buckle.

The success of the Cirque Animalier collection with its Asian feel is a precursor to elaborate on the Cartier collection depicting North American animals in the raccoon, the alligator, and the eagle and the story remains unending!

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