COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Cartier’s Tutti Fruti
Cartier's Tutti Fruti watch. Courtesy of Cartier.

Cartier’s Tutti Fruti watch. Courtesy of Cartier.

Cartier’s “Mille et Une Heures” collection holds as many surprises as its name reveals. The Tutti Fruti watch, which perhaps takes its name after the variety of colored precious stones that adorn it, is certainly “crafty.”

A revived version of the “secret watch” type that was very popular at the turn of the twentieth century, Tutti Fruti poses as a bejeweled bracelet and vigilantly keeps the time-piece hidden under an elaborately carved ruby. This reincarnation of the old favorite bares resemblance to the original type not only in its mission to keep the time-piece concealed but also in its overall styling. In other words, Cartier has reissued the “secret watch” in a style that feels modern but definitely echoes the stylistic preferences of the Art Deco era.

This was a highly prolific period that brought forth the multi-dimensional character of modern pieces that showcased influences from a variety of sources: Japanese culture, Oriental motifs, but also the machine aesthetic. Most notably, the Art Deco period was known for the precious and highly luxurious materials preferred in the construction of several functional pieces. This was a unique phase in modern times when true innovation took place both in terms of design but also in terms of technique and craftsmanship especially as they applied to the nature of materials.

Cartier’s Tutti Fruti evokes a bygone era but it does so with elegance and simplicity.

© Thomaï Serdari