I’ve seen a lot of watches this week. I’ve seen the Lange Triple Split, the Van Cleef Lady Planétarium, the Piaget Ultimate Concept Watch, and the Audemars Piguet RD#2. They’re all impressive in their own right and technologically advanced in one way or another. But there was one watch from SIHH 2018 that made me go “WHOA!” the moment I saw it (no really, I literally exclaimed “Whoa!” in the the middle of the otherwise genteel meeting), and that honor goes to the Cartier Révélation d’Une Panthère.
This watch comes in a 37mm pink gold case with a diamond-set bezel, and there are three different dial colors to choose from (red, green, and black). The red and the green are each limited to 100 pieces, while the black dial is unlimited. The watch is powered by the manually-wound caliber 430, which is great but not the main focus of this watch. This one is all about what’s happening on the dial side.
When you hold the watch upright, over 900 gold balls tumble across the dial to fill out a Panthére pattern that appears to float above the dial itself. And boy is it magic. It took five years (yes, five years!) to develop this watch, and Cartier holds two patents related to it too – one for the liquid used to suspend the tiny balls and the other for the type of glass used to encase the liquid and beads. The liquid had to be exactly the right viscosity and also temperature resistant so it wouldn’t freeze when you step outside during a frigid New York City winter day (and we’ve had a lot of those lately). Additionally, the liquid couldn’t damage the gold, as they’re in constant contact and this watch has to last the long haul.
The Cartier Révélation d’Une Panthère retails for $106,000 and is just an insane watch. Even if you’re not going to add one to your collection, you should definitely try to at least get a look for yourself in the metal. For more, visit Cartier online.