Haute horlogerie is but a blank canvas for Cartier as the maison dips its proverbial brush into a newfangled artisanal technique to craft a dial that combines the luminosity of enamel with the precision of a miniature painting. Enter the Ronde Louis Cartier XL Flamed Gold, a timepiece borne from flamed gold: A methodology that requires mastery over fire by way of precisely controlling the flame's intensity to achieve the ideal shade of blue — or beige with the use of cooler temperatures.

Cartier Ronde Louis Cartier XL Flamed Gold

Parlayed into a life-like depiction of a panther, the profile of the majestic big cat is first engraved onto a dial base of 18K gold to create that 'brushed' looking texture for its coat before going into the fire to produce the initial colour. This process is repeated several times until every hue seen in the dial is fully produced, a meticulous and exact undertaking that calls for a touch of intuition as each heating process alters the entire colour palette. Messing up would mean long hours of hard work going to ruin, thus making each completed watch a true testament to the unassailability of Cartier's craftsmen. Finished with a pair of apple-shaped hands and framed by a brilliant bezel of baguette-cut diamonds, the mechanical manual-winding calibre 430 MC-powered Ronde Louis Cartier XL Flamed Gold proves that it's the big cat's meow.

The 30-piece limited edition Ronde Louis Cartier XL Flamed Gold watch will debut at SIHH 2017.