The Panther made its first appearance at Cartier on a 1914 wristwatch in the abstract form of a motif composed of onyx spots and diamonds. From 1917 onwards, Louis Cartier introduced the figurative panther to precious vanity cases, where it could be seen in profile walking between two cypress trees.
The animal gradually made a lasting mark on the Maison’s entire repertoire; however it was Jeanne Toussaint, a historical Cartier figure, who truly and decisively made it her own. She was a close associate of Louis Cartier and creative director from 1933.
Feline and female were made for each other; Jeanne Toussaint sensed its symbolic potential and power of attraction. As the image of assertive femininity, the figure of the Panther resonated with the headstrong and spirited women of her entourage, whom she understood well. In 1948, Toussaint (who was also known as “La Panthère”) designed a brooch for the Duchess of Windsor: A three-dimensional panther sitting atop an emerald cabochon. The next year a further panther emerged guarding a precious sapphire cabochon.
Jeanne – and the Maison with her – transformed the feline into a symbol of radiant femininity freed from convention. In 2019, Cartier is enhancing and transfiguring the panther with three main creative currents: by uniting jewellery and watchmaking; through Cartier’s beloved artistic crafts; and by mingling magic and technology through the Maison’s latest watchmaking innovation.
Emblematic of the Maison, the Cartier panther watch is the feline embodiment of free and assertive, elegant and sensual femininity.
All yellow gold and diamonds, this creation reinterprets a jewellery theme. The design is rendered in graphic form, with geometric black lacquer spots, taut lines and gem-set curves. The animal’s head faces a minimalist dial, incorporated into a perspective motif that encircles the wrist. The extremely realistic effect reveals stylistic purity from the nose to the tips of the ears. It is a watch that encapsulates the spirit of the Maison, as well as the power of a founding inspiration that continues to reveal a wealth of new facets.
Chosen to wordlessly communicate an idea, this watch reveals the feline’s magnetism and aura. It stars Cartier’s panther as the mistress of time, holding on to and guarding the passing hours.
This stylish watch crystallises the symbolism of Cartier’s signature animal with a precise expression of multi-faceted yet sensual freedom. Embrace it for the refined materials and delicate details: hand-applied lacquer spots, gem-set bezel and diamond hour markers.
Panthère Crash watch
Two opposing faces of the Maison’s emblematic feline are brought together: one fierce, the other meek. They are given a starring role around the dial of Cartier’s signature Crash watch, which is said to be inspired by a smashed watch in the 1960s. This year marks the rebirth of the Crash watch. It tells of what would happen if its legendary form was actually the result of a confrontation between two panthers, distorting the oval shape of a Baignoire held in their muzzles.
With fully diamond-paved heads, and truly naturalistic ears, nose and eyes; an oblong dial with soft curves; and delicate mother-of-pearl shimmering with blue reflections, this watch becomes an assertive work of jewellery art, one which draws on precious know-how to present an all-new expression of its symbolic animal.
Ronde Louis Cartier Regard de Panthère watch
With the Ronde Louis Cartier Regard de Panthère watch, Cartier reaffirms its commitment to preserving and innovating artistic crafts developed at the Maison des Métiers d’Art. By saving know-how and talents and innovating with combinations of techniques and materials, the Maison gives rise to new practices.
The Ronde Louis Cartier Regard de Panthère presents two different faces. Entirely divided into a grid pattern, the watch dial reveals the head of a panther. Every single square of this miniature chequer board was painted separately by an artisan. The incredibly precise grid pattern reproduces the animal’s coat in all its nuances and shadows. The design emerges from this composition of precious pixels: the panther is alive and well, staring with beady eyes.
In the dark, the feline’s eyes glow. Super-LumiNova® is combined with the pigment, to release energy that is charged by the light. Brilliant-cut diamonds and tessellated mother-of-pearl marquetry enhance the preciousness of the composition, creating a bridge between artistic crafts and jewellery.
Révélation d’une Panthère watch
Cartier’s 2017 Révélation d’une Panthère watch showcased a miniature spectacle within the dial of a Ronde Louis Cartier watch. By a sleight of watchmaking magic, the wrist’s movements cause a panther’s head formed of a multitude of gold beads to appear or disappear.
The piece plays with time, giving it shape and making it rise and fall through the ancestral technique of the hourglass: a creative feat born of five years of work, the fruit of daring and tenacity heralded by the public and consolidated with two patent applications. Unveiled at SIHH 2019, the latest Révélation d’une Panthère watch incorporates diamonds in place of gold beads.
The idea was both captivating and legitimate for the watchmaker and jeweller. Cartier returned to studying the technical process, which needed to be entirely transposed. Adapting a secret technique to an infinitely small scale proved a major task: the gold beads were replaced with 650 minuscule round brilliant-cut diamonds, which depict the animal’s graphic form against a black lacquered dial.
The Maison’s two arts of watchmaking and jewellery-making take centre stage on a watch with an entirely diamond-paved bezel and bracelet. The fleeting portrait testifies to the Maison’s talent for innovation and its pioneering nature.