3 Cartier Watches That Dazzled Us At Watches & Wonders 2022
The Maison's entire lineup presentation of timepieces this year invites all to a new vision of time, and these are the watches took our breaths away
Some of the best releases from Watches & Wonders Geneva this year are undoubtedly from Cartier, with the Maison presenting stunning timepiece designs for every discerning watch collector and for every taste and personality.
In case you missed the presentation, Cartier published a beautiful video summary of their lineup on YouTube. Watch it below:
There's a lot of ground to cover, and so many interesting and unique designs, so we'll just dive right into the three that were a cut above and left an impression on us.
Pasha de Cartier
Existing at a certain point in time is a delicate exercise. And this is all the more true when it comes to time travel. Utterly contemporary, despite debuting in the 1980s, the Pasha de Cartier watch is a timeless staple, a piece that transcends eras. It continues to inspire, boasting boundless creativity and an intelligent design that allows it to evolve while remaining in tune with the era in which it exists.
2022: The New Designs of the Pasha de Cartier Watch
A benchmark for a whole generation of one-of-a-kind personalities, the Pasha de Cartier watch confirms its status as an extrovert watch through the vitality and power of its latest designs. It is a watch that defies convention, with a protective grid over the dial. It is a watch with a playful side, demonstrated by collectable charms to make it personal to its wearer. And finally, it is a watch that takes on complex form in the Moonphase Pasha de Cartier and the skeleton Pasha de Cartier.
Strength of character, exceptional watchmaking, and a touch of eccentricity—all the while remaining elegant and opulent—these new versions are fully in keeping with the spirit of the Pasha de Cartier family.
The Pasha de Cartier watch was born in 1985, and its name a tribute to Pasha El Glaoui of Marrakesh, one of the Maison's most loyal customers between 1920 and 1950. The design also echos that of a watertight watch with a protective grid from 1943, kept in the Cartier Collection.
In 2022, the Pasha de Cartier Grille will take center stage once more as a benchmark watch whose grid makes it more unique. It reinforces the watch's strong graphic signature, the square inside the circle and the four oversized Arabic numerals that it sits over and marks out. A grid whose design gives this character-rich watch a spectacular textured effect. Delicately recreated, it encases the dial. Moreover, its surface is entirely hand-polished.
The Manufacture has developed a new system supported by four tiny clasps with a very complex spring to scale. This is what allows it to be attached and detached with ease. The watch is easy to wear, with or without it, for two different styles.
The Pasha de Cartier Grille watch is available in an all-gold 41 mm version and in 30 and 35 mm jewellery versions.
The Pasha de Cartier Watch Charms
Inspired by the Maison’s historic charms, these small pendants with a double C, heart or eye motif multiply the desire to make your Pasha de Cartier watch unique. Three bold, desirable symbols that are entirely hand-polished and designed to personalize the wearer’s watch.
Clipped on to the crown cover, they offer a departure from classic watch features. Jewellery joins the party, bringing exquisite, uncomplicated and creative style.
The Pasha de Cartier Watch with Complications
Moonphase, Skeleton and Flying Tourbillon Pasha de Cartier Watches
Developed and produced at the Cartier Manufacture in La Chaux-de- Fonds, the Moonphase, Skeleton and Flying Tourbillon Pasha de Cartier watches feature three iconic movements.
A delicate moon-phase movement in the shape of a circle surrounded by a midnight-blue planisphere strewn with stars, which contrasts with the bold design of the Pasha de Cartier watch. Equipped with the Manufacture 1904 LU MC movement, the watch is available in an all- gold or steel version. Two versions of the same watch, with a blue marker on the dial framed in gold or steel to mark the time.
A signature skeleton movement, the 9524MC calibre features the Arabic numerals of the Pasha de Cartier watch.
It matches the unconventional diameter and design of the Pasha de Cartier watch and emphasises its strength, from the four oversized numbers to the square in the circle on the dial.
A watch available in two versions: a limited-edition white gold jewellery version paved with baguette-cut diamonds and a steel version with black ADLC for the case and Super-LumiNova® for the bridges and hands.
A signature complication of Cartier Fine Watchmaking, the Flying Tourbillon 9552 MC calibre, with hours and minutes: a signature complication of Cartier Fine Watchmaking, which fits perfectly into the overall aesthetic of the Pasha de Cartier watch. Made in rose gold with a 41 mm-diameter and leather strap, this Flying Tourbillon—made to equip the Pasha de Cartier—stands out thanks to its cage signed with a C.
The Cult Pasha de Cartier Watch in Color
Tank Watch and Tank Louis Cartier
Two signature brancards and a clean rectangle punctuating the strap: this is the Tank watch, created in 1917 and cherished generation after generation since. Like an idea with endless possibilities, or a “founding concept” according to Louis Cartier, it paved the way for many different versions.
In 1922, the design of the Tank watch was reworked: the case was elongated, the brancards were refined and the angles softened. The resulting Tank Louis Cartier would go on to borrow the monochrome dials of its sister and of the Tank Must, born in 1977.
In 2021, Cartier revealed a Tank Louis Cartier watch whose dial featured the rectangle-within-a-rectangle motif that first appeared on a Must de Cartier watch from the 1980s.
Red and Grey: Technical Innovation and Monochrome with a Twist
This year, the Tank Louis Cartier watch brings with it a new radical elegance buoyed by the intensity of the monochrome dials: red, the Maison’s signature color, and anthracite grey, a shade borrowed from the Cartier watchmaking palette. In addition to this, it has been further refined: from the twelve classic hour marks, just four remain and the rail track is absent.
