By Rebecca Doulton
Cartier enjoys surprising us with its daring interpretations of high jewellery, from mystery watches that appear to be suspended in space to Cartier watches that change the background scenery according to the time of day. And this year, it has pulled out all the stops with the new Cartier Ballon Bleu Vibrating Setting watch.
Featuring the time-honoured Ballon Bleu hallmark, its appeal lies in its rotundity, generous dimensions and rounded cabochon crown. But here's the novelty: it's been dipped in a constellation of sparkling diamonds that don't just twinkle. Instead, they tremble in response to your movements and, unlike other brands that let the diamonds swirl freely around the dial, these are fixed.
Imagine diamonds poised on a wobbly jelly base and you start to get the picture. In this remarkable watch, all the diamonds on the dial jiggle and sway in time to your movements from a fixed point. Cartier's 160-year high jewellery background has provided the artisans in the watch department with the tools to produce this stunning show.
Inspired by a 19th century "en tremblant setting", which allows certain pieces of a jewel to tremble and create movement, Cartier's team has patented the new Vibrating Setting, which is invisible to the naked eye and allows the diamonds to scintillate on the wrist with a life of their own. The effect is mesmerising - like a wave of light in a constant state of change.
Set in a 42mm white gold case, the remaining surfaces of these limited-edition Cartier watches have been adorned with even more brilliant-cut diamonds, including the bezel, lugs and the gorgeous link bracelet. Powered by an extra-thin manual winding movement, the Cartier Ballon Bleu Vibrating Setting watch is limited to just 20 numbered timepieces.