For over the last 170 years Cartier has influenced the fine jewelry styles as well as the watch industry. Some of Cartier’s most iconic pieces of jewelry and watches resemble the elegant and powerful panther. The Panthère motif was Jeanne Toussaint’s excellent idea. Back in those days, Toussaint, as Head of Creation at Cartier, designed the Panthère wristwatch with wildcat print made of gold and black enamel. Today the French Maison shares some new Haute Joaillerie releases that refer to its wild heritage.

The Libre collection focuses on some of the most exotic shapes the French brand has ever conceived. The first highly jeweled creation is the Baignoire. On Fratello, we’re more than used to seeing turtles feature in watch design, but rarely like this! No, this is no Seiko. I’m afraid it isn’t even a dive watch. Rather, this stunning piece is inspired by the turtle’s shell. It is topped with 171 diamonds, 18 sapphires, and 24 tsavorites. Not exactly your everyday beater, right?

Cartier Libre Baignoire

The case, made of rhodium-finish white gold measures 32.39×25.47mm in diameter, and it’s 7.57mm thick. The Baignoire comes with a navy blue alligator strap. Even though this is a high jewelry timepiece, I think the choice of strap proves that this watch can be worn at any time, and for any occasion. At its heart, you can find a quartz movement. The Baignoire is limited to 30 pieces. 

Cartier Libre Tortue

Cartier Libre Tortue

Another gorgeous creation is the Tortue. The fact is, in this case, the snake’s skin has influenced the concept. It’s impossible to describe how much I adore the curvy case. The serpent is made of small pieces of black and red enamel, white mother-of-pearl, and diamonds. These materials and shades harmonize to create the perfect composition. However, the appearance is not the only advantage of this watch. The 31×39mm, white gold case carries the ultra-thin, hand-wound mechanical movement 430 MC. The 2.15mm thick movement can generate a power reserve of 38 hours and ticks at 21,600vph. This timepiece, like the first variation, will be made in just 30 pieces.

Cartier Haute Joaillerie

Cartier La Panthère Collection 

In 1914, the first Panthère wristwatch appeared on ladies’ wrists. Although the panther motif was only incorporated into the case, the first design was very successful. Like so many of us, I love the Panthère motif that’s why the new models make me so thrilled. 

Cartier La Panthère Collection

The collection comes with 4 different variations. My favorite piece is certainly the yellow gold watch with a case and a panther head set with 432 diamonds and a double-wrap bracelet (that’s the one on the far right of the above photo). However, more modest designs are also available. Speaking of all the models, the 23.6mm case is, in a very playful way, merged with a panther head. Always balancing maximalism with an exquisite form, the delicate yet distinctive bracelet adds a feminine vibe. The yellow gold and pink gold models fully set with 434 diamonds and 2 pear-cut emeralds house Cartier’s quartz movement, as does the version with (only) 137 diamonds and 2 pear-cut tsavorites.

Révélation d'une Panthère

Révélation d’une Panthère

The last jewelry piece is an ode to modern times. It takes a special kind of woman to wear the Révélation d’une Panthère. Resembling a sparkling galaxy in its design, this rhodiumized white gold Haute Joaillerie watch features 1,289 brilliant-cut diamonds. Yes, it’s a piece of art. The lustrous case measures 37mm with a swirling blue mother-of-pearl dial. Additionally, 650 diamonds float around the dial, filling out a Panthére pattern while the watch is on your wrist. Pure magic! The Révélation d’une Panthère is limited to 20 pieces. I believe it’s a real treat, especially considering this watch is powered by the manually-wound caliber 430 MC. Chic and credible. That’s just the way I like it. For more information, visit the Cartier website.