With most watches, regardless of how abstract their complications are, you can always find some weird scenario where it would make sense to own one. Sentences start usually with you on an abandoned island, and all of a sudden moon-phases, chronographs, and even a Breitling Emergency make sense. But the Cartier Révélation d’une Panthère makes absolutely no sense. Why? Well, it is bad at the principal function of a watch: telling the time. There are no hour markers, the hands are too small, and you’re probably better off checking your phone.

 

            

 

None of that matters however because what Cartier did with this watch is remind us that they are a jewelry maker first and a watchmaker second. How do they do that? By a never before seen complication. Tilt the watch you will be mesmerized to see around 1000 tiny gold balls sandwiched between two sapphire crystals and held in a unique liquid slowly flow down the dial to briefly reveal the face of a panther, Cartier’s logo. How do they do it? Well, I would love to explain it to you but see the thing is Cartier decided to keep it a secret.

 

What we do know is that it took five years to come up with this patented technology. Initially, I presumed that magnets where at work here, but gold is not magnetic and I guess it would mess with the movement. I think they achieved it with some kind of recessed channel in the lower sapphire crystal which traps a layer of beads, but the mystery of not knowing is part of the charm.

 

  

 

At 37 mm I would consider this watch unisex, but the 43 brilliant cut diamonds around the bezel suggest it is designed with the female client base in mind. It will be available in an unlimited black version as well as in red and green versions each limited to 100 pieces. Price wise it sits at around 100,000 EUR. Sure, that is a lot of money, and no I would not buy it myself, but then again this watch is in a category of its own and makes for a great conversation starter.

 

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