Ballon bleu means "blue balloon" in French, and party favors might well suit the lucky recipient of Cartier’s latest timepiece. The Ballon Bleu de Cartier is the Parisian watchmaker and jeweler’s first new watch line since 2001. Strapping it on reveals an unexpectedly complex shape, sculpted on bottom and top so it appears to float above your wrist. In the hand it feels like a river-smoothed pebble, and the case—in rose, yellow or white gold (pictured)—has an especially pleasing weight. The crown is capped with a blue sapphire cabochon, which brilliantly highlights the blue, sword-shaped hands. A guilloche dial-a subtle, wavy engraved decoration—and Roman numerals complete the tableau. Choices abound, with cases in various sizes (the handsome model in stainless steel and yellow gold is a bargain at $7,300). The Ballon Bleu is dressy enough for a tuxedo but has the everyday appeal to be worn at the country club. Just don’t be tempted to risk it in a skins game.
Ballon Blue De Cartier
Diameter: 42 mm
Case: White Gold
Price: $28,200 (large)
Contact: 800-227-8437, cartier.com