Appearing monochrome at first glance, the Tank Louis Cartier watch, depending on the light and the way you view it, reveals a vibrancy that is rich in shade and depth. To achieve this effect, Cartier’s watchmaking craftsmen used—for the first time at Cartier—an innovative electrochemical engraving technique that allows for very high-precision markings: these almost invisible markings, carried out in different directions, form a group of sections and areas which recreates the graphic pattern featured on the dial of a Cartier Must watch from the 1980s.
Techniques used for coloring differ: lacquer for the red dial and a galvanized finish for the grey dial. The dials are then enhanced with a glossy, multi-layered decal that accentuates the Roman numerals. The engraving creates reflective effects and optical variations that modify our very perception of colour.
The Tank Must: All-Black
Even more radical and intense, the third version of the Tank Louis Cartier complements this duo with its deep black dial. The bright lacquer contrasts with the radiance of the gold case.
A family affair, yes, but two watches with strong character nonetheless. Embodying the spirit of the 1970s and 80s, the Tank Must applies the visual style of the early Tank Louis Cartier watches to steel. This great aesthetic potential feeds the inspiration of Cartier’s watchmakers and inspires ongoing cycles of creative exploration.
Fully redesigned in 2021 to be as close as possible to the Tank Louis Cartier, the 2022 edition of the Tank Must features an all-black dial. Timeless, understated and mounted on steel, this is a watch rich in character and without distraction or compromise. This new version is now available in both small and large models.
At Cartier, time is, above all, a mystery that the Maison continues to explore. Everything, including the most advanced techniques, are designed around the aesthetics allowing for mysterious complications to play with illusion and the perception of time.
Enter the Masse Mystériuse, a new Fine Watchmaking enigma at Cartier, the enigmatic result of eight years of research. A spectacular watch that turns to the rhythm of an original movement created by the Fine Watchmaking Manufacture. The mystery? Its beating heart, the magic of a mobile caliber condensed into a semi-circle, transformed into a skeletonize oscillating weight.
It is a tribute, too, to Cartier's history—marking 110 years this year—of making mystery clocks. But more on this later.
Two Maison Signatures
The Masse Mystérieuse watch brings together two of the Maison’s watchmaking signatures: the mysterious movement and the skeleton. Everything, right down to the technology, is infused with design and aesthetics.
Since the mystery clocks first appeared in the 1910s, the movement has not only been miniaturised to fit watch cases but, for this new creation, it has also been reimagined to make the oscillating weight a real ornament.
A New Movement, Born From Eight Years of Research
The new calibre 9801 MC ensures the effects of gravity do not affect the chronometer. The result of nearly eight years of work at the Cartier Manufacture, where it was designed, developed and assembled, this movement has now been filed for a patent. It took five different constructions before a prototype could be launched, with two further prototypes needed to develop the final version of the calibre. On the Masse Mystérieuse watch, the hands float in the space of the case, without being connected to any gears.
More than that: the whole movement also seems weightless. All components that receive energy from the movement, transmission and regulation are integrated in the rotor. The rotor itself is skeletonized to make this moving spectacle visible. In the center, an ultra-sophisticated differential system—borrowed from the automotive industry—has been integrated into the movement to prevent the time display from being caught in the mass. A technical feat that comes to life at the slightest touch of the wearer and seamlessly displays the time to the rhythm of the hands in the void. On this piece, the most technical and complex piece ever developed by the Manufacture’s watchmakers, the mysterious rotor uses an innovative principle that ensures the balance wheel always remains in the same vertical position. For this to happen, the rotor rotates in both directions at an irregular speed.
A Brief History of the Mystery
Mystery clocks make up their own chapter in the Maison’s history. It is a “mystery” because their hands appear to float over the transparent body of the clock, with no connection to the movement.
The first Cartier mystery clocks were introduced in 1912. They bear witness to Cartier’s aesthetic vision and made the Maison famous in the early 20th century. These “miracles of timekeeping”, as they were called by the fashion magazine La Gazette du Bon Ton in 1925, are the fruit of collaboration between Louis Cartier and an exceptional clockmaker, Maurice Couet. The latter was not even 25 years old when he was first noticed by Cartier, and was already highly experienced. From 1911, he became Cartier’s exclusive supplier.
The first mystery clock, dubbed Model A, left the workshops in 1912. Maurice Couet took his inspiration from the clocks of the famous illusionist and father of modern magic, Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin. The principle, which he adapted and developed, is based on an ingenious concept: the hands are not directly linked to the movement, but are attached to two crystal discs fitted with serrated metal edges. Activated by the movement, which is usually housed in the clock’s base, these discs then turn the hands, one for the minutes hand and the other for the hours hand. So that the illusion is perfect, the edges of the discs are concealed by the hour circle.
So wondrously strange and beautiful the Cartier Masse Mystérieuse is—and made in such a limited quantity. The watch is a limited edition of only thirty pieces, and price at the launch is about $276,000 USD+. There will also be a baguette set, a full diamond set versions with a platinum bracelet, in limited editions of 10 pieces each.
And there you have it, our favorites from the Cartier Watches & Wonders 2022 presentation. What pieces caught your eye?
In the Philippines, Cartier is exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc., and is located at Greenbelt 4, Shangri-La Plaza, and Solaire Resort & Casino. Visit www.ssilife.com.ph and facebook.com/Cartier and follow @Cartier and @ssilifeph on Instagram for more information.