The fascination of a dial without matter. The enigmatic presence of a feline at rest. The Panthère Mystérieuse pendant watch puts two strong symbols of the Cartier creative universe into play: the panther and the mystery movement.
At the centre of a slightly concave agate medallion, a mysterious dial displays two tiny hands that float without any attachment to the mechanism. The agate, a dark stone with subtle hues, was sculpted from a bloc of raw matter. While being cut, a halo of white light lit up with brilliance was uncovered within the stone: the beginnings of crystallisation. This secret was enhanced through the intuition and skilled sculpting work of the master gem-cutter, who sensed, sought out and brought to life the unique personality of the gem.
A panther resides amid the rounded arc of the dial, bordered by an alternating sequence of diamonds and cylinders of obsidian. The elegant silhouette and the alternately sharp or gentle curves of its slender frame are delineated by a multitude of diamonds. Emphasising the depth and volume of the animal’s form, the gem-setting produces an effect so lifelike that the feline appears ready to turn and fix its emerald gaze upon us at any moment. Whether motionless or preparing to pounce, the panther seems unaffected by the passing hours and the weightless progression of the watch hands within the transparent surface of the dial.
A constant interplay of tension and balance unfolds between the enigmatic impact of this complication and the virtuosity of its performance. A powerful work that resounds to the semi-animal attraction of the motif and the interplay of colours, with the clear contrasts between the onyx and the diamonds, and the sophistication of the agate and obsidian.
Panthère Mystérieuse pendant watch: White gold, agate, diamond, onyx, obsidian, emerald eye. Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding, calibre 9981 MC, with mystery hour and minute display. Unique piece.
Cartier Panthère Mystérieuse watch
Mysterious Hour - Calibre 9981 MC — A Dialogue of Workshops —
The panther, which first entered the Cartier menagerie of animal motifs in 1914, is combined in the Panthère Mystérieuse watch with the mysterious complication, which has formed part of the watchmaking heritage of the Maison for over a century.
An authentic work of three-dimensional jewellery sculpture, the feline, with its coat of diamonds and black lacquer spots, is curled around the dial. With its head, paws and emerald eyes, the realism of the likeness is all the more striking because of the contrast with the transparent dial on which the hands float in suspension, activated by the invisible calibre 9981 MC.
This watch features a spectacular volume and sophisticated decorative jewellery work, returning to the interaction of transparency and harmony typical of this iconic Cartier complication, inaugurated in 1912 with the Model A mystery clock, the first of a long line of mystery timepieces. Veritable “miracles of timekeeping”, in the words of La Gazette du Bon Ton, capable of freeing time from the weight of the physical world.
Cartier Mysterious Hour Calibre 9981 MC
A mystery movement and the panther motif: the Panthère Mystérieuse, which has the double advantage of combining two Cartier icons, revels in the impact of the Maison’s signature aesthetic.
Panthère Mystérieuse watch: Mysterious Hour calibre 9981 MC. Case: rhodium-finish 18-carat white gold and black lacquer, set with 8 brilliant-cut diamonds. Diameter: 40 mm. Crown: set with 37 brilliant-cut diamonds Panther: rhodium-finish 18-carat white gold. set with 533 brilliant-cut diamonds, eyes set with two pear-shaped emeralds. Hands: sword-shaped in rhodium-finish steel. Strap: black alligator skin. Buckle: double adjustable clasp in rhodium-finish 18-carat white gold set with 43 brilliant-cut diamonds. Crystal and case back: sapphire. Case thickness: 8.50 mm. Water resistance: 3 bar (~30 metres). Also available with a gem-set bracelet