From the 1920s onwards, Cartier encouraged watchmakers to develop very small movements for its precious watches. This enables the watch case to blend into the jewellery design and sometimes even be concealed altogether. The smallest mechanical movements ever produced were soon used by Cartier in its "baguette watches". They were highly admired as decisively contemporary ornaments in the period between the wars.
BRACELET-WATCH WITH COVER
CARTIER PARIS, 1928
Platinum, circular-shaped diamonds, two pentagonal-shaped diamonds, baguette-cut diamonds, square-shaped and semi-spherical single-cut diamonds. Supple articulated bracelet of collet-set brilliant-cut diamonds.
Rectangular LeCoultre calibre 104 Duoplan movement, rhodium-plated, 8 adjustments, 17 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, bimetallic balance, flat balance spring.
CARTIER PARIS, 1932
Platinum, pink gold, one triangular-shaped ruby cabochon.
Rectangular LeCoultre calibre 101 Duoplan movement, fausses Côtes de Genève decoration, rhodium-plated, 2 adjustments, 16 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, bimetallic balance, flat balance spring.
Described in Cartier’s archives as “the tiniest” (la plus petite), this watch contains the smallest mechanical movement in the world (14 x 4.80 x 3.40 mm), It is of the Duoplan type, which means that its regulating system is placed on a plane above the gears, making it possible to reduce overall width.
Sold to Prince Tikka Rajah of Kapurthala.
CARTIER PARIS, 1938
Yellow gold, faceted citrines.
Rectangular LeCoultre calibre 403 Duoplan movement, rhodium-plated, 15 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, bimetallic balance, flat balance spring.
Width of the bracelet 2.5 cm
CARTIER PARIS, 1952
Yellow gold, rock crystal.
Round LeCoultre calibre 427 movement, rhodium-plated, 17 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, monometallic balance, flat balance spring.
The dial appears in reflection if the clock is situated directly opposite, at a precise angle.
Sold to Prince Ali Aga Khan, son of the Aga Khan III.
2.85 x 1.74 x 1.74 cm