High jewellery meets horological expertise in the Cartier Clash [Un]Limited mitten watch, which envelops a Baignoire Allongée timepiece in a sensual gold and diamond mitten. The mitten, crafted from supple rose gold mesh and set with nearly 1,600 diamonds, was created in collaboration with a master glove-maker to ensure it drapes fluidly over the hand, making for a precious second skin. Created using 3D printing, the intricate design proved challenging for watchmakers and jewellers, who meticulously assembled thousands of microscopic pieces of gold using lasers and small pliers more commonly used for microsurgery. The diamond-pavéd dial of the Baignoire Allongée watch inside, the crown of which is cleverly concealed under the dial, ensures a seamless silhouette between the glove and the watch.

Cartier glove watch continues tradition of technical innovation

The Cartier mitten watch, which took almost two years to develop, is the latest in a long line of technically innovative jewels and watches, which first began to appear in 1847. Inspired by cultures around the world, the maison has produced intricate and exquisite pieces of high jewellery that utilise both unusual materials and intricate techniques. Tiaras knitted in onyx, natural pearls and diamonds join scarab brooches and the ubiquitous panther, perching on a Kashmir sapphire in one mischievous brooch. Precious objects, including crystal and enamel perfume bottles, an Egyptian sarcophagus vanity case in gold, platinum, engraved bone, onyx and enamel and a sword designed for Jean Cocteau – complete with an emerald donated by Coco Chanel – also subscribe to avant-garde design codes.

Watchmaking, too, has pushed the boundaries of classic design to create pieces that are extraordinary objets d’art in their own right. From enamelled watches on chains created in the 19th century to clocks in platinum and rock crystal and others in mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli and enamel, each piece incorporates both a high jewellery aesthetic and dazzling artistry. §