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Cartier - Cartier, of Gold and Shapes

Cartier Cartier, of Gold and Shapes

Combining shapes and tones of gold makes for genuine appeal. There lies a staple of the Cartier watchmaking style

As the stream of Cartier's 2022 novelties is about to be unleashed at Watches & Wonders, now's the opportune time to remember the classics. On a tray, in a window, on a CPO website such as Watchfinder, novelty doesn't win the race or melt hearts. It's what you see and keep seeing.

Cartier manages its collections on the long and bustling term. The continued relevance of such names as Panthère, Santos and Tank is a constant reminder of that fact. It should also be noted that Cartier is first and foremost a jeweller. To them, the watch was initially a canvas among many. It quickly gained unique status thanks to unique shape design. In a world where 95% of watches are round, Cartier has always played the rectangle card. Four right angles, four sides, infinite possibilities. The square is but a singular geometrical version of that, although a notable one. This is the principle that brought us the Tank Louis Cartier, the Tank Française, and several types of Santos. 

Cartier, of Gold and Shapes

Cartier Tank Française and Cartier Tank Louis Cartier © Cartier

That's no reason to forget that when Cartier makes a circle, it becomes properly unique as well. Looking at a Ballon Bleu from above is to understand but a small part of it. Most of what makes this piece so attractive doesn't reside in its rounded shape or its unusual crown bridge, but is seen from the side : it's entirely curved, like a lens. 

Cartier, of Gold and Shapes

Santos © Cartier

Even if steel represents a good part of Cartier's offering, for natural reasons of which price is not the least, Cartier's crown material is the same as in jewellery. Namely, gold. It's surprisingly seldom white. Grey tones are reserved to steel and more prominently to platinum, a metal that helped put the brand on the watchmaking map back in the 1930's.

Cartier, of Gold and Shapes

Cartier Panthère and Cartier Ballon Bleu © Cartier

Cartier's gold is chiefly warm in tone. Mostly, that means rose gold as this 18 ct alloy has spent most of this century's 20 first years unchallenged. But Cartier watches are deeply anchored in the 1980's and 90's, a time when yellow gold ruled supreme. It's only logical to now have a choice between the two, as each one conveys a particular mood and feel. There is a constant behind all of this though. A textured dial with Roman numerals, aligned with the railroad minute track and blue sword hands are another of Cartier's unique signatures.



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The brand

Characterised by audacity and inventiveness, Cartier’s watchmaking history reflects a unique state of mind: “jeweller of kings and king of jewellers”. Its renown is bound up in the tradition of excellence to which it is heir. Cartier was a forerunner in the use of platinum in jewellery and one of the pioneers of watchmaking.

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