Of course when we talk about ‘style’ at Cartier it is intrinsically linked to heritage. “It is important to understand how the style was born and what it is about. What was the vision of the founder,” says Raniero.
He holds the only key to the precious archives and it’s here where Raniero and his team find constant inspiration, transforming ideas into design for new pieces and were the original story and production notes for the timeless classic Panthère are stored.
“We wanted a new feminine watch. An object that could be more than a watch but also jewellery. We looked at the Panthère and felt that this was the the kind of watch we had in mind. We considered a new watch or restyling it but realised that it was totally perfect as it is. It’s just a deep feeling we had that this was ‘the’ watch for the moment.”
Cartier’s founder, his sons and the influential creative director Jeanne ‘La panthère’ Toussaint have all been particularly good at capturing the spirit of ‘the moment’ and the Panthere channels the mystical cat that has been part of the maison’s rich history for over a 100 years. Stylistically it references a Santos but its name was inspired by the sensuality and elegance of its integrated bracelet and “the way it was articulated, like a walking panther”.
Although there has been some turmoil in the industry, it was business as usual when it came to deciding two years ago what the right watch would be to launch in 2017. “I’m happy that people feel we have acted appropriately for our time but the decision was made before. How we adapted for this period is what we should do anyway all the time. Concentrate on what we do well: propose distinctive strong design in a very authentic way. Something unique.”
Originally only available in yellow gold, this year updates include pink gold and two spectacular editions: one in black lacquer and pink gold, the other white gold, diamonds and panther spots.
Driven by a quartz movement, the idea is that this is a jewellery first, timepiece second watch so there is not much to reveal on the inside. Although great for a new generation of young clients, an option with a mechanical movement like a Calibre 101 from Jaeger LeCoultre might have required a thicker case and added a larger price tag but would have created more interest from women looking for more complex pieces. A growing trend in the industry.