BY LESLIE JORDAN CLARY
Cartier has revived an ancient goldsmithing technique to create an entirely new artistic twist to its classic motif for their latest timepiece, the Ballon Bleu de Cartier. The craftsmanship for this watch combines enameling and Etruscan granulation to create tiny golden beads that are then mounted on a plaque. The entire process is complex and sometimes requires more than thirty firings to achieve the desired effect. The process begins with powdered enamel that is stretched into gossamer threads. Tiny flakes are then chiseled off and heated with a blowpipe into beads that Cartier craftsman have formed into a strikingly lifelike panther’s head. Thirty individually numbered Ballon Bleu de Cartier watches are available.