Cartier In Motion

Cartier in Motion, an exhibition on Cartier and design curated by architect Norman Foster, runs from 25 May to 28 July 2017 at the Design Museum in London. Cartier in Motion explores the creativity of Cartier watchmaking from a design perspective. The exhibition is curated by Norman Foster and co-curated by Deyan Sudjic. 

A Cartier Santos wristwatch and a Tank wristwatch were recently acquired for the Design Museum collection and included in its permanent exhibition Designer Maker User at its new home in Kensington High Street. The acquisition of these iconic pieces began a conversation between Design Museum Director Deyan Sudjic and Cartier to commission Norman Foster to curate an exhibition on the theme of Cartier and design. Foster agreed, since the Santos wristwatch was inspired by a passion of his: aviation. The concept of the exhibition was fine-tuned over the course of meetings in Paris, Geneva, the Manufacture in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, London and Milan. 

In telling the story of Cartier watchmaking and the invention of the modern wristwatch, Foster factors in the determining role of the sea change in society at the turn of the 20th century. Amidst upheavals in art, architecture, travel and lifestyles, the traces of a new world could be glimpsed.

The 170 exhibits are primarily pieces from the Cartier Collection as well as loans from the Collection of the Monaco Princely Palace Collection, the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace at Le Bourget airport and the Rockefeller Center. Extracts from a scrapbook found in the Cartier Archives complement the exhibits with insights into the research work of designers at the Maison. The exhibition explores six main themes:

  1. The evolution of Paris and its influence on Cartier shapes;
  2. Louis Cartier’s connections with Santos-Dumont and other pioneers of the age;
  3. The birth of the modern wristwatch;
  4. The everyday and sophisticated accessories designed to cater to a glamorous inter-war lifestyle;
  5. The evolution of Cartier watch designs ;
  6. Cartier craftsmanship, with a focus on mystery clocks and skeleton movements.

Where: Design Museum London
When: 25 May to 28 July 2017, Open daily 10:00 – 18:00
Cost: Free

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