The French luxury watch and jewellery maker Cartier has been a trendsetter for more than 150 years and the latest addition to its world-famous Santos collection justifies that position.
This superb work of art, it just can't be called anything else, is worth buying simply for the pleasure of owning such a masterpiece.
The Santos Triple 100, which has been priced at a little over Dh1.1 million, has three alternative faces.
The first is the classic Santos face with 12 Roman numerals, the second face is the definitive style of a chessboard and the third is an engraved tiger's head. All you have to do is simply turn the winding crown and a spectacular display of hidden faces unfurls.
A work of art entirely set with diamonds and black sapphires, this timepiece brings time to life in images, furnishing it with a magical and hypnotic hue.
Patrick Normand, Managing Director of Cartier Middle East and South Asia, told Emirates Business: "The Santos Triple 100 has three alternative faces that have been crafted using innovative rotation mechanism of the large crown based on rotating prisms. The first is a 12-Roman-numerals face, the second is a fully-paved face that resembles a chess board, with 138 diamonds and 138 black sapphires that totals to about 7.80 carats set in it, and the third an engraved image of a tiger's head that is set in 18 carats white gold."
In a true illustration of watch-making innovation, this extra-large Santos Triple 100 model combines a rotating-dial mechanism with a skeleton movement, which is the first of its kind in any watch.
Mobile prisms in 18 carat white gold, activated simultaneously by means of the crown, are driven by a system of miniature gear trains that causes the prisms to swivel gradually in one direction or the other, revealing the three dial faces.
The mechanism of this extraordinary version of the Santos Triple 100 is combined with a manufacture-crafted, mechanical, skeleton movement with manual winding, which has been hand-decorated and assembled at the Cartier Manufacture. Normand said: "This spectacular watch has been designed and decorated by Cartier's team of expert watchmakers at the research and development department in La Chaux de Fonds, and it took them many months of research to perfect it. It took Cartier Manufacture more than 40 hours to put it together. This hand-crafted watch has 860 precious stones."
The watch also boasts a double-barrel movement equipped with a 72-hour power reserve, which can be observed through its transparent case-back. It comes with a black alligator-skin strap with an adjustable, triple-folding clasp with a safety catch in 18 carat white gold.
Normand said: "The Santos Triple 100 will be sold at an approximate price of Dh1.1 million. It is a limited edition and, therefore, only 20 timepieces will be made."
"Cartier is one of the first luxury watchmakers to use such a mechanism enabling the alternative display of three dials. The watch demonstrates Cartier's know-how as a watchmaker and creativity as a world-renowned jeweller, once again displaying the art of fine craftsmanship and savoir-faire, which has put Cartier on a pedestal in the art of watchmaking."