It has been a phenomenal year for the watch world. To round off 2022, we are celebrating the hits, the wonders, the visionaries and all the people in watchmaking who have made it so memorable in our annual Revolution Awards and Power Lists.
The Cartier Crash Tigrée is the winner of Best Jewelry Watch for 2022.
The Cartier Crash Tigrée gets an award for any number of reasons, not least because it is the most extravagant version of Cartier’s most beloved shaped watch. Also, it is inherently challenging to rework an already highly idiosyncratic design. What’s most intriguing about the Tigrée is how the artisanal crafts of gem-setting and enameling are used to exploit the organic lines of the Crash so as to achieve a design that has an abstract, Rorschach-like effect — whether it is a tiger, a crocodile, a flowing river or simply a psychedelic tribute to the Swinging Sixties is open to interpretation.
Totaling 1.64 carats, the diamonds are set in an irregular stripe pattern across the watch, interspersed with luscious streams of blue and green enamel that terminate at the bottom of the case, revealing the yellow gold metal. The stripes on the bezel are achieved with champlevé enameling, while the dial is first engraved and then filled with ground enamel powder. Several enameling processes were used to achieve the nuances in color, from opaque to translucent to the subtle gradations. They are then fired in a kiln at a temperature of 700°C to 750°C to melt the powder and set it. The process of adding enamel powder, firing and sanding is repeated over 10 times until the desired color is reached.
Produced in a limited, numbered edition of 50 pieces, and considering that the only variations in design seen in the Crash have been the Skeleton and Radieuse so far, the Tigrée is indeed a very special watch that showcases Cartier’s absolute mastery of jewelry and watch design.