As one of the leading brands in high-end watchmaking, Cartier has created many revolutionary product lines in the history of wristwatches.
The 8 most famous Cartier watch lines that collectors cannot help but know
When it comes to Cartier, people immediately think of iconic jewelry models. But Cartier is also one of the most prestigious and high-end watch brands in the world. According to information from Bloomberg, in 2022 Cartier surpassed Omega to become the second highest-grossing watch brand globally.
Cartier’s appeal comes from its rich historical archives. When founded in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, the brand was just a small jewelry workshop. His son Alfred was the one who laid the first bricks as the foundation for the development and export of watch products. But it was their grandsons Louis, Pierre, and Jacques who made the watch an indispensable item of Cartier history.
Cartier’s first wristwatch, launched in 1911, was the Santos de Cartier. Since then, Cartier has launched different types of watches, in many segments, sizes… The following are the most outstanding Cartier watch lines that watch lovers in general and Cartier, in particular, must have. know.
In 1904, Louis Carter became close friends with Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian pilot. At that time, the pilot said that pocket watches were very inconvenient to check the time while flying the plane. Satisfying the needs of Santos, after two years of research, Louis Cartier created an easy-to-use wristwatch.
The design resonated because, at that time, wristwatches were often considered inaccurate and just jewel-encrusted bracelets for women. With a square frame combined with rounded corners, the Santos model sparked a new demand for men’s wristwatches.
Today, the Santos de Cartier line of watches is classified as a sports watch in the Cartier house. Besides, there is also a more stylish Santos-Dumont model (dress watch).
The legendary Cartier Tank watch was designed by Louis Cartier in 1917, inspired by the image of a tank used by the British army during World War I.
The Cartier Tank watch is considered to be the first watch designed with a holistic approach. In the past, a watch strap was merely a means of keeping the watch running; The face and dial are the focus of the design. However, the Cartier Tank watch beautifully integrates military tank characteristics into the bracelet design, perfectly complementing the minimalist face and dial.
According to legend, the Pasha de Cartier dates back to the early 1930s when Thami El Glaoui – Pasha (a military rank) of Marrakesh – asked Louis Cartier to make him a one-of-a-kind gold watch. The watch needed to be fully water resistant, which was not so common in wristwatches at the time. Then Cartier found the above design in heritage inventory and turned it into its annual line of watches.
The Pasha de Cartier line of watches are identified with their round bezels and contrasting square dials.
The Panthère de Cartier is one of Cartier’s most famous watch lines. Launched in 1987, this line of watches was designed with the goal of being a piece of jewelry on the wrist. The name is named after the jaguar, the company’s symbol and also a symbol of feminine beauty but authority.
In fact, Cartier made the first leopard print on a wristwatch and introduced it to the public in 1914. Animal images appear many times on its watch and jewelry designs. But it wasn’t until 1987 that it became a permanent line of watches.
The Ballon Bleu de Cartier was introduced in 2007 and immediately became a favorite among Cartier fans. In addition to featuring bold Roman numerals, the Ballon Bleu dial is made of the same beautiful mother-of-pearl as classic Cartier watches. The design also features a sapphire cabochon crown set within an integrated crown, giving the Ballon Bleu de Cartier its signature rounded shape.
Despite being a latecomer to Cartier’s watch collection, the Ballon Bleu still ranks as one of the brand’s all-time bestsellers.
The first Ronde Louis Cartier watch is believed to have been dated back to the 1930s. The round case with short bezels is combined with the brand’s signature dial style and a set of pomme hands, creating a look. Classic but timeless.
Today, the Ronde Louis Cartier line of watches is the basis for the most high-end movements (métiers d’art) in the French brand. Gem-encrusted inventions that take hundreds of hours to make are sought after by collectors of high-end watches and jewelry.
One of Cartier’s most sophisticated and fancy women’s watches is the Baignoire. The name means bath in French – depicting the oblong oval shape of the dial. The novelty of this watch is its horizontal rotating dial. The embossed Roman numerals on the dial are also lengthened.
Although the Baignoire watch collection was only officially launched in 1957, insiders believe that the first design was born in 1912 by Louis Cartier. The document claims that he personally designed the watch for a VIP guest from Russia.
Today’s Baignoire is all about elegance, purely a gala watch. The small, oval shell is white or rose gold. Roman numerals from the original 1912 model are retained. The watch is finished with blue steel arrows in the center and a dark alligator leather strap.
The Crash watch was a Cartier creation from 1967. It was also the last watch designed by a member of the Cartier family – his great-grandson Jean-Jacques Cartier – before the brand was sold off to a new owner. international corporation. The design has a distorted face as if it has just experienced an accident, causing the workshop to have a headache in the process of creating the product.
The crash is not as famous as Cartier’s Ballon Bleu, Tank, or Pasha lines, mainly because it is too complex to be mass-produced. Today, this model is mainly reincarnated in Cartier’s Privée line – the highest class of watches produced only in limited editions.
But in terms of collectibles, Cartier Crash models are the most sought-after. Mainly because in the 1970s, Cartier made only a few dozen Crash models. Therefore, every time a vintage product appears on the auction floor, its price is pushed up many times. Most recently, a Cartier Crash model from 1967 in near-perfect condition fetched $1.5 million at auction.
Cartier watches are made in France, hand-finished, and represent timeless quality. That’s not why products from the 20th century still work perfectly today. It is the quality of Cartier watches that conquers customers.
Today, Cartier has both mechanical and battery-powered watches. When purchasing a watch, you should clearly check your product specifications, maintenance/warranty practices, and proper use to prolong the life of the product.
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