Cartier is another brand that has caught on with collectors in recent years, and its strong sales figures last year (second only to the almighty Rolex) is a strong testament to that. We believe Cartier’s popularity can be attributed to its classy, yet elegant, take on watches – something that we believe is highly unique to Cartier and its iconic line of timepieces.
Press Release information with Commentary in italics.
New: Selected Cartier novelties from Watches & Wonders 2022
Recommended retail prices:
- Cartier Tank Must/Tank Louis Cartier: EUR 2,480 (SGD 3,692) onwards / EUR 10,940 onwards (SGD 16,288)
- Cartier Privé Tank Chinoise: From SGD 39,900 onwards
- Cartier Masse Mystérieuse: EUR 250,000 (approximately SGD 372,216)
- Cartier Santos-Dumont: EUR 5,100 for steel, EUR 12,000 for gold, and EUR 16,000 for platinum (approximately SGD 7,593, SGD 17,866, and SGD 23,821 respectively)
- Cartier Pasha Skeleton: SGD 38,800 onwards
Cartier is known for its design language, and the new novelties this year certainly did not disappoint. What is also interesting is that they have new launches across different collections, each with their own unique style and expression.
For this particular article, we are focusing on a few of our favourites.
The Tank collection saw Cartier reintroducing a new dial for the ever-popular Must de Tank collection, this time in a more subdued black tone. In addition, Cartier had also introduced the monochrome dial to the Louis Cartier line-up, which we believe is a brilliant move. While we love the idea behind the three monochrome Must de Cartier that was launched last year, we felt that the lack of a mechanical movement is a slight pity. The introduction of this variation, in the form of a Louis Cartier case, is definitely a winner in this case.
Following that, the Louis Cartier collection also saw the introduction of two new dial variations. This pair of watches feature simple geometric patterns across the dial, with the shapes featuring different shades of burgundy or anthracite grey respectively. It is a simple, yet playful take on shapes and colours. Despite the touches, these two Louis Cartier are still rather restrained, which allows the watch to maintain its sophisticated image. Undoubtedly a hallmark of Cartier.
The final piece of the puzzle is the reintroduction of the Tank Chinoise, which is part of the exclusive Privé collection. Introduced exactly a century ago, the Tank Chinoise – as its namesake suggests – combines the iconic Tank aesthetics with the influence of Chinese architecture and cultures. The result is a rather enchanting piece, and we believe it is a design that most can appreciate -regardless if one is a Chinese, or otherwise.
The Chinese influence is further displayed in the Tank Chinoise Skeleton, where the open-worked dial features a pattern that is not dissimilar to those that are seen on doors or blinds in Chinese architectures. The Skeleton variant is no doubt a more evocative piece, but it also showcases the boldness of the maison and its willingness to create something striking.
Cartier Masse Mystérieuse
The Masse Mystérieuse, in our humble opinion, is surely the highlight of its 2022 novelties. The Mystérieuse is an icon of Cartier’s, but this particular rendition with the movement encapsulated in its oscillating weight is simply mind-blowing. How the heck did Cartier even achieve such a feat?
We absolutely love the creativity behind the watch, and we appreciate the originality of the Masse Mystérieuse. This is what we love to see in watchmaking, where brands go all out to do something unique and different. In our books, the concept is a perfect ten. The execution simply takes the watch onto a whole new level, and frankly, we dare say that the Masse Mystérieuse is easily one of our favourite novelties in Watches and Wonders 2022.
2018 saw the introduction of a refreshed Santos-Dumont line with great success. This year, Cartier had further refined the already stunning Santos-Dumont, with the introduction of a new dial (with square motifs) and lacquer coating on both the case and bezel. This definitely adds a different dimension to the Santos-Dumont, as well as some vibrancy to the original variant. It might perhaps not be everyone’s cup of tea understandably, but we do feel that the addition of a layer of lacquer brings out the subtle elements and design cues of the Santos-Dumont nicely.
