As Patek Philippe has shown, themed brand exhibitions are a great way of showcasing the history and values of a traditional watch brand to the general public. While Patek Philippe’s travelling exhibition (which will be on show this summer in New York) is managed entirely by the brand itself, the new exhibition entitled “Cartier in Motion” at London’s Design Museum takes an entirely different approach. After the museum acquired Cartier Watches 90266cd Replica Tank and Cartier Santos wristwatches for its permanent collection, Museum Director Deyan Sudjic approached Cartier with a view to commissioning none other than star architect Sir Norman Foster to curate an exhibition on design at Cartier.
Sir Norman Foster
The result is an exhibition that has been conceived, designed and produced by Sir Norman Foster and Foster and Partners right down to the smallest detail, from the mood board by Sir Norman (which was so clearly structured that it features in the exhibition and has even been used as the flyer for the exhibition) to the individual videos in the exhibition, which have all been filmed by a Foster & Partners in-house video crew. A total of 170 exhibits are on display, sourced primarily from the Cartier Watches Knockoffs Replica Collection and complemented by loans from the Monaco Princely Palace collection, the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace at Le Bourget airport and the Rockefeller Center.
The exhibition starts with a look at early 20th Century Parisian architecture, as Baron Hausmann was designing a model of symmetry for Napoleon III and the city was dominated by the now iconic Eiffel Tower. As far as art was concerned, the world was in the midst of the Art Nouveau period, yet the influence of Hausmann’s symmetry and geometric shapes is evident in Cartier’s designs of the period, clearly moving away from the ostentation of Art Nouveau.
One thing is important to see with Cartier; unlike many brands, they always had a strong focus on shaped watches. Many brands tried to do so — particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, where Art-Deco also affected watchmaking and where we’ve seen several timepieces with rectangular or cushion-shaped watches — but few manufactures attained to maintain this attribute as a hallmark. In reality, if you examine the actual collections of older brands, there are mainly round watches, if we talk about sports or dress watches. On the other hand, Cartier’s icons are shaped-watches and current creations follow exactly the same concept.Of course, the curved shape is somehow natural, as a watch normally have hands attached to a central axis and rotating on a dial. However, Cartier’s most influential timepieces all share this idea of being separate from the norm of the round timepiece. Take for example the Tank and its rectangular case. You’ll also find the Tortue or the Roadster, with their barrel shaped cases. Lately, the brand introduced a few more consensual watches, such as for example that the Ballon Bleu. But again, its not just a round instance. Same could be said for the Clé. Shapes are always part of the design of a Cartier, with many distinct inspirations and style. But a Cartier is identifiable as so and the elegance of their watches is undeniable.