Cartier: A Year In Review
Cartier’s Pasha is king for the year. Sensational new Santos-Dumont pieces, the all-new Maillon jewelry watch collection and an exquisite Privé watch add to this year’s excitement.
COVID or no COVID, Cartier forged right ahead with some spellbinding new watches in 2020. From a refresh of the legendary Pasha to a celebration of the Santos-Dumont to a whole new jewelry-watch collection, the brand didn’t let the pandemic stand in its way. We all have needed things to be excited about this year, and Cartier provided them in spades.
The Pasha of your Dreams
It’s the year of the Pasha for Cartier, with a modern take on the watch that was certainly avant-garde when it launched. It’s been 35 years since the introduction of the Pasha in 1985 to much scrutiny and fanfare. Cartier has taken the original design to a whole new level for 2020.
The Pasha is named for the Pasha of Morocco, Thami El Glaoui, who ordered a one-of-a-kind watch from Louis Cartier in the early 1930s. This original Pasha was designed to withstand El Glaoui’s active lifestyle. In particular, he wanted a water-resistant watch that could handle a couple of knocks on the dial. Cartier addressed the water resistance by equipping the watch with a crown cover, thus blocking water from seeping in from the crown. For impact resistance, Cartier covered the watch in a steel grid to protect the dial.
Gérald Genta Brings the Modern Pasha to Life
The Pasha of Morocco’s made-to-order watch remained a one-of-a-kind piece, but its bold design was not to be abandoned. Over 50 years later, in 1985, none other than watchmaking legend Gérald Genta designed the Pasha we know today. This year, 35 years later, the Pasha is revamped from the inside out, staying faithful to its initial design.
On the inside, the new Pasha is equipped with an in-house automatic movement. And the 1847 MC, in all of its glory, is visible through the sapphire caseback. As the Pasha was first made with extra protection for an active lifestyle, this watch takes its dependability a step further with anti-magnetism built into the movement. As far as water resistance is concerned, the watch’s winding crown sits underneath a chained screw-down crown cover for added protection.
In addition to the new crown design and sapphire crystal caseback, the Pasha now has the option of interchangeable bracelets and straps to suit your mood. The straps are easily interchanged by Cartier’s proprietary QuickSwitch system that allows the strap or bracelet to be released with the push of a button on the underside of the attachment pin.
The new Pashas are available in 41mm and 35mm, and they come in three metals: steel, white gold, and pink gold. Versions of the watch are numerous and stretch from time-only steel pieces to skeletonized tourbillons, diamond-set bezels to fully set dials, bezels, and bracelets. The choice is up to you (and your bank account).
The New Maillon - A True Jewelry Watch
Cartier is just as renowned for its unparalleled jewelry as it is for watches. And the new Maillon collection embodies this dual identity by becoming a piece of jewelry, thanks in large part to its integrated diagonal link gold bracelet. According to Cartier, “It all lies in the twist of the lines, in the torsion emphasizing the perspective within which the watch dial blends. This interpretation allows the case and links to entwine themselves in one graphic motion.”
The design’s fluidity is not just for looks, however. The twist-effect links, each moving separately, wrap the wrist with a drape that’s smooth and supple.
The Maillon timepiece comes in yellow, pink, and white gold, with the pink and white gold available with diamond bezels. A version with a full pave bracelet and bezel is available in pink gold, and a fully set dial, bezel, and bracelet version comes in white gold. One 50-piece limited edition version features a black lacquer dial with 581 individually set diamonds on the crown, bezel, and bracelet.
Cartier Privé Tank Asymétrique
Since 2015, Cartier has been producing a Privé collection. Based on Cartier’s most iconic models, the watches in the collection are brought into the 21st century, with all of Cartier’s modern watchmaking craftsmanship inside and out. Other Privé timepieces include the Tonneau, Tank Cintrée, and the Crash.
This year brought us the Tank Asymétrique. “With its two horizontal shafts connected by two oblique ones, and its numerals off-set by 30 degrees to the right, the presence of this new Tank Asymétrique is striking,” commented to the brand.
The Tank Asymétrique is available in three metals. The platinum version has a silver-colored dial, ruby cabochon crown, and a dark gray alligator strap. Both the pink gold and yellow gold versions have a sapphire cabochon crown, but the pink gold version is equipped with a gray dial and the same dark gray strap as the platinum version, while the yellow gold version has a champagne-colored dial and brown leather strap.
There’s also a fully skeletonized version of the Tank powered by Cartier’s own 9623 MC movement. It comes in pink gold on a grey or brown strap, in platinum on a black or blue strap, and gem-set platinum on a black or glossy blue strap. The made-to-measure straps are fitted with an ardillon buckle.
New Santos-Dumont Timepieces
Last but not least, Cartier has expanded the popular Santos-Dumont collection. There’s a new supersized Santos-Dumont XL watch that measures a full 46.6mm by 33.9mm. And equipped with the manual winding 430 MC movement, the watches come in three metals: pink gold with a cabochon sapphire crown on a gray alligator strap, pink gold and steel with a blue synthetic spinel crown on a black alligator strap, and sporty-looking steel with a blue synthetic spinel crown on a navy blue alligator strap.
Limited Edition Engraved Timepieces
Also in the extra-large size, but limited to just 30 pieces, is the Santos-Dumont La Demoiselle watch in platinum. Its caseback is engraved with the design of “La Demoiselle,” which Cartier deems the most elegant of Santos’ flying machines. This spectacular timepiece comes with two straps: Brown alligator and “Panama” fabric. It’s also powered by the 430 MC watch, which has a power reserve of 38 hours.
The three additional watches in this series are large, measuring 43.5mm by 31.4mm. The “Le Brésil” timepiece is crafted in platinum and is limited to just 100 pieces. The caseback is engraved with “Santos-Dumont’s very first machine, Le Brésil,” according to the brand. Made in 1898, Santos-Dumont called this machine his smallest and the most beautiful.
An engraving of Santos-Dumont’s single-seat motorized airship “La Baladeuse,” which he piloted across Paris in 1903, graces the caseback of this watch. This watch, in a yellow gold case, is a limited edition of 300 pieces.
“n ͦ 14 bis”
The steel “n ͦ 14 bis” features a yellow gold bezel and anthracite dial and will be the most widely produced of the limited edition series, with 500 pieces available. The “n ͦ 14 bis” flying machine is engraved on the back and most closely resembles an airplane. Aboard the “n ͦ 14 bis,” Santos-Dumont navigated the flying machine by standing in the fuselage and operated the rudder and fins by cables. He won the prestigious Archdeacon Cup for his flight in October 1906, and the next month took the Aéro-Club award. In winning this award, Santos-Dumont was the first to complete 220 meters in the air, certified by an official organization.
(Images © Cartier)