25 March 2014
For many years Cartier has been breathing new life into watchmaking, both with the development of innovative technical solutions and with the revival of ancient craft skills. This mix of research and tradition is evident in the Ballon Bleu Floral-Marquetry Parrot watch: with a 42-mm-diameter white gold case and self-winding mechanical movement, it takes a subject typical of the house’s animal-themed imagery—the parrot—in a creative direction. Standing out against a background of pavé diamonds, with the beak carved from onyx and the eye made from an emerald surrounded by hand-painted details, its body is formed out of an unprecedented floral inlay. Rose petals, died in bright colors and treated to prevent them from withering, have been cut into small pieces and then assembled one by one on a gold plate to reproduce the feathers in a realistic way. It takes two weeks of work to make each dial: for this reason only twenty examples of the watch will be produced. Collectors, you have been warned.