To display the craftsmanship of a movement, many watch collections are designed with the transparent back to be appreciated carefully. We probably pay attention to blued-steel screws fixing the splint, those blued-steel screws are produced by fire to from oxidation. A methodology that requires mastery over fire by way of precisely controlling the flame’s intensity to achieve the ideal shade of blue-or beige with the use of cooler temperatures. Blue steel is formed at 300 degree centigrade. In the absence of stainless steel, the fire process was used to prevent screws rusting. To this day, blued-steel screws are used for beauty.

Ronde Louis Cartier XL Flamed gold
A life-like depiction of a panther was first engraved on the dial in 18K white gold to create “brushed” texture by fire. Ronde Louis Cartier XL Flamed gold, 30-piece limited edition, debuted at SIHH 2017. Ronde Louis Cartier XL Flamed gold, 42 mm, manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding, Cal. 430. Case in 18K white gold, a diamond-set beaded crown, flamed gold dial, white gold apple-shaped hour and minute hands, sapphire crystal, sapphire case back, strap in black alligator skin, ardillon buckle in 18K white gold. Water-resistant to 3 bar (approx. 30 meters).

How will it be if the technology of producing blued-steel screws is used on the dial? Ronde Louis Cartier XL Flamed gold is the best model. The vivid depiction of a panther on the dial seems to be painted with different colors at a glance. Close up, you will find that the real texture is different from the painted. The big cat’s eyes, prints, beard and brown hair are all finished into heating fire. The life-like result is the real testament to the unassailability of Cartier’s craftsmen. First, the craftsmen burns the whole dial into blue, then they scrape the surface of parts with tools and they burn the parts into brown, yellow or beige. Next, the process will be repeated again and again until the completed life-like depiction. Although the technology of transforming the color of the dial into gradient effect isn’t so complicated as the enamel paint, making every hair life-like is quite difficult, as well.

Drive de Cartier ‘Cartier d’Art’ Leopard
Drive de Cartier‘Cartier d’Art’ Leopard, 40 x 41 mm, manufacture mechanical movement with automatic winding, Cal. 1904 MC. Case and dial in 18K yellow gold, sword-shaped hour and minute hands, sapphire crystal and sapphire case back, strap in black alligator skin. Water-resistant to 3 bar (approx. 30 meters). It’s limited of 100 pieces.

In 2017, Cartier released many watch collections inspired by a panther with exquisite skills. The unique feature of Drive de Cartier‘Cartier d’Art’ Leopard is that the big cat is extended beyond the sapphire crystal, as if a picture got out of the frame. Close up, we can appreciate its vivid hair from the bezel to the dial. Black leopard prints reflect bright luster with enamel techniques.

Panthère Joueuse
Panthère Joueuse, 40 mm, manufacture mechanical movement with automatic winding, Cal. 9918 MC. Case in 18K white gold with diamonds, sapphire crystal and sapphire case back, strap in alligator skin. Water-resistant to 3 bar (approx. 30 meters).

The panther appears to emerge from the dial, intent on catching the ball that remains tantalisingly out of reach. Its head and paw play the role of the minute hand while the ball marks the passing hours. Making this an even more precious timepiece, the case and the strap attachments are set with brilliant-cut diamonds, with more brilliant-cut diamonds on the ball, as well as on the cat’s paw and head. Its eyes are two emeralds while its fur is spotted with lacquer.

Panthère Royale
Panthère Royale, 36 mm, quartz movement. Case in 18K white gold with brilliant-cut diamonds, sapphire crystal and sapphire case back, strap in alligator skin. Water-resistant to 3 bar (approx. 30 meters).

The Panthère Royale watch reigns supreme with a satin finished dial that twinkles with brilliant-cut diamonds. A sub-dial with hour and minute hands was designed at six six O’clock. A full-figure leopard standing on above the sub-dial is like the king. Arc curves with diamonds and sapphire crystal show a perfect look.

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