French jeweller and fine watchmaker Cartier showed a fine mix of eclectic artistic creations for the "Dolce Vita" lifestyle during the June 14 to 17 Pitti Uomo menswear tradeshow, in Florence. The fashion world was particularly drawn to the brand's three-day launch event for the “Drive de Cartier” watch at the 15th-century Palazzo Gondi, in the heart of the birthplace of the Renaissance.
The Palazzo Gondi is a suitable setting. It makes an immediate reminder of its historic past, with an inscription in metallic letters on its ceiling: “Leonardo da Vinci lived his auspicious youth in a house owned by the Arte dei Mercatanti - the guild of the cloth finishers and merchants in foreign cloth - that was bought and demolished by Giuliano Gondi to build this palace at the completion of which [was in] 1490”. The legend says that the leading figure of the Italian Renaissance, da Vinci, also painted the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa, there.
The event's atmosphere was vibrant and lively, from the palazzo's patio and logia to its private salons and terraces. On the main terrace, Cartier’s "the studio" revealed a step-by-step creative process towards the brilliant design on an old wooden writing desk facing the tower of Palazzo Vecchio, the city hall of Florence.
The cushion-shaped “Drive de Cartier” watch also seemed at home at the Palazzo Gondi. Here, the brand emphasised its own craftsmanship and showed how the timepiece's movement was conceived, developed and assembled entirely in-house. As a result, the “Drive de Cartier” watch has a perfect balance. The stylish curves of this timepiece are rounded but not perfectly circular, wide but not at all ostentatious, and its thinness is quite elegant for the wrist.
This timepiece more than tells time. The innovation in the details of its design is translated from the art of life – free-minded and elegant.
In a discreet room on the palazzo's fourth floor, Cartier asked Italian artistic director Sergio Colantuoni to conceptualise a "dressing room". Created with humour and in collaboration with Greek contemporary painter Konstantin Kakanias, the dressing room was made of five huge vertical sliding drawers to showcase five style propositions for this watch: from casual countryside style, to formal black-tie attire for an evening party in New York City.
Da Vinci used to say: “Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail.” As a result - and like every Cartier creation - the Drive de Cartier’s dial is instantly recognisable, thanks to the trademark rail track, sword-shaped hands, Roman numerals and secret signature.
Such details make a difference in the “Drive de Cartier” timepiece. In the ultimate style experience, bespoke tailors or shirt-makers are always asking: “Which side are you wearing your watch?” For Cartier's new elegant timepiece, you do not need to specify a watch allowance. The sophisticated Drive de Cartier is an indisputable symbol of elegance – and it’s sure to be a future classic.