A wide spectrum awaits the fans of Cartier at this year’s edition of Watches and Wonders (W&W). There’s Tank Normale as well as Tank Américaine, the two hallmarks of Cartier watchmaking, in addition to new models of iconic lines, such as Santos de Cartier, Baignoire, Clash [Un]limited and La Panthère de Cartier. The spirit of reinvention continues to dominate these Cartier watches, even as the brand evolves to keep up with an ever-changing present.
GMT India takes a closer look at Cartier’s latest timepieces that have been unveiled at Watches and Wonders 2023:
Cartier Tank Normale: A Skeletonised Marvel
There’s a stunning entrant to this year’s Cartier Privé collection: the all-new Tank Normale. One is immediately struck by the intricate beauty of the skeleton movement of this new Cartier launch and its 24-hour complication that is, in turn, denoted by the skeletonised sun and crescent moon.
Moreover, with the hour hand completing a round in 24 hours instead of 12 and the minute hand doing one round in an hour, the dial’s upper section shows daytime hours while night-time is indicated by the lower section. The transition from day to night is a joy to behold, evidenced as it is by the two halves of the dial wearing graded shades and the coated skeletonised bridges.
Limited to 50 numbered watches, the skeletonised Cartier Tank Normale will be available in platinum on a burgundy and grey alligator strap with a ruby cabochon, and in yellow gold on a brown and green alligator strap with a blue sapphire cabochon on the winding crown.
This selection is complemented by a limited edition of 20 numbered pieces that come with brilliant-cut diamonds and an alligator strap in two shades of blue. Additionally, the simple Cartier Tank Normale – which has variants with alligator straps and gold and platinum bracelets – celebrates the elegance of the original right down to the rail tracks and the cabochon on the winding crown.
Cartier Tank Américaine: A Hat Tip to the Original
Be it the impeccable integration of brancards into the extension of the watch strap or the style of the dial itself, the Cartier Tank Américaine bets big on its original design that dates back to 1989. So what you get is, in fact, a more pronounced curve in your watch case, lending the timepiece a fluidity almost acrobatic in nature.
Available in all-gold and steel with a leather strap, rose gold and diamonds with a leather strap or diamond-paved white and rose gold with a metal bracelet, the slimmer cases of the Cartier Tank Américaine come with the new 1899 MC movement. Also deserving a mention are the links in the metal bracelet as they boast polished facets meant to catch and radiate light.
Cartier Santos-Dumont: Pushing Boundaries with a Skeleton Calibre
Moving on to other Cartier W&W novelties for 2023, the Santos-Dumont too gets the skeleton treatment: the brand has developed for it a 9629 MC automatic skeleton calibre while holding on to the slim, understated shape of the iconic timepiece. The micro-rotor calibre of this Watches and Wonders novelty is made up of 212 components and took almost two years to develop, a laudable effort that wonderfully resonates with famed Brazilian pilot and inventor Alberto Santos-Dumont’s pursuit of perfection.
The skeleton movement too reveals several structural elements that pay obeisance to the eponymous aeronaut; the most eye-catching one is undoubtedly the miniaturised functional oscillating weight in the shape of a replica of the Demoiselle. A series of planes built by the aviation pioneer in 1907, the Demoiselle makes for an impactful symbol as it appears to be soaring over a globe.
Available in rose gold and steel, with a limited edition in yellow gold and navy lacquer, the Cartier Santos-Dumont skeleton watch is a delightful upgrade on the latest Santos-Dumont watch that was reinterpreted in 2019. Features retained in this new Cartier release include the visible screws, beaded crown and blue cabochon.
Cartier Baignoire: Staying True to Its Oval Identity
Dainty yet fierce, the Cartier Baignoire has enjoyed a loyal fan base since its creation in 1912. And its latest iteration, being unveiled at Watches and Wonders, is but a richer version of its predecessors. The signature oval shape, for starters, is emphasised by the lush gold ribbon running along the Roman numerals on the dial.
What also heightens the appeal of the timepiece is the curved base, which allows the watch to drape itself around the wearer’s wrist rather comfortably. With variants available in rose gold, yellow gold and fully paved, the new Cartier Baignoire celebrates the interplay of light and metal. There is another model with a black varnished leather strap, offering an ever classic take on this line.
Clash de Cartier: Where Power Meets Finesse
Contrasts and collisions continue to reign supreme in this year’s Clash [Un]limited watches, carrying forward the legacy of Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier’s Director of Fine Jewellery back in the 1930s. A visionary who was creatively inspired by India, Persia, and China, Toussaint dared to consciously juxtapose the glamour of precious stones with the industrial aesthetic of ball bearings.
So be it beads, picot studs or clou carrés, the Clash de Cartier makes room for all as they seamlessly weave in and out, lending the timepiece both power and finesse. The result is a sharp, geometrically stunning watch, right down to the sixteen-faceted cut glass of the mini case, bevelled dials and round and square elements.
Equally noteworthy are the chromatic contrasts that serve to emphasise the geometric motifs. Brushed and satin-finish gold alternate, even as yellow or rose gold is blended in with a new hue of gold in tones of regal violet.
Several limited-edition variants are available as well; options include diamond-paved yellow gold, rose gold and white gold. The watch also marries a wide range of stones in different hues so as to spin a unique magic: think those that highlight the design in black and white with onyx, black spinels, obsidian and diamonds or even coral, black spinels, chrysoprase, tsavorites and diamonds.
La Panthère de Cartier: A Walk on the Wild Side
Toussaint was also the name behind Cartier’s iconic Panthère collection. Often hailed as the ultimate tastemaker for Cartier, the Belgian-French designer led with her passion for sculptural panther creations, earning herself the nickname, La Panthère. And it must be said that Cartier has translated this animal inspiration rather beautifully in its new La Panthere releases.
To begin with, the La Panthère de Cartier watch comes fitted with a magnetic mechanism wherein the panther shuts its jaws on a black lacquer dial, the same colour as its spots. Through its hand finishing, lacquered and polished spots, and the setting, this new Cartier launch exudes a certain vitality that is hard to miss. The impact of the three-dimensional panther head – with its nose, cheeks, eyes, pointed ears, all etched in a geometric fashion and at sharp angles – is there for all to see.
Variants include yellow or rose gold dotted with black lacquer and tsavorite eyes and diamond-paved white gold with emerald eyes.