Finally, the last of our highlights: Cartier Pasha.
The Pasha novelties are segregated into two portions – Pasha without complications, and Pasha with complications. For the former, the novelties come with a detachable “grille”, which brings a different look to the Pasha. It is certainly an intriguing design, and one that non-conformists will surely adore.
As for the Pasha watches with complications, Cartier introduced a chronograph, moonphase, skeleton, and tourbillon variants. We love the moonphase variant, especially with the mignight-blue planisphere present at the six o’clock position of the watch. The blue especially stands out, and we love the use of an oval motif which adds a playful touch to the design language of the Pasha and its circular case. Separately, the Skeleton variant is also stunning, with the introduction of luminescence material on the open-worked dial and use of black ADLC steel on the case adding a whole new dimension to the already extraordinary timepiece.
Press Release Information
- 22mm x 29.5mm x 6.6mm (Small) / 25.5mm x 33.7mm x 6.6mm (Large)
- Black lacquer dial
- Stainless steel case
- Crown set with a blue synthetic spinel cabochon
- Black alligator leather strap
- Quartz movement
For Cartier, time is here and now. Pure lines, perfect form and precise proportions: these enduring watches stand out as readily in their own time as they will in the future. The Tank watch is a prime example of being utterly timeless.
A family affair, yes, but two watches with strong character nonetheless. Embodying the spirit of the 1970s and 80s, the Tank Must applies the visual style of the early Tank Louis Cartier watches to steel. This great aesthetic potential feeds the inspiration of Cartier’s watchmakers and inspires ongoing cycles of creative exploration.
Fully redesigned in 2021 to be as close as possible to the Tank Louis Cartier, the 2022 edition of the Tank Must features an all-black dial. Timeless, understated and mounted on steel, this is a watch rich in character and without distraction or compromise. This new version is now available in both small and large models.
Tank Louis Cartier
- 25.5mm x 33.7mm x 6.6mm
- Black/Red lacquer dial, or galvanised grey dial
- 18k yellow/rose case
- Crown set with sapphire cabochon
- Black/red/grey alligator leather strap
- In-house Calibre 1917 MC, manual-winding with a power reserve of approximately 38 hours
Two signature brancards and a clean rectangle punctuating the strap: this is the Tank watch, created in 1917 and cherished generation after generation since. Like an idea with endless possibilities, or a “founding concept” according to Louis Cartier, it paved the way for many different versions.
In 1922, the design of the Tank watch was reworked: the case was elongated, the brancards were refined and the angles softened. The resulting Tank Louis Cartier would go on to borrow the monochrome dials of its sister and of the Tank Must, born in 1977. In 2021, Cartier revealed a Tank Louis Cartier watch whose dial featured the rectangle-within-a-rectangle motif that first appeared on a Must de Cartier watch from the 1980s.
This year, the Tank Louis Cartier watch brings with it a new radical elegance buoyed by the intensity of the monochrome dials: red, the Maison’s signature colour, and anthracite grey, a shade borrowed from the Cartier watchmaking palette. In addition to this, it has been further refined: from the twelve classic hour marks, just four remain and the rail track is absent.
Appearing monochrome at first glance, the Tank Louis Cartier watch, depending on the light and the way you view it, reveals a vibrancy that is rich in shade and depth. To achieve this effect, Cartier’s watchmaking craftsmen used—for the first time at Cartier—an innovative electrochemical engraving technique that allows for very high-precision markings: these almost invisible markings, carried out in different directions, form a group of sections and areas which recreates the graphic pattern featured on the dial of a Cartier Must watch from the 1980s. Techniques used for colouring differ: lacquer for the red dial and a galvanised finish for the grey dial. The dials are then enhanced with a glossy, multi-layered decal that accentuates the Roman numerals. The engraving creates reflective effects and optical variations that modify our very perception of colour.
