Watches ablaze with animal colours
— Innovative use of artistic crafts —
January 12th, 2017
The flamed gold technique is inspired by the method of bluing watch hands in a flame. It requires a perfect mastery of intense heat since the most precise temperatures are needed to elicit the colours: the hottest flame produces blue; the coolest beige. The pattern of the panther’s coat is engraved – or ‘brushed’ – onto the 18-carat-gold dial. The gold plate is heated in a flame to produce an initial colour, and returned to the flame as many times as necessary until the full palette of colours has been produced.
This sensitive and exacting technique calls for tremendous foresight: since each return to the flame alters all of the colours. Accuracy and attention are imperative or long hours of work can be undone in an instant.
A deep, rich palette
The outcome of such minute, delicate handiwork – commanding staggering levels of concentration on the part of Cartier craftsmen – is suitably impressive. The depth of a rich animal palette ranging from beige to brown is contrasted with blued apple-shaped hands. Cartier has chosen to pave the bezel of this exquisite timepiece in baguette-cut diamonds, a flash of fire that brilliantly illuminates the genius of the artwork. The creature is strikingly lifelike from the top of the ears to the tip of the nose.
Flamed gold is the latest technique in a repertoire of Cartier crafts that extends to Etruscan granulation, enamel granulation and filigree work. Enriching the art of expert watchmaking with techniques borrowed from other fields, artisan craftsmen have pooled their skills to create this innovative new display of talent by Cartier and its Maison des Métiers d’Art.
Ronde Louis Cartier XL Flamed Gold WatchMovement
Manufacture mechanical with manual winding
Calibre 430 MCCase:
18-carat white gold, bezel set with baguette-cut diamonds
Dimensions: 42 mm
Crown: beaded crown set with a diamond
Dial: flamed gold
Hands: apple-shaped hands in rhodium-finish steel
Crystal and case back: sapphire
Case thickness: 7.24 mm
Water-resistance: 3 bar (~30 metres)Strap:
black alligator skin
Buckle: folding buckle in 18-carat white gold set with baguette-cut diamondsNumbered limited series
of 30 pieces