By Magnus Salbu
Cartier is a brand known throughout the world for their jewellery, but they have been making watches since the early 19th century. The last couple of decades they have also been focusing more and more on their watches.
5. Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Mystery Hour Watch
Cartier’s mystery watches have always been incredibly impressive. The Rotonde de Cartier Mystery Hour Watch is no exception. The concept of the mystery watch is that the hands or another crucial part of the watch is displayed on the dial as if they float in thin air. The concept is quite interesting and makes for a stunning visual as the hands look like they’re not attached to anything. The concept actually works in the way that the hands are mounted onto sapphire discs which in turn rotates to tell the time. The movement is beautifully crafted around the empty space in the middle and to the right of the watch.
4. Cartier Calibre de Cartier
The Calibre de Cartier is one of Cartier’s less famous watches. It doesn’t have the reputation of the Santos and the Tank, but in my opinion, it is Cartier’s most versatile range of watches. They come in both divers versions and regular versions and they all house Cartier’s new in-house manufacture movements. The watches generally have a sportier look than we’re used to seeing from Cartier, and the Diver is Cartier’s first with an outer rotating bezel. But even the regular Calibre de Cartier looks quite sporty with its three o’clock date window and rough case design. The Calibre de Cartier comes in a variety of different case materials, dial colours, and complications. My personal favourite is the Calibre de Cartier Chronograph.
3. Cartier Ballon Bleu
The Ballon Bleu is another iconic watch in Cartier’s line-up. Like many others this watch has a very unique and distinctive design feature. You will immediately notice the crown goes a lot longer into the dial than it usually does. This means that the dial is not completely circular either. Around the crown and out of the case is a little steel arc that protects the crown against shocks and dings. The dial has large roman numerals and at three o’clock you can see that the marker has been moved further in on the dial to make space for the unusual crown placement.
2. Cartier Tank
The Cartier Tank was created in 1917, and introduced on the market in 1919. Long before another rectangular watch we all know and love, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso which was introduced in 1931. Since its origin in 1917, the Cartier Tank has been reimagined in many different watches and complications. But two aspects of the Cartier Tank have always been the same. All versions are in a rectangular shape, and they all have a blue gemstone on the tip of the crown. The dial of the Cartier Tank is also very similar to that of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. The middle portion of the dial has a sunburst/guilloche pattern and a minute track in between the middle and outer portion of the dial.
1. Cartier de Santos
Sliding in at first place on our list is the Cartier Santos, arguably Cartier’s most famous wristwatch. The timepiece is easily distinguishable with its screwed bezel. The Santos collection is a result of the fact that Louis Cartier got a request from a famous Brazilian pilot to manufacture a wristwatch that was easy to read while in the air. Louis Cartier, a keen pilot himself completed the task and made the Cartier Santos, named after the Brazilian Pilot, Alberto Santos Dumont. The Cartier Santos is an extremely legible and robust wristwatch with its screwed bracelet links and bezel. Since the early 1900’s, the Cartier Santos has become a very wide collection of timepieces. There have been special editions, cases in ceramic, gold and steel, two-tone cases etc. Perhaps the most notable is the Cartier Santos 100 Skeleton with a case made of palladium and a dial that is skeletonized. Unfortunately, the price of this watch is $58.000.
So there you have it, my top 5 list of Cartier watches. It’s about time Cartier receives more recognition for their Haute Horology watches and their flawlessly executed watches.For more info, please visit cartier.com