If you’ve ever stumbled upon pre-millennium SIHH and, I say this quietly, BaselWorld press kits, maybe you too will see what I’m seeing: The Cartier Reflection De Cartier is an ultra-high-end watch bracelet with a certain ’90s charm. Admittedly, it looks both futuristic (it could be Ellen Ripley’s jewelry) and vintage, exuding the extravagance of 1925’s Great Gatsby. Somehow, though, it feels to me as though I just found this collection buried in an early ’90s press kit. More interesting is how it is made and the trademark Cartier-style fun embedded into its design, so let us discover these traits now.

Cartier does not hold itself back when presenting the Reflection de Cartier: “After the Clash [Un]limited and Coussin de Cartier watches, the Reflection de Cartier watch continues the odyssey of magic, illusion and fascination. The collection’s motto: transcribing the mysteries of time through bold creations.” Talk about raising expectations. In more real-world terms, this jewelry watch can indeed only exist as a result of a strong collaboration between Cartier’s jewelers and watchmakers — and Cartier being the flagship of Richemont SA, you can bet it’ll try and provide all the resources and know-how it needs to push the envelope.

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Whimsical Cartier creations, whether they be watches or jewelry, certainly play an important role in maintaining the brand’s status as one of the leading luxury companies out there. This means a play with shapes, in 3D form (which, let’s be honest, isn’t always truly the case with watches), is one such field that we can add to the list of things Cartier has played around with, and the Reflection de Cartier is no exception. First, let’s learn about its namesake feature, the reflection — which you’ll want to pronounce in French, with your pinky stuck far out when saying the name of the watch.


Sometimes it’s extremely difficult not to quote lofty press releases — but most of the time I do succeed. This time? Well, it’s not one of those times: “Tension culminates as a delicate dial meets its reflection, where time appears to move backward. The gem-like beveled glass on the dial marks the piece’s double identity, equal in sophistication and precision.” To be fair, when seeing the Cartier Reflection de Cartier for the first time, it is easy to figure out why it’s called a reflection and how that works — I did, however, wonder if Cartier made a watch that ran backward in physical form, with a flipped dial, and ran in the correct direction only in its reflection.

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Now that would have been Cartier-cool. Still, the watch head is of a unique trapezoid shape, wider at the top than at the bottom, with a steeply angled bezel that frames your traditional Cartier dial with its trademark combination of high contrast, Roman numerals, and sword hands. Powering the two hands is a quartz movement. Cartier quotes the size of the watch as 18.4mm by 17.5mm and 8.9mm thick, but clearly, that has to be just the last section of the bracelet that contains the movement. Water resistance is 3 bar, although watches like this should really be quoted as Champagne-resistant.

The bracelet of the Cartier Reflection de Cartier watch is constructed of two curved sections held together by a neatly integrated clasp. Each of the sections is openworked with slats and also holes drilled into the curved bases themselves. Crafted from 18k yellow gold or 18k rose gold for the relatively more regular versions, and 18k white gold for the three high-jewelry references, you can expect these beauties to be heavy enough even with these cut-outs.

I’ll agree with Cartier’s rather fantastical presentation that there truly is a rhythmic balance to the way these openings play with the widening squared-off shape of the bracelet, and I am sure it will be an absolute blast to see the expanding overall shape, the reflective inner facets, and what car designers call “negative spaces” play with one’s vision. Again, the Cartier Reflection de Cartier jewelry watch debuts with a total of five different versions in 18k yellow gold, 18k rose gold, or 18k white gold, with or without stones. We will add pricing details for the Cartier Reflection de Cartier watches once they become available. You can learn more at the brand’s website.

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