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Cartier’s Story Of The Turtle And The Snake

Cartier has been for over a century synonymous with form-shaped watches. In some cases, like the Tortue, the inspiration came from the animal kingdom, something we also see extensively in the brand’s jewellery collections, both past, and present. But as the “jeweller of kings and king of jewellers,” their creativity goes even further, combining the art of watchmaking with that of jewellery in the Cartier Libre collection. Here, anything is possible, such as trading places, dressing up a Baignoire like a turtle, and turning a Tortue into a snake.



To achieve this, Cartier is giving itself all the creative freedom they need. The Cartier Libre Baignoire Turtle Watch makes it look like its real-life counterpart by creating a geometric scale motif and setting it with 171 brilliant-cut diamonds and 18 sapphires to accentuate the shape. The side of the case is set with 24 tsavorites, which have gotten a buffed finish, very much like the famed sapphire cabochons on many of Cartier’s watches. This gives them a unique appearance and offers the perfect finishing touch, really making the watch appear like a turtle. The Cartier Libre Baignoire Turtle Watch is powered by a quartz movement, which can be set from the back. This ensures a clean look. Just like the Cartier Libre Tortue Snake Watch, it is limited to 30 pieces.


What was in 1912 created as a watch, whose shape was inspired by the shell of a turtle, hence its name Tortue, is now turned into a snake. Cartier does this in an ingenious way, decorating both the dial and the case with a dynamic scale motif. By setting them with brilliant-cut diamonds, black and coral-coloured enamel, and two different types of mother-of-pearl, the watch resembles the skin of a most precious and mythical snake. Inside the case, we find Caliber 430 MC. This ultra-slim, manual wind movement with a height of only 2.15mm originates from Piaget and has been reworked by Cartier. It is unique to see one of Cartier’s historic designs take on the skin of a completely different animal and looking fabulous while doing so. This is also the essence of the Cartier Libre collection, where creativity knows no boundaries, and “La Maison” gets to showcase the exceptional skills to make these visions a reality.

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