Watches & Wonders: Cartier Introduces New Models In The Ballon Bleu & Pasha de Cartier Collections
Proof that Cartier’s watchmakers kept themselves busy during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Watchonista already covered several new jewelry and fine watchmaking timepieces that Cartier unveiled prior to Watches & Wonders, and in a two-part series, we will cover the latest releases, beginning with the Pasha de Cartier and the Ballon Bleu de Cartier.
Pasha de Cartier
The Pasha de Cartier was first introduced in 1985 and relaunched to much fanfare in 2020. This year, Cartier adds a petite 30mm model and a 41mm Pasha de Cartier Chronograph to the collection.
First up: The new Pasha de Cartier Chronograph pays homage to the original Pasha chronographs with its pushers. Those are set with the maison’s signature blue sapphire cabochons on the 18K yellow gold watch or blue synthetic spinel cabochons on the steel model.
It has a beautiful guilloché-decorated dial, and the curved motif nicely contrasts with the engraved square at the center of the dial. There are three chronograph totalizers and a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. Moreover, the blued hands nicely complement the sapphire cabochons.
The watch is powered by the new automatic in-house 1904-CH MC movement, which has a 47-hour power reserve and is visible through the sapphire caseback. The 41mm Pasha de Cartier Chronograph is available in steel or 18K yellow gold with several dial colors. Each model features Cartier’s QuickSwitch bracelet system, so you can easily swap out the bracelet for a gray alligator strap on the steel model or switch between a gray or blue alligator strap for the 18K version.
The maison also introduced a Pasha de Cartier 30mm model, making it the smallest Pasha de Cartier watch in the collection. It is powered by a quartz movement and is available in steel or 18K pink gold, with or without diamonds. It also includes the QuickSwitch bracelet system, which will come in handy — there are several gorgeous straps, including red, fuchsia, and gray alligator
Pricing for all models is still to be determined.
Ballon Bleu de Cartier
The Ballon Bleu de Cartier is the maison’s most popular timepiece, beloved for its sculptural twist on classic round cases. There have been plenty of models since its release in 2007, but this year, Cartier unveils a new size, 40mm, and a new in-house movement.
While there is no doubt this watch was years in the making, it comes at an interesting time in the watch world. Genderless timepieces are becoming more and more popular, with more men wearing smaller watches and more women wearing larger watches. Some observers and commentators have even called on brands to stop the practice of “genderizing” watch lines entirely.
Fortuitously for Cartier, a 40mm case is considered one of the optimal sizes for this unisex approach. So this release feels quite timely. And though the Ballon Bleu de Cartier has always been worn by both men and women — with models ranging from 26 to 42mm — this new size is a welcome addition to the collection.
Furthermore, the 40mm Ballon Bleu de Cartier has a new automatic in-house 1847 MC automatic movement that measures just 3.77mm thick and has a 40-hour power reserve.
There are also several case and strap variants on offer. The 18K pink gold case with diamond-set bezel iterations come on either an 18K pink gold bracelet or a burgundy alligator strap. The versions with an 18K pink gold case, but without the diamond-set bezel, come on either a brown alligator strap or a matching 18K pink gold bracelet. And the steel models come on either a steel bracelet or a black alligator strap.
The 40mm Ballon Bleu de Cartier steel models begin at $5,800, and the pink gold models range from $14,600-$40,600.
Finally, Cartier also introduces new dials in other sizes of the Ballon Bleu and Ballon Blanc, including warm gold and shimmering silver-blue, priced from $19,100 and $5,750, respectively. The dressier Ballon Blanc de Cartier has two new quartz models — a 26mm that retails for $6,600 and a 30mm for $7,800 — with white dials, diamond-set bezels, and navy blue calf leather straps with a satin-like finish.