Cartier is one of those brands that comes up with plenty of interesting new releases each year – and this year is certainly no different. The Parisian brand has introduced a string of new releases that are all very different yet very much Cartier. Let’s have a look.
Cartier Looks to the Future
The famous Parisian luxury brand came to Watches and Wonders 2021 with more than just a few design surprises up their sleeves. One fascinating innovation is the new “Solarbeat,” a movement that converts light into energy. Yes, it’s like a solar panel for a watch! It took the brand over four years to develop. The new “sustainable movement” will last at least 16 years, according to the brand.
Cartier Privé Collection Cloche De Cartier
The first new addition to the Cartier line-up is the all-new Cloche De Cartier, which joins the Cartier Privé family. For the original Cloche, we have to go back to the 1920s. This watch actually started life as a piece of jewelry – more specifically, as a brooch. What immediately stands out is its unique bell-shaped case and its dial, which has been rotated 90 degrees to the right. As a result, the 12 o’clock marker sits next to the crown on the right-hand side. Initially, this does not make any sense. However, if you imagine the watch as a brooch, you would have to lift it to check the time. Thus, the dial would be in the proper orientation.
Cartier has decided to release the Cloche as part of the resurgent Privé Collection. The new model has a 38.17 x 28.75-mm case and is available in yellow gold, rose gold, or very chic platinum. All three editions get their power from the manual in-house caliber 1917 MC. In addition to the standard editions, Cartier announced another three models featuring the skeletonized caliber 9626 MC. Perhaps the best thing about the case is that you can actually set the watch on your nightstand or table and have it serve as a regular clock (albeit a rather expensive one).
Editor’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Alternatives: Cartier Tank Asymétrique, Hermès Heure H
Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier 40 mm
Another new addition to the collection is the 40-mm Ballon Bleu. Cartier first introduced the Ballon Bleu collection in 2007, and it was an instant hit. Up until now, the Ballon Bleu collection had consisted of 28, 33, 36, and 42-mm timepieces. With the addition of the 40-mm version, the brand has introduced a size that will probably appeal to a larger audience.
These new 40-mm models are powered by the automatic in-house caliber 1847 MC. The watch comes with a steel or rose gold case and is available on a leather strap or metal bracelet. One of the new features is that you can easily switch bands using Cartier’s new quick-change system. Prices start at $5,800 for the steel model with a leather strap. The same watch on a matching steel bracelet demands $6,300. A solid gold watch on a leather strap will set you back $14,600, while the gold edition on a gold bracelet costs $29,900. Carter also offers the gold versions with diamonds for $26,300 (on a strap) and $40,600 (on a bracelet).
Editor’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Alternatives: Chopard L.U.C. Élégance, Girard-Perregaux 1966
Cartier Tank Must de Cartier
One of the most interesting watches that Cartier announced at Watches and Wonders 2021 is the Cartier Tank Must. The original Tank Must from the 1970s broke new ground for the brand. Why? Because it was the first time that Cartier had produced the iconic Tank in stainless steel. Up until that point, the Tank Louis Cartier had only been available in precious metals. As one of the most prestigious luxury maisons, the addition of a steel watch was revolutionary, and it turned out to be a big success.
Now, the steel Tank Must is back. It definitely takes after the minimalist Tank Louis Cartier. However, its slightly rounded edges soften the case silhouette. You can choose from small, large, or extra-large models, with the extra-large version getting its power from the self-winding Cartier 1847 MC movement with a central seconds and date. Quartz movements power the large and small models. Prices for the Tank Must range from $2,730 to $3,950.
However, the absolute stars of the show are the three monochromatic limited editions in colors that exude the spirit of the 1980s. These red, blue, and green Large Tank models feature steel cases paired with dials and straps in the same color. They look incredibly stylish even four decades later and stole the Cartier show, in my opinion. What a statement!
Editor’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Alternative: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso