CARTIER International SNC, or simply Cartier, is a French luxury goods conglomerate which designs, manufactures, distributes, and sells jewellery and watches. Founded by Louis-François Cartier in Paris in 1847, the company remained under family control until 1964.
The Cartier Étourdissant Collection
The meaning of the word “Étourdissant” is difficult to portray in just one word. It can roughly be translated to astonishing, dazzling, stunning, and splendid all at once. At Cartier, Étourdissant is taken to mean the whirlwind sense of exhilaration, intoxication and dynamism felt when one takes the time to reflect upon and be inspired by the world around us.
The Étourdissant collection is inspired by the French Riviera - famous for its saturated colors, and play of light and shadow. New jewels continue that theme and along with the Maison's extraordinary artistry and gemstones, the collection includes pieces that riff on many of its iconic motifs and styles, including Art Deco and the panther, but realizes them in a wholly modern way.
The Cartier Étourdissant collection draws upon light and shadow to create a dazzling effect with vibrant colors with both gentle and delicate hues. The same flamboyant character radiates through each creation, sparked by dizzying contrasts and resulting in a whirlwind of inspiration. A collection of dynamic pieces, both joyous and refined, reflect the creativity and savoir-faire of the house of Cartier.
The High Jewelry Timepiece
Among the stunning pieces featured in the collection, stands a clock. The High Jewelry Mystery Clock features a manual winding mechanical movement with a mystery display and 18K yellow gold, set with 486 brilliant-cut diamonds, 5.37 carats in total. The base and column are made of agate and onyx with a faceted citrine dial. The hour markers are in agate and onyx, and the star-shaped and sword-shaped 18K yellow gold hands are set with 26 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.21 carats.
Agate was the choice stone for this particular piece, and though any other gem might have been a close second, agate carries the theme well. Agate is a type of quartz found in a variety of different colors and translucencies formed in curved bands or layers. Many types of agate are distinguished due to the variety of shapes and colors which may appear as other minerals infiltrate the stone.
Bands in the stone may form an eye or a ribbon shape, and often the images of trees, clouds and plants may be discerned on the surface of the “tree agate” or “moss agate”, lending a mysterious quality to the stone. The agate used in the Cartier timepiece is of a white color and gives off a kind of glow best associated with its subtle translucency.
The name “Agate” is derived from a greek word for the river Achates in sicily. It was first discovered in this river in about 300 B.C. Agates are currently mined in U.S, India, Brazil and Uruguay. Most commercial agates are cut in West Germany, though the Cartier High Jewelry Mystery Clock was crafted in France.