Even more radical and intense, the third version of the Tank Louis Cartier complements this duo with its deep black dial. The bright lacquer contrasts with the radiance of the gold case.
Tank Chinoise/Chinoise Skeleton
- 39.49 mm x 29.2mm x 6.09mm (Tank Chinoise) or 39.5mm x 29.2mm x 7.70mm (Tank Chinoise Skeleton)
- Gold/Silver Sunburst or Skeletonised with Lacquered Patterns
- 18k yellow/rose/platinum case
- Crown set with faceted sapphire or ruby
- Semi-matt black or grey alligator leather strap
- In-house Calibre 430 MC (Tank Chinoise) or Calibre 9627 MC (Tank Chionoise Skeleton), manual-winding with a power reserve of approximately 38 hours
- The Tank Chinoise is limited to 150 pieces for each metal variant, while the Tank Chinoise Skeleton is limited to 100 pieces for each metal variant (sans the diamond-set variant, which is limited to 20 pieces)
Made in 1917 by Louis Cartier and sold two years later, the Tank is one of the most remarkable watches of the Maison and indeed in the history of watchmaking. Since its creation, the accuracy of its design and the timelessness of its pure lines have made it a watch capable of passing through time, maintaining its relevance as it continually evolves.
When the Tank Chinoise was born in 1922, Louis Cartier had already recognised the richness of the arts of other cultures and their importance in jewellery and watchmaking. Thus, Cartier has already distinguished itself with precious objects of extreme fineness and delicacy – jewellery, but also vanities, powder compacts and clocks – adorned with emblematic elements of Chinese iconography.
The Tank Chinoise aesthetics pay tribute to the architecture of Chinese temples and the geometry of their porticos, which, for the Tank Chinoise, Cartier transposes into horizontal bars placed on vertical bars. This unique watch, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, has inspired numerous models but it has not been redesigned since 2004, except in the Cartier Libre versions.
Today, the Tank Chinoise watch reveals the mystery of the skeleton movement within its new rectangular dial. A signature complication of the Maison that watchmakers have adapted to the case of a gold watch. The open-worked dial reveals the workings of the movement, much like traditional Chinese windows. Inspired by Chinese savoir-faire, the black and red lacquer brings both preciousness and the effect of depth. The 9627 MC skeleton movement of the watch was developed by Cartier exclusively for this Tank Chinoise.
This spectacular watch is complemented by a large and understated hour-minute version in platinum, with horizontal bevelled-edge bars. It beats to the rhythm of the 430 MC movement which is currently the Maison’s finest mechanical movement.
- 43.5mm x 12.64mm
- Skeletonised dial
- Platinum case
- Crown set with ruby cabochon
- Semi-matt dark grey and black alligator leather straps
- In-house Calibre 9801 MC, manual-winding with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours
- Limited edition of 30 pieces
The Masse Mystérieuse watch brings together two of the Maison’s watchmaking signatures: the mysterious movement and the skeleton. Everything, right down to the technology, is infused with design and aesthetics. Since the mystery clocks first appeared in the 1910s, the movement has not only been miniaturised to fit watch cases but, for this new creation, it has also been reimagined to make the oscillating weight a real ornament.
With its fascinating aesthetics, the Calibre 9801 MC is a new movement that ensures the effects of gravity do not affect the chronometer. The result of nearly eight years of work at the Cartier Manufacture, where it was designed, developed, manufactured and assembled, this movement has now been filed for a patent. It took five different constructions before a prototype could be launched, with two further prototypes needed to develop the final version of the calibre.
On the Masse Mystérieuse watch, the hands float in the space of the case, without being connected to any gears. More than that: the whole movement also seems weightless. All components that receive energy from the movement, transmission and regulation are integrated in the rotor. The rotor itself is skeletonised to make this moving spectacle visible. In the centre, an ultra-sophisticated differential system – borrowed from the automotive industry – has been integrated into the movement to prevent the time display from being caught in the mass. This is the complexity of this innovation, a true technical feat that comes to life at the slightest touch of the wearer and seamlessly displays the time to the rhythm of the hands in the void.
