Straw and gold marquetry and enamel filigree – this year, the artisans in La Chaux-de-Fonds reveal two new “Métiers d’Art” watches, created around the natural and the precious through exchanges between marquetry craftsmen, jewellers, designers, enamellers, gem-setters and miniature painters. From motif to material or volume, everything related to the panther provides reason to go beyond the different crafts and techniques allowing new creative territories resulting from unexpected encounters.
Ronde Louis Cartier Straw and Gold Marquetry Watch
Made entirely by the marquetry craftsman from the Maison des Métiers d’Art in La Chaux-de-Fonds, this year, the Ronde Louis Cartier watch unveils the technique of straw and gold marquetry. The precious metal is added to the palette of materials already used in marquetry, making it possible to work with volume and create a rendering reminiscent of bas-relief. An adventurous, never-before-seen undertaking that required the marquetry craftsman to be trained in gold work by the jewellers from the Maison des Métiers d’Art.
Seventy-five blades of straw in different sizes and shades, produced in 11 colours, make up the parts of the décor. The feline’s head is comprised of more than sixty-five elements in white, yellow and pink gold, which are shaped and satin-finished one by one. With an unusual play of meta-exploration, yellow gold wires are embedded in natural straw elements, adding complexity and sophistication that the craftsmen explored for the first time.
Cartier combines ceramic arts with the art of composition, to which marquetry belongs, by enamelling the spots on the coat and eyes. The rich colour palette contrasts black and white with a large number of shades between opaline and yellow. For the eyes, four different shades come together on a miniscule surface. The gaze comes to life with sparkle, shine and depth, an expression of Cartier’s figurative and realist art. The spots in the background are created with miniature paint.
Brought to life after more than 100 hours, 97 of which are spent on the dial alone, this creation is available in a limited edition of 30 individually numbered timepieces.
Ronde Louis Cartier Enamel Filigree Watch
This year, designers and craftsmen from the Maison des Métiers d’Art have adapted the filigree technique to be used with enamel.
With this technique, the enamel powder is heated, and the glass is stretched until it takes the shape of bamboo, before being set and fixed to the dial by tiny strands of yellow gold. This creates the bamboo effect used in the foreground.
To add perspective to the motif and play with the effects of depth, the craftsmen had to turn to other areas of expertise: domed champlevé enamel for the bamboo in the background and black spots of the beast’s fur and eyes, as well as miniature painting for the sky and the background bamboo.
With a scene entirely dedicated to the Maison’s emblematic animal, this watch is available in a limited edition of 30 individually numbered pieces.