Five watches determine Cartier’s position in the history of watchmaking-the highest position?
IF you do not know the story behind the creation of the wristwatch, then let us give you a hand: in 1904, Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aviator, requested his friend Louise Cartier to craft him a timepiece he could strap to his arm so as to absolve himself from accepting his hands away from the airplane’s controls. Santos-Dumont’s desire was soon granted and consequently the foundations of the Cartier watches powerhouse were laid. The rest — as watch fanatics understand — is horological history.
Now, 113 years on, Cartier stands as one of the best jewellers and watchmakers in the world. Here we have a look in five timepieces that have defined the French home’s iconic status.
5 watches which defined Cartier’s place in horological history
In a summary: established in 1917, the Tank is the greatest symbol of the modern watchmaking era. As a tribute to the cellphone and armoured vehicles he saw on the Western Front during World War II, Louise Cartier gifted a watch of the Exact Same title to the famous American general John Pershing. The timepiece was complete with an angular and flat case (a feature unheard of in the time) and, contrary to other models on the current market, was created with an integrated shape that created the strap just as crucial as the instance. Two years later this model was shipped to production. Though there have been various editions and contours since then, it is the first Tank, the Normale (that was the finalised version of this prototype), that will forever stay unstoppable.
Drive p Cartier Extra Flat
In a nutshell: last year, Cartier, during the arrival of the Drive p Cartier, introduced a completely new silhouette to its collection — one with a unique, retro-style, dressy-cum-sporty cushion form. The most recent iteration — the Drive Extra Flat — retains the same design of the first, but it has been trimmed down to a 6.6mm-thin case, making it ideal to slip seamlessly under a tuxedo.
It features: a calibre 430 MC (that is Cartier’s version of this Piaget 430P), a hand-wound ultra-thin movement along with a 36-hour power book.
Ballon Bleu de Cartier
In a nutshell: the Ballon Bleu is an elegant part of wrist armour, and its statement nine years ago signified Cartier’s commitment to advancing haute horlogerie in today’s era while still staying true to the traditional principles. The relatively thick 14.8mm case solidifies the watch’s dominating looks, while its face’s Roman numerals are directed by a deep azure winding mechanism.
It features: a 30-minute enroll at 3 o’clock, a seconds subdial at 6, manual winding, sword shaped palms and a fluted crown.
In a nutshell: possibly the most complex watch Cartier (along with the watch market) has produced, this timepiece surely lives up to its title. It contains a continuous calendar, minute repeater and flying tourbillion — all of which can be put in an extremely skeletonised movement. Striking, beautiful and also a must-have for collectors.
It features: 578 parts (such as 47 stones ), brass sunray-brushed dials plus a black alligator skin strap.
Tortue Large Date
In a nutshell: based in 1912, the Tortue array was created during a time when most of chronographs watches were around; as a result of its distinctive shape, this tortoise-inspired model (along with others in the group ) went on to become a classic.
It features: a mechanical movement with manual winding, a case in 18k white gold, a beaded crown set with a faceted sapphire cabochon, a ring in black semi-matte alligator skin, a huge date at 12 o’clock and small seconds at 6 o’clock. It’s also water-resistant to 30m.