The most technical and complex piece ever developed by the Manufacture’s watchmakers keeps its manufacturing secrets to itself. You can only imagine the degree of precision with which the watchmaking experts calculated the movements carried out by each of the cogs so they could fit into the reduced space of the rotor. Unlike a tourbillon, the mysterious rotor uses an innovative principle that ensures the balance wheel always remains in the same position as the watch. In fact, the rotor does not rotate in one direction and at a constant speed like the tourbillon, but in both directions at an irregular speed.
- 43.5mm x 31.4mm x 7.3mm
- Stainless steel/Rose gold/Platinum case
- Crown set with a blue synthetic spinel/sapphire/ruby cabochon
- Bezel in black/beige/burgundy lacquer
- Black/Dark Green/Burgundy alligator leather strap
- In-house Calibre 430 MC, manual-winding with a power reserve of approximately 38 hours
As a tribute to the historical model, the Santos-Dumont collection adds three new versions to its repertoire of elegance. Three lacquer watches that elevate the style and spirit so dear to the aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont.
Style is the hallmark of Alberto Santos-Dumont, a pioneer of the sky known for his impeccable dress sense on all
occasions. With his waistcoat, wing collar, trousers with large turn-ups and backward facing flat cap, this prince
of aviation favours elegance, simplicity and practicality. These were the three main principles of Alberto Santos-Dumont, who ordered the first modern wristwatch from Louis Cartier in 1904.
Updated in 2018, the Santos-Dumont watch is faithful to the pure design of the original model. It is the focus
of a collection enriched this year with three new refined and very exclusive watches which cultivate the elegance
inherited from Alberto Santos-Dumont.
These three colour variations in burgundy and platinum, beige and gold or black and steel are coated with a thin layer
of lacquer, then smoothed and polished by hand. Everything hinges on the finesse of this translucent lacquer, which adds brilliance, relief and depth to the colours of the dial. Delicate knowledge at the service of a subtle and
sophisticated aesthetic that perpetuates the heritage of this great watchmaking classic.
- 41mm x 9.5mm
- Stainless steel/Rose gold case (Moonphase) or Black ADLC steel/White gold with baguette-cut diamonds case (Skeleton)
- Crown set with a blue synthetic spinel/sapphire cabochon
- Interchangeable QuickSwitch blue and grey/black and dark grey alligator leather straps
- In-house Calibre 1904-LU MC, self-winding with a power reserve of approximately 48 hours (Moonphase)
- In-house Calibre 9624 MC, self-winding with power reserve of approximately 48 hours (Skeleton)
Existing at a certain point in time is a delicate exercise. And this is all the more true when it comes to time travel. Utterly contemporary, despite debuting in the 1980s, the Pasha de Cartier watch is a timeless staple, a piece that transcends eras. It continues to inspire, boasting boundless creativity and an intelligent design that allows it to evolve while remaining in tune with the era in which it exists.
Developed and produced at the Cartier Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Moonphase and Skeleton Pasha de Cartier watches feature two iconic movements.
A delicate moon-phase movement in the shape of a circle surrounded by a midnight-blue planisphere strewn with stars, which contrasts with the bold design of the Pasha de Cartier watch. Equipped with the Manufacture 1904 LU MC movement, the watch is available in an all-gold or steel version. Two versions of the same watch, with a blue marker on the dial framed in gold or steel to mark the time.
A signature skeleton movement, the Calibre 9524MC features the Arabic numerals of the Pasha de Cartier watch. It matches the unconventional diameter and design of the Pasha de Cartier watch and emphasises its strength, from the four oversized numbers to the square in the circle on the dial. The watch is available in two versions: a limited-edition white gold jewellery version paved with baguette-cut diamonds and a steel version with black ADLC for the case and Super-LumiNova® for the bridges and hands.