Cartier freshened 6 of their collection families this Watches & Wonders 2021, viz the Cartier Libre, Cartier Privé, Pasha de Cartier, Santos de Cartier + Santos Dumont, Tank Must de Cartier , Ballon Bleu and the Panthère Jewellery lines. Here is our top 3 picks as highlights: Tank Must, Privé Cloche and Ballon Bleu.
Detailed reviews of the pieces featured in this article and more will be published soon.
Highlights from the Cartier 2021 novelties
Tank Must de Cartier
Retail price: SGD 5,100 inclusive of GST / USD 3,550. Available from September 2021.
The Tank is one of the iconic Cartier designs. Timeless. Pure. Self assured. After more than a century, it is now re-invented with the Tank Must. Tank and Must, the fusion of the two icons of the maison: on the one hand, Tank, essential and dandy, and on the other, Must, a name immortalised at Cartier
in the 1970s that revisits the classic conventions of luxury.
A whole range of Tanks were released this year, from automatic winding to quartz, from plain dials to the Louis Cartier art deco colour dials and a solar model series. Out pick is the XL Tank Must with the automatic powered by the caliber 1847 MC.
The initial characteristics described in the opening paragraph of the Tank Must is clearly defined. Timeless. Pure. Self assured. We particularly love the guilloché dial with the inner rectangular railway track surrounded by the bold Roman numerals. Strikes us as particularly good taste.
Cartier Privé Cloche
Retail price: SGD 39,400 inclusive of GST / USD 27,500. Limited Edition of 100 pieces, available from September 2021.
The Cartier Privé collection is Cartier’s answer to the collector’s collection intended to celebrate and explore the maison’s mythical models through numbered, limited edition watches. Initiated in 2015 with the Crash, it was soon followed by the Tank Cintrée in 2017, the Tonneau in 2019, the Tank Asymétrique in 2020. And now the new Cloche as the fifth opus.
The case shape is the defining character of this piece. “Cloche”, meaning bell in French first appeared in Cartier watches in about 1920. It is so named because, when placed horizontally, the outline reminds one of the service bell rung at a counter.
The piece we have selected is in yellow gold, and keeps Cartier’s traditional watchmaking codes: rail tracks, sword-shaped hands and a closed-set cabochon on the winding crown. This new model is faithful to the original finishes – satin finished case back, polished between the lugs and edges. The Cloche is powered by the caliber 1917 MC, a movement created in 2019.
The aesthetics is superbly delicate and particularly pleasing. The balance of the dial elements play well with the peculiar shape of the case. The case size is 37.15 x 28.75 mm, and in our view, wears well on mid and smaller sized wrists.
Perhaps our attraction to the Cloche is also partly due to the curiosity that the case shape when worn on the wrist clearly writes out the D in our logo.
The watch is also available in platinum and pink gold, but we particularly like the tone on tone dial/case visual. A skeleton model in either pink gold, platinum and platinum with diamonds is also introduced.
Cartier Ballon Bleu
Retail price: SGD 8,350 inclusive of GST / USD 5,800. Available from April 2021.
The Ballon Bleu is a classic in the Cartier models, and this latest iteration is offered in a new 40mm case diameter. The movement is now the automatic caliber 1847 MC. The well loved case shape, here in stainless steel remains unchanged with the fluted crown protected by a curved bridge. The crown is set with a synthetic cabochon-shaped spinel. The dial is silvered guilloché with good contrast to to the Roman numerals and the blued-steel sword-shaped hands.
The previous version of this model with a self winding movement was only offered in either 42mm or in 36mm. This new model is the goldilocks size, not too big, not too small…just right.
The 2021 collection by Cartier is one which marches on to the century old beat of the Cartier drum. Individualistic and yet approachable. The pricing for the Tank Must is particularly attractive. While the Ballon Bleu is considerably more, but still relatively modestly priced, especially compared to the competition’s offerings. The Privé Cloche, by nature of it being a limited edition and part of the Collection Privé, and offered in 18k gold meant that it needed to be priced higher, but we think still an approachable level for gold watches of this caliber. Overall, we must say we are impressed with Cartier, and more and more so over these two or three years, as they consolidate and focus on their element.