Cartier has a singular vision that time is cyclical, rather than linear, as conventionally portrayed. This is why the Maison always engages in an endless process of transformation and reinvention, a continuous movement that leads into the future.
Unlimited time and infinite creativity are found in Cartier’s new watch collections this year. Here’s a look at some of the stunning timepieces that caught our eyes. There is the Tank, the original idea that Louis Cartier predicted would be successful, represented this year by a new Tank Normale—in reference to the very first one, created in 1917—and by the elegant Tank Américaine. New interpretations of the Pasha, Baignoire, Panthère and Santos de Cartier watches also delight and in addition, the Clash [Un]limited watch is a true creative
fusion that takes the aesthetic heritage of the Clash collection and evolves it even further.
Each year, a rare watch enters the Cartier Privé collection, the meeting place for collectors who
celebrate and explore the Maison’s legendary models through watches produced in numbered
limited series. Cartier Privé has revealed its 7th opus: the Tank Normale. Created in 1917 by
Louis Cartier and launched two years later, the Tank is one of the Maison’s most remarkable
creations, and in the history of watchmaking. This year, Cartier has dreamt up an hour/
minute version that borrows the proportions and bevelled sapphire crystal of the original.
Available in yellow gold on a brown alligator strap and in platinum on a black alligator strap.
In addition, this model is supplied on a yellow gold bracelet or a platinum bracelet, with satin
and polished finishes evoking a 70s spirit.
Furthermore, Cartier has added a skeleton movement to this emblematic model, accompanied by a 24-hour complication marked by a sun and crescent moon that is also skeletonised. While the minute hand turns around the dial in one hour, the hour hand goes round in 24 hours instead
of 12 hours.
The Tank Américaine, launched in 1989, drew its inspiration from the Tank Cintrée watch, from which it borrowed its curved case. At the same time, this timepiece introduced the first adjustable strap adapted to the famous folding buckle, which Cartier filed a patent for in 1910.
This year, the Maison’s design studio is reinforcing the original design of the watch and its curved shape by carving a finer, more acrobatic line. The purity of its form is further reinforced by the style of the dial and the flawless integration of the brancards into the extension of the strap.
Equipped with the new 1899 MC movement for slimmer cases, the Tank Américaine watch comes in all-gold and steel with a leather strap, rose gold and diamonds with leather strap or diamond-paved white and rose gold with a metal bracelet. Designed especially for the Tank Américaine, its
links feature polished facets that catch and radiate light.
Elevating the slim, understated shape of the iconic Santos-Dumont watch, this was the new challenge taken on by the Cartier Manufacture who, in 2023, is introducing a new, specially developed 9629 MC automatic skeleton calibre. Staying true to the elegance of the original 1904 model, the legacy lives on. With a gold or steel case, visible screws, a beaded crown and blue cabochon, the latest Santos-Dumont watch—reinterpreted in 2019—features a skeleton movement, with each and every structural detail paying tribute to the aviator. Inventive and narrative, this movement includes a miniaturised functional oscillating weight in the shape of a replica of the Demoiselle, a trailblazing plane designed by the pilot in 1907. The symbol is made all the more powerful as it seems to soar over a globe. Fascinating indeed!
This aesthetic and technical tribute to Alberto Santos-Dumont is a feat of achievement level with his own. Inspiring and innovative, he was a man who always aimed higher, designing more than 22 flying machines, accumulating patents for inventions and putting his life on the line during every one of his experimental flights. This new micro-rotor calibre took the Cartier Manufacture at La Chaux-de-Fonds almost two years to develop and is comprised of 212 components. Made in rose gold and steel, the Santos-Dumont skeleton watch also takes sophistication one step further with its limited edition in yellow gold and navy lacquer: all the details, the bezel and case are lacquered, including the skeleton bridges onto which the lacquer is applied delicately by hand.
The Santos and Santos-Dumont watches have always been well-loved and besides the magnificent skeletonised versions, there also are other appealing pieces.
Since its creation in 1912, the Baignoire watch has seen multiple incarnations. Like endless possibilities to which Cartier gives form, it follows a pattern of continuity while resembling only itself each time. The year 2023 sees a change of scale, a change of function. In a new alignment of proportions, the dial and its signature Roman numerals are crowned with a richer gold ribbon. Cartier explores the oval of the dial, the watch’s hallmark, and transposes it into a bezel to be slipped as close to the wrist as possible. It’s the birth of a hybrid, precious object: a watch that is also a precious piece of jewellery.
This new concept exalts the sensual character of the watch, whose curved case guarantees comfort. In rose gold, yellow gold or fully paved, the new Baignoire celebrates the bright, sunlit gold of the very first watch. Purity of line, accuracy of shape, precise proportions, and precious
details: the Baignoire watch is essential. It is part of Cartier’s culture of design and can be combined endlessly with other iconic creations of the Maison.
The allure of the Clash [Un]limited watch is undeniable. It is characterised by an elegant mechanism that stands out for its beauty, creating a jewellery watch that combines finesse with power. With beads, picot studs, clou carrés and mobility, the Clash de Cartier codes flow, intertwine, forge their way and manifest themselves in the form of a precious watch.
From faceted corners and bevelled dials to full and empty spaces, as well as round and square elements, its geometry is constant and true to the Maison’s style.
What comes to mind is the legacy of Jeanne Toussaint and her sense of volume. As early as the 1930s, she dared to provoke glittering collisions between preciousness and the industrial aesthetic of ball bearings. A natural link between the past and present, as seen in this Clash [Un]limited watch, which also uses chromatic contrasts to emphasise the geometric motifs. How? Firstly, by alternating brushed and satin-finish gold, then, by combining yellow or rose gold with a new shade of gold in tones of shimmering violet, entirely developed for Cartier. It punctuates the watch, from the clou carré to the beads on the bracelet.
With variations on the same theme in limited-edition releases, the Clash [Un]limited watch is available in different captivating variations. You have to take a look to truly appreciate the finesse and creativity behind these masterpieces.
The great news is that until August 14, 2023, many of the Cartier watches shown at Watches and Wonders 2023 will be in our country. Potential clients are welcome to Cartier boutiques in Pavilion KL and The Gardens Mall to view the novelties. Take note that the Novelties will be moved between boutiques, upon request.
Recently, the media was invited to see the watches at a lovely event at EQ Kuala Lumpur. The verdict was that the watches are indeed enrapturing works of art, captured by time.
If you’re thinking owning a Cartier watch, it’s a good time to get one now. Head to their boutique to choose the one that is calling out to your heart!