What the 650 diamonds on this watch do when you check the time

by STEPHEN PULVIRENT / Pic by BLOOMBERG

IT FEELS like a million years ago, but way back at SIHH 2018, we showed you the Révélation d’Une Panthère from Cartier. It was undoubtedly one of the standouts of the show, not only for the emotional impact it makes the First time you see it, but also for the commitment to innovation and creativity that it shows from Cartier, which has been one of the most important names in watchmaking for over a century now.

At this year’s show, we got a maximalist update to the Révélation that replaced the diminutive gold spheres floating around the dial with tiny diamonds and the glossy alligator strap with a full diamond bracelet. It’s the same basic idea, just with about 1,000% more sparkle.

The watch is mechanical, utilising the calibre 430 MC, which is a hand-wound movement based on the Piaget 430p

In case you need a refresher, here’s the deal with the Révélation: Between the black lacquer dial and the crystal is a patented liquid and a collection of 650 small diamonds. When you tilt the watch to check the time, the diamonds move through the liquid and navigate a few invisible channels just under the crystal, forming the face of a panther for just a moment before it disappears again.

The original formulation took half a decade to concoct and this version with diamonds required additional research and development from there. The watch is mechanical (in case you were worried about that for some reason), utilising the calibre 430 MC, which is a hand-wound movement based on the Piaget 430P. It runs at 3Hz, in 18 jewels and carries a 36-hour power reserve. In all, there are 1,289 diamonds on and in the watch, totalling approximately 19.39 carats. Yeah, it’s serious.

Pretty cool, huh? There really is something that feels magical about the Révélation, and with diamonds, the effect is even more next-level. This is a good reminder that no matter how seriously we might take watches, they can still be sources of surprise and delight. And, when it comes to that kind of watchmaking (and that kind of design more generally), nobody does it better than Cartier.

The Révélation d’Une Panthère with diamonds is priced at US$249,000 (RM1.04 million) and is a limited edition of 40 numbered pieces. They’re only available by appointment at certain Cartier boutiques, so call ahead if you want to see one in the middle. For more, visit Cartier online. — Bloomberg

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