This year, the French jeweler will once again resurrect its gorgeous Cartier Crash line with a twist in the most literal meaning of the expression. First introduced half a century ago as a kind of homage to one of their London branch top managers who died in a car crash, this limited edition looks like it was half-melted and deformed in the fire.
Revealed during the SIHH 2013 show, the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronographs (refs. W1556226 & W1556225) share their underpinnings with the gorgeous Calibre de Cartier Chronograph model that was revealed around a month before, but has the base 1904-CH MC caliber upgraded with a perpetual calendar module.
Unveiled during the Baselworld 2012 trade show, the hand-wound Cartier Tank Folle (ref. WJ306017) is a reincarnation of the (almost) legendary Cartier Crash from the late 1960s. Clearly influenced by Salvador Dali’s “liquid” clocks, the original watch was a morbid homage to one of Cartier of London senior managers who died (actually, was incinerated alive) in a car crash. His wristwatch was deformed by fire to a degree of melting and some other member of staff happened to be crazy enough to take the destroyed timekeeper as a source of inspiration. Now, eat your heart out, Stephen King.
The 2011 Cartier Masse Secrete Panthere Decor is delivered in a shining, rhodium-plated white gold case and features a nicely complicated movement with an inverted winding rotor. Although Cartier makes gigantic strides towards becoming a manufacturer of high-end watches, the French jeweler doesn’t want to forget about its roots. The brand successfully combines gorgeous exterior design with nicely complicated in-house movements.
At the international watch fair SIHH 2012 the French jeweler, which is gradually becoming a major watchmaker, presented its hand-wound Rotonde de Cartier Cadran Love Tourbillon (ref. W1556214). Featuring a new take on their concept of a skeletonized dial (a thick pluck of metal with cut-through Roman numerals that is actually thick enough to hold a hand-wound movement,) the watch is, as usual, daringly large and irresistibly beautiful in its own rugged way.
With the 2015 Rotonde de Cartier Astroregulateur (ref. W1556211) limited edition, Cartier has found yet another, maybe even more effective, way of combating the problem of gravity affecting the accuracy of mechanical movements. The solution is as simple as it is ingenious.
With the hand-wound Pasha de Cartier Skeleton Flying Tourbillon (ref. W3030021) that is offered in a precious 18-karat white gold case, the French brand keeps exploring the exciting world of skeletonized timepieces.
At the last SIHH 2011 industry event that gathers crème de la crème of the Swiss watchmaking community, the French jeweler that also rapidly becomes a serious Manufacture, has presented the limited-edition Extra-Flat Ballon Bleu de Cartier collection. The one that is -regretfully rather briefly- reviewed here, is the version that features a precious platinum case and comes with a reference number of W6920059. With its daringly huge diameter of 46 millimeters that is nicely contrasted by a hair-thin profile, it will surely attract attention to its owner, whether they want it or not.
The French jeweler Cartier slowly, but steadily builds itself a reputation of a serious watchmaking brand, which is capable of developing and producing movements that are not just complex, but also innovative. The 2011 Calibre de Cartier Multiple Time Zone (ref. W7100026) is among their latest masterpieces.
The French luxury jeweler keeps introducing skeletonized timepieces. The latest in the series is the hand-wound Cartier Santos Dumont Carbon Skeleton Titanium (Ref. W2020052) that was officially presented at the SIHH 2011 trade fair. Featuring their signature “full skeleton” dial, the watch looks like a step in the right direction from their previous attempts.