Cartier has announced the launching of a high-end luxury timepiece for women, completely covered with round brilliant-cut diamonds, on the entire dial, case and bracelet – truly pure luxury Cartier style. The jewelry watch, part of Cartier’s successful larger Ballon Bleu timepiece collection is known as the Ballon Bleu de Cartier Vibrating Diamond Setting watch. Cartier has been producing Ballon Bleu style watches for both men and women, and some of these watches had been set with diamonds. However, this is the first time that diamonds are set on the dial of the watch. Cartier has announced that it will produce just 20 pieces of the Ballon Bleu Vibrating Setting watch as a limited edition and the price for each is set at US$262,000.
The next question that arises is whether the diamonds set on the dial are really vibrating, as the name indicates. The unique settings of the diamonds on the dial allow for a little “shake” or “vibration” of the diamonds, which is enhanced by gravity. Cartier says that the slightly vibrating setting was actually inspired by a technique their company first introduced for jewelry at the end of the 19th-Century, known as “en tremblant” or “trembling setting.” The “vibrating setting” is a modification of the “trembling setting” applied to the dial of wrist watches. Cartier has applied for a patent for the “vibrating setting” on wrist watches, and their application is awaiting approval. The idea of a vibrating setting for the diamonds on the dial, was motivated by the designers intention to maximize the play of light on the diamonds. The sparkle of a diamond is caused by the reflections of white light from the surface of crown facets and refraction, total internal reflection and return of white light entering the diamond through its table and crown facets. The sparkle increases when the diamonds move in relation to a light source. Models showing off diamond rings and bracelets always move their hands from side to side slowly – in order to consistently reflect light off the diamonds, and increase the sparkle of the diamonds. The slightly vibrating diamonds on the dial of the watch also have the same effect of increasing the sparkle of the diamonds.
Even though the Cartier Vibrating Diamond Setting watch is primarily designed for women, the company is well aware that at least some men would also fall under the spell of vibrating diamonds. Hence, Cartier decided to size the Ballon Bleu Vibrating Setting watch at 42mm wide to suit men’s wrists. The round brilliant-cut stones on the dial are set against a contrasting black background and the diamonds are spaced widely enough so that the watch wearer can easily see the stones move. Both the case and bracelet of the watch are made of Rhodiumized 18k white gold. The entire case and bracelet of the watch are set with additional and slightly smaller brilliant-cut diamonds. Altogether there are 985 diamonds on the watch, weighing around 8.82 carats. Contained in the case is the time-only manually-wound mechanical calibre 430 MC movement. The watch crystal is made of scratch-proof sapphire glass.