Everything you should know about Cartier watches.
Cartier Ballon Bleu, Cartier Santos, Cartier Tank, or Panthère de Cartier ? Wedding Bands for men and women. Let the professionals guide you.
What are Cartier watches?
Founded in Paris, France in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, developed by sons Pierre, Jacques and Louis Cartier, the House of Cartier was a fine jewellery company that was warranted in London by King Edward VII who referred to the brand as “the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers”. The Cartier client was a “superior customer”, often of the aristocracy, who placed orders for rings, tiaras, brooches and necklaces. Today, Cartier jewellery also includes collections of men’s wedding bands, and bridal sets with the famous solitaire rings in three golds set with a brilliant-cut diamond.
Cartier watches were introduced in 1904, among the first wrist watches in the world, to enable Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, friend of Louis Cartier, to read the time while flying, virtually impossible with the then customary pocket watch. From the beginning, the Cartier watch dial was adorned with Roman numerals, and that first “Cartier Santos” watch with a square bezel was highly successful, paving the way to today’s wide collection of Cartier watches in stainless steel, gold and other precious metals, with bracelets or leather straps, for men and ladies. The softly curved “Clé de Cartier”, the stylish “Drive de Cartier”, the square-shaped “Panthère de Cartier”, the round “Rotonde de Cartier”, or “Calibre de Cartier” with manufacture movements all demonstrate the brand’s attention to the aesthetic and mechanical properties of each Cartier watch. With headquarters in Paris, France, production of Cartier watches, from movement to final assembly, is made at the Cartier Manufacture on two sites in Switzerland: in Geneva and La Chaux-de-Fonds.
The essentials of the Cartier Ballon Bleu
With 34 models in the Cartier Ballon Bleu collection, you can choose from sizes of 36mm to 46mm in round cases of stainless steel, 18K pink or white gold, or gold and steel, complemented with matching stainless steel bracelets, 18K gold bracelets, 18K gold and steel bracelets, or leather straps. An ultra-thin model exists, as well as a carbon model in a stainless steel and ADLC case with black calfskin strap and steel and ADLC double adjustable folding buckle. The 36mm model in stainless steel is equipped with a quartz movement, while an automatic movement runs the 42mm models. The XL models in this collection boast the 44mm Ballon Bleu de Cartier chronograph watch with calendar at 6 o’clock, or the 46mm Flying Tourbillon with 2nd Time Zone manual-winding watch. Whatever the size, the Cartier Ballon Bleu watch is smoothly rounded, irresistible to touch, and features a fluted crown set with a blue cabochon-shaped sapphire.
What you should know about the Cartier Santos watches
Eleven models comprise the Cartier Santos collection, recognizable by its distinct geometric shape in sizes of Large and XL. The Santos 100 watch features visible screws on its square bezel with rounded corners, and comes in stainless steel, 18K yellow gold and steel, palladium or carbon, all with leather strap; the Large models measure 51.1mm x 41.3mm. These are powered with an automatic movement, while the XL Skeleton model in palladium comes with a manufacture manual winding movement. With a square but more curvaceous bezel, the Cartier Santos-Dumont measures 44.6 x 34.6 for the Large model, and comes in 18K pink or white gold, or titanium, with leather strap. Skeleton dial models provide a good view of manual-winding manufacture movements; some bezels are diamond set.
Gaining territory with the Cartier Tank watch collection
Inspired by parts of a Renault tank, created by Louis Cartier in 1917 for US Army General John Pershing, the elegant “Tank Louis Cartier” has since been joined by the more robust “Tank Anglaise”, the elongated “Tank Américaine”, the iconic “Tank Française”, the “Tank MC” with manufacture movement, and the entry price watch “Tank Solo” with quartz movement. While the different models vary in size, they are all recognizable with strong, bold lines of square and rectangular shape, and a strap or bracelet connected to the case under the bezel. Features characteristic of Cartier watches include a chemin de fer chapter ring, bold Roman numerals and sword-shaped blued steel hands on the dial, and a blue sapphire or synthetic spinel on the crown. Offering a wide choice of precious metals (sometimes combined with stainless steel), of movements and complications, and of leather straps or metal bracelets, this classic and distinctive watch is versatile. Apart from the Tank MC with its more sporty, masculine look, most versions are appreciated by men and ladies. Some models are diamond set. The latest version of the Tank Anglaise measuring 39.2mm x 29.8mm features a softer curved linear case with the crown set within the band and bezel.
Yet another icon: the Panthère de Cartier for ladies
Created in the 1980s, the Panthère de Cartier watch collection for ladies was reintroduced in 2017 with 17 models. Imagine the pleasure of opening the red Cartier box to discover the small model measuring 30mm x 22 mm x 6mm thick with a case and bracelet in 18K white gold set with 497 brilliant-cut diamonds, or the medium model measuring 37mm x 27mm x 6mm thick in white gold with diamond-set case, dial and bracelet totalling 660 diamonds, completed with lacquer spots for a total panther look. Other models exist in stainless steel, pink gold, yellow gold, or yellow gold and steel. All are equipped with a quartz movement.