A Cartier Watch, Ready for Its Closeup

Inspired by the bracelets worn by the Hollywood star Gloria Swanson, this intricate and reversible accessory can transform from a bangle into a timepiece.

In 1912, Cartier introduced its first mystery clock. The hands seemed to float magically around the dial as if without anchor but were, in fact, attached to two disks of transparent rock crystal. The object’s popularity coincided with the return to fashion of the translucent crystal, a fixture of the house’s haute joaillerie innovations of the time. Two decades later, Gloria Swanson — one of the biggest movie stars of the 1920s — purchased a pair of Cartier rock crystal and diamond bracelets. Crafted with an

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