The French fashion and jewelry brand has recently updated its Le Cirque Animalier de Cartier Collection with three more models presented in 18-karat white gold.
Cartier is well known for its love for wild animals. Earlier this year, the fashion house has presented a beautiful Tourbillon and Crocodile model powered by their Calibre 9458 MC hand-wound movement.
Their Le Cirque Animalier de Cartier collection has also been here for a while.
While most fashion brands tend to power their jewelry watches with quartz movements, Cartier offers their timepieces animated by sophisticated mechanical calibers.
This particular series sports the well-known Cartier caliber 430 MC hand-wound movement, which is not only precise but is also relatively thin. The thinness, of course, comes courtesy of Piaget engineers: although refinished and fine-tuned at Cartier’s own production facility, the coin-thin mechanism is based on Piaget 430P: an ultra-thin caliber that was originally designed to power the Swiss brand’s, um, ultra-thin watches. As simple as it is (the mechanism’s only “complication” is their patented stop balance feature also known as “hacking seconds”,) the mechanism is known for its accuracy and build quality.
If opting for an ultra-flat timekeeper, the brilliantly engineered by Piaget and beautifully refinished by Cartier, this cal. 430MC is perhaps the best way to go.
Thanks to the use of the caliber, the timekeeper’s 18-karat white gold case is only 10.2 mm in height. Together with a total diameter of 43 millimeters, the case looks slim even on a thin wrist.
Of course, its main point of attraction is the open-worked animal-themed decor grid that not only protects the sapphire crystal but also provides the watch with a unique three-dimensional look.
At this time, the collection shows-off three species –a snake, a pair of love-birds, and a panther. The relatively massive grid sometimes obstructs the reading of the dial so it can be opened like a pocket watch’s back cover with a single push of a button, which is located at 4 o’clock right beneath the circular-grained winding crown.
As you can see on the photos, the animals on the grid are “equipped” with emerald eyes, while their twins on the black enamel dial feature diamond eyeballs. Unfortunately, the collection is restricted to the brand’s boutiques only and is limited to 100 timepieces for each beast.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Le Cirque Animalier de Cartier Collection specification
Movement: Hand-wound, Cartier caliber 430 MC (base Piaget Caliber 430P,) redecorated and fine-tuned in-house, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 21,600 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 36 hours
Case: 18-karat white gold
Size: 43.00 mm
Height: 10.20 mm
Dial: Black enamel, white gold, mother of pearl, round diamonds
Hands: White gold, sword-shaped
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: “Toile brossee” strap with ardillon buckle in 18K white gold set with round diamonds
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective