Space of Time

The mystery of time. The wonders of the mystery clock.

The exhibition opens with the mystery clocks and prism clocks, masterpieces that epitomize Cartier’s artistry, creativity, and technical skill. Offering more than just a perspective on ornamental art, these clocks express and embody the mysterious truth of time as a moment-by-moment pursuit of the future, while the present slips ceaselessly into the past.

About the Exhibition Design
Space of Time with pillars of
light hover
Fabric for Space of Time

An exceptional use of fabric creates the impression of pillars of glimmering light streaming down into the earth where ore lies. The beautiful gradation effect is achieved through an intricate weaving technique called “Ra”. This knitted fabric replicating the weaving pattern of “Ra” provides a special contribution of Korean elements to the exhibition. The technique first came into use during the Three Kingdoms period and blossomed during the Goryeo dynasty, only to slowly fade from existence from the Joseon era onward. It is now unfamiliar even to Koreans. The interweaving of strands results in aperforated effect and a thin and translucent “Ra” akin to the knitted textiles of the West.

Fabric (darkness)

The special fabric is used to embody the spatial ambience of lambent lighting. Black fabric is weaved mainly with “Ra” technique, which allows us to seek expressing lightness and transparency. Using Hikibaku a textile technique of Nishijin-ori from Kyoto, the foil is in fact weaved into the fabric itself, ultimately creating the elegant motion.

Traces of Design No01
Mystery and Prism Clocks

Mystery clock

Cartier, 2023

White gold, rock crystal, obsidian, chrysoprases, emeralds, onyx, diamonds
Cartier Collection

Mystery clocks, called “marvels of horology", and prism clocks, are based on skillful optical illusions. On mystery clocks, the two hands appear to float on the dial as if there were no connection to any mechanism. In fact, the movement is hidden within the base or concealed by other surrounding decoration. Although the secret behind this mysterious complication has been disclosed, the mystery clock has been made throughout the generations, and continues to be treasured as an art piece. Cartier’s prism clocks, meanwhile, feature a remarkable design: when the clock is placed at a specific angle, directly opposite the viewer, the reflected dial appears.

Model A mystery clock

Cartier Paris, 1918

Platinum, yellow gold, rock crystal, nephrite, white enamel, sapphires, diamonds
Cartier Collection