The cultivation of contrasts that is the essence of the Clash de Cartier jewellery collection now culminates in a new jewellery watch collection, called Clash [Un]limited. Drawn from the codes of Clash de Cartier—namely, rolling beads, soft picot studs and clou carres—the five-piece Clash [Un]limited collection combines finesse, flow and movement for a new jewellery watch that stands out in all the elements of beauty that only Cartier knows how to perfect.
Spheres and straight lines come together seamlessly, as contrasting as it sounds, to bestow an unusual silhouette upon the watches. From the beads that roll over each other to the hinges of the bracelet, every element is meticulously articulated to create softness on the skin.
To further hone in on the contrasts, Cartier uses different finishings and materials—complete with opposing colourways—to create a collection that is unpredictable.
A Cultivation of Contrasts
At first glance, the five watches boast seemingly constant geometry. However, take a closer look at the faceted corners and bevelled dials, and scrutinise the empty spaces as well as the round and square elements, and true to the maison’s precise style, you’ll spot some seemingly disruptive elements.
In their unapologetically clashing ways, these disruptions are a nod to the legacy of Jeanne Touissant, Cartier’s creative director from 1933 to the 1970s, and her sense of volume and daringness to provoke glittering collisions. As early as the 1930s, she pitched preciousness against the industrial aesthetic of ball bearings, and sophistication with the fearlessness of panthers, just to name two.
This natural link between demure and daring, elegance and edginess, allows Cartier to go beyond the conventional with Clash [Un]limited. Chromatic contrasts are created with alternating brushed and satin-finished gold. In addition, yellow or rose gold is combined with a new shade of violet gold that shimmers with a never-before-seen purplish hue, entirely developed for Cartier. Finally, clou carre studs punctuate the organic roundness of the beads on the bracelet.
Designed by Cartier’s watchmaking studios, the Clash [Un]limited watches are available in diamond-paved yellow gold, rose gold and white gold. These exceptional pieces are dressed up with stones that enhance the design in black and white with onyx, spinels, obsidian and diamonds, or in different colours with coral, spinels, chrysoprase, tsavorites and diamonds.
Too Much or Not Enough?
The two simplest Clash [Un]limited versions are available in classic 18k yellow or rose gold. Nothing is ever simple with Cartier, however, and the same holds true for these two models. Their bracelets are accented with shimmering violet gold, an innovation by the maison. Contrasted against the bright yellow or rose gold, the subdued purple hue adds depth to the texture of the watches. In addition, the pearlescent sheen of the beads helps to soften the geometrical hardness.
A clash of colours awakens the senses further in the collection’s most colourful model. Vivid coloured stones such as coral, chrysoprase and tsavorites—accented by black spinels set in purposefully irregular intervals for further unpredictability—form a unique Cartier timepiece. Each colour stands its ground, solid and distinct yet complementary when taken in as a whole.
Two others are created in dazzling iterations, one in full white gold with diamonds, and the other in white gold, diamonds and contrasting black onyx inlays. The latter lines the centre of its bracelet with obsidian beads and black spinel picot studs to create an emblematic black-and-white Cartier creation. Black-and-white jewellery and watches can be traced back through the maison’s history to even before the art deco period, a contrast that once again borrows from the contrasting illusion of yin and yang, dark and light, soft and demure, yet strong and daring.
More is More is More
Excessive, extravagant and voluminous, Clash [Un]limited is a culture of design counterbalanced by Cartier’s graphic precision through movement. Creating stunning timepieces is not enough; Cartier took on the challenge of structuring the watches and creating perspective from the form of their links to the mini case with its 16-faceted cut glass.
This radical approach to jewellery watches is a testament to another chapter of Cartier’s creativity. It’s fierce and feminine. It’s classy yet contemporary. It’s elegant and subtly rock-and-roll.