Cartier was a maker of fine jewelry long before it became a significant watchmaker in the 20th century when it unveiled the Santos-Dumont in 1904, which was the first wristwatch designed specifically for men. Today it continues to straddle both horology and watchmaking, having just unveiled the latest generation of the Santos-Dumont, and now, the Maillon de Cartier.
French for “link”, maillon, is already used for a line of Panthère de Cartier jewelry that is characterized by, well, links. It is an apt description – the rings, bracelets, and necklaces are characterized by the use of tightly interlocking links as a central design motif.
This very design language is carried over – with a twist, literally – to the new line of wristwatches, Maillon de Cartier. The new line is defined by a juxtaposition of curves and angular faces – essentially twisted links. The seamlessly integrated bracelet is composed of offset links that echo the shape of the bezel.
The case, measuring 16 mm by 17 mm and standing 6.8 mm, is entirely mirror polished and framed by a hexagonal bezel that is integrated into the bracelet, accentuating the slimness of the watch while also emphasizing its sculptural quality.
The dial is typical Cartier style: a silvered finish, blued steel sword hands, and stylized Roman numerals. Because of the small size of the dial, the Cartier “secret signature” is not incorporated in “VII” as is tradition.
Maillon de Cartier is made up of six references in yellow, pink, and white gold. In addition to the base model in yellow gold with a sapphire cabochon in the crown, the other variants are available with a variety of diamond settings as well as a brilliant-cut diamond in the crown.
The top of the line, diamond-set ref. WJBJ0006 is the most striking of the collection. A limited edition of 50 pieces, the watch has a glossy, black lacquered dial and the only one with yellow gold hands. More striking are the black lacquer panels on the flanks of the bracelet links, which alternate between diamond-set and black lacquer, a look reminiscent of Cartier’s famous, black-spotted Panthere creations.
Key Facts and Price
Maillon de Cartier
Ref. WGBJ0002 (18K yellow gold)
Ref. WJBJ0002 (18K pink gold with diamond-set bezel)
Ref. WJBJ0003 (18K white gold with diamond-set bezel)
Ref. WJBJ0004 (18K pink gold with diamond-set bezel and bracelet)
Ref. WJBJ0005 (18K white gold with diamond-set dial, bezel, and bracelet)
Ref. WJBJ0006 (18K yellow gold with black lacquer and diamonds)
Diameter: 16 mm by 17 mm
Height: 6.8 mm
Material: 18k gold
Water resistance: Splash-resistant
Functions: Hours and minutes
Strap: Interlocking link bracelet
Limited edition: Ref. WJBJ0006 limited to 50 pieces; other models part of regular collection
Availability: At Cartier boutiques and retailers starting May 2020 (except for WJBJ0006 in September 2020)
Price: Starting from €21,000 for WGBJ0002, €26,000 for WJBJ0002, and rising to €100,000 for WJBJ0005
For more, visit Cartierwatchmakingencounters.com.
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