Cartier kicks off 2020 with the new Maillon de Cartier. It looks watchmakers are increasingly focusing their efforts on creating interesting bracelets for both their men’s and women’s novelties. Debuting as a Limited Edition Cartier collection, the new Maillon de Cartier twists Cartier’s classic link design into a compellingly versatile women’s watch which pulls its own weight as jewellery even without the usual precious stone embellishments. Reigniting the bracelet watch genre, the Maillon de Cartier is simultaneously appeals for not just the interesting twist on its bracelet but also the bezel elements which renders it recognisable as a cousin of the Santos de Cartier while standing entirely on its own artistic merits. The twisted linked bracelet runs contiguously in case thickness with the 16mm x 17mm case and is rendered in white, yellow, and pink gold variants.
Every design element is twisted to create a vibrant dynamism, an intrinsic feature in so many of Cartier’s watchmaking and high jewellery collections. The new Maillon de Cartier isn’t another interpretation of brand staples like Tank de Cartier and Santos de Cartier but its still instantly recognisable as the latest Cartier watch icon, hence making its debut as a one-shot watch collection of ultra-feminine elegance a rather mixed occassion because there is simply so much potential in the latest Cartier’s woman’s watch than seeing another office professional with yet another Tank Française – women may not be sex objects but to a watch lover, their watches certainly are (one jests).
There’s no doubt that the latest Cartier’s woman’s watch is designed as jewellery but it’s jewellery crafted through the lens of its watchmaking studio. The signature blued hands, Roman numeral hour markers and a bezel which would have been instantly recognised as a Santos element save for its rendition as an asymmetrical hexagon but where Cartier’s new Maillion de Cartier limited edition timepiece really acquits itself is the linked bracelet. According to Marie-Laure Cérède, the timepieces creation director at Cartier, the idea was to “deconstruct the bracelet and transcend its design through a volume approach”.
The chain-link bracelet is one of the most common, yet least innovated segments of watchmaking with many attempts either drawing mixed reactions or lacklustre apathy: where Cartier’s latest Maillon de Cartier excels is that the spiral interpretation is both voluminous yet comfortable, elegant yet geometric without tilting its aesthetic focus into overt-maximalism. What results in the latest Cartier’s woman’s watch is masterful use of the art of simplicity – its purist without being simple, think of it as the Vatican’s Misere Mei Deus, composed by Gregorio Allegri in the late 1630’s for Pope Urban VIII, twelve minutes of choral, contrapuntal music; essentially divided two chorus parts, the chorus itself divided at times by two again and another four solo voices that create their own quartet voice: it’s a simple enough melody but so deeply layered and textured that it was not replicated until a teen Mozart committed it to memory in the spring of 1770.
The Parisian Maison has always been highly creative and innovative when it comes to watchmaking: the Santos de Cartier arguably pioneered the modern sports watch with the exposed screw and bezel concept even before Royal Oak became en vogue. Cartier latest woman’s watch is a literal embodiment of that artistic leitmotif- crossing the delicate Panthère with the swagger of the Santos and the sophistication of the Française and then a date with the Crash, with a literal twist. The new Maillon de Cartier is emblematic of Cartier shaped watches and a real pity that it won’t see regular production as a key pillar in Cartier’s woman’s collection.
Latest Maillon de Cartier Price and Specs
Case 16mm 18k yellow, rose or white gold with or without diamonds
Strap angular geometric bracelet
Price for the Maillon de Cartier starts at $25,100.