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Cartier Tank Louis Watch Guide

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, a visionary designer and artist, once said, “If all Tanks were made by Cartier, we’d have the time to live in peace”. It’s strange, but while the world was experiencing wars and dangers of every kind, Louis Cartier saw an opportunity in the midst of chaos.

The inspiration he drew from the Renault tanks in service with the French Army during WWI was a plea to the universe, like someone placing a flower into a gun barrel. At that moment, the symbolic power of a peaceful flower is felt very strongly, and that is one reason why the Tank collection is different from any other watch ever created.

The Tank is one of the most diverse collections in the entire watch world and is the mother of all non-round watches. The Tank Louis is a sub-collection of this distinguishing icon with a motto that reads, “Make watches, not war”.

Elegant and appealing watches inspired by war bring a big contrast. On the one hand, you have power and masculinity. On the other hand, you have the beauty of the pure lines of a rectangular dress watch. It is a powerful symbol: the fragility of a timepiece against the cold menace of a Renault tank.

The Cartier Tank Louis watch is a reminder to choose peace over the horrors of war. What better model to explore than this quintessential Tank watch which was Louis Cartier’s favorite?

About the Cartier Tank Louis Watch

The first Tank model, the Cartier Tank Normale, was released in 1918 and entered full production a year later when six pieces were built. The Tank Louis followed a few years later and remained the closest model to the design of the original from 1919.

The Tank Louis series has rounded lugs (as opposed to the ubiquitous rectangular ones in other sub-collections of the Tank) and have their cases crafted out of yellow, red, or white gold. These watches are powered by quartz movements (for a few smaller ladies’ versions) or mechanical in-house calibers.

Cartier rocks at everything sparkly, and each watch in this sub-collection is a beauty to behold. 

There are three different sizes to choose from, so there’s something for everyone. The smallest size measures 29.5 by 22 mm. The size following it, which may be termed medium or large, is 33.7 by 25.5 mm, while the extra-large watches measure 40.4 by 34 mm. 

The  “brancards” (or vertical bars) of the case transition straight into the lugs of the watch to evoke the tank’s cockpit. On top of that, there’s always a sapphire cabochon in the crown, which is symbolic of a flower in a gun barrel. 

Other design elements include sword-shaped hands and the art deco Roman numeral dial. The name ‘Tank Louis’ was given to the sub-collection by the brand because it was the watch worn by Louis Cartier himself.

It remains the standard by which all Tank models are set as it is the purest representative of the line.

It has not only been recognized by Kings and Queens but has also graced the wrists of industry leaders, fashion designers, celebrities, and people who have a penchant for the finer things in life.

History of the Cartier Tank Louis

In 1847, Louis-François Cartier established Cartier after taking over his master’s workshop in Paris, France. At the request of pioneering Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, Louis manufactured the brand’s first wristwatch in 1904. 

The success and growth of the brand continued over the next decades, and in 1917, during the First World War, the Cartier Tank was invented. The Tank entered into full production when six were released to commercial stores at the end of 1919. 

The rectangular design was inspired by the shape of a French tank used in World War I, the Renault FT-17. The watch’s aesthetic was a departure from the prevailing pocket watch style, which had round cases.

The first wristwatches featured lines and proportions similar to the tanks on the war fronts and had their straps integrated into vertical sidebars, also known as brancards. The dial had Roman numerals, blued steel Breguet hands, and a railway minute track.

A cabochon-shaped sapphire was placed in the finely knurled winding crown, and a deployant buckle fastened the leather strap to the wrist.

Following the success of the original Tank watch, experimental attempts on the original design followed in a bid to increase sales. The first variation was the Tank Cintrée (Cintrée means curved in French), and the watch followed the same pattern as the Tank but curved and extended its length.

The Tank Louis was introduced in 1922 and was a fusion of the first Tank, which was more squarish than the rectangular and curved lines of the Cintrée.

The watches had rounded lugs and paid homage to the brand’s founder, Louis-François Cartier. It soon became the sophisticated and resilient unisex timepiece that commanded instant appeal from notable personalities.

Over the years, Cartier has released various versions and iterations of the Tank Louis, each with its distinct features and materials. The watch has undergone several updates and improvements, but its core design principles have remained intact, emphasizing simplicity, elegance, and precision.

The Cartier Tank Louis continues to be highly sought after by collectors and watch enthusiasts worldwide. Its historical significance, combined with its enduring design, has solidified its status as an icon in the watchmaking industry.

What Makes the Cartier Tank Louis Stand Out?

The Tank Louis was a personal favorite of the legendary Louis Cartier. He designed, constructed, and later wore it himself. Even though it is offered in different variations, it is the model that most closely resembles the original and has done so for over 100 years now. 

Cartier’s insistence for almost a century to retain the emblematic design of the dress watch is commend-worthy. The watch has preserved the original design elements and remains a pillar of longevity to this day. According to Cartier aficionado George Cramer (of blessed memory), ‘The Tank Louis is the “King of Tanks”’.

If A-list figures like Calvin Klein, Andy Warhol, and Jackie Kennedy all agree to this statement by loving and flaunting the ‘king of Tanks,’ who are we to disagree? The Louis Cartier Tank might not be as popular as Tank Française or Tank Américaine, but it is the most essential Cartier Tank. The following are some of the reasons why.

Case Shape & Materials

The Cartier Tank Louis is available in three standardized case sizes: small to large and extra large. Small measures 29.5mm x 22mm, large comes at 33.7mm x 25.5mm, and extra large cases measure 40.4mm x 34.92mm.

We have already established that the lines and proportions are akin to those of tanks used on the battlefields of the World War. 

Since the inspiration behind the shape of the Tank Louis series is an actual tank, the case is rectangular and comes with parallel sidebars that also serve as lugs. 

This means that the case’s parallel flanks are connected directly to the strap in one smooth transition. Unlike other Tank models, Tank Louis has more rounded lugs, creating optical unity. 

Another unique feature of this line is that Cartier offers the Tank Louis series exclusively with cases in yellow gold, red gold, or white gold. 

Some women’s watches in this sub-collection are also adorned with diamonds and/or other exclusively built-in precious metals.

Even though the rectangular design was avant-garde for its time, the invention was a break from the ubiquitous round watches that dominated the market. 

The clean lines and balanced proportions of the Tank Louis case were the secrets to its success as it is to this day.

Contemporary cases have the advantage of 21st-century design and production techniques, so they all boast cleaner and sharper details. 

The cases have scratch-proof sapphire or mineral crystals protecting the dial and are water-resistant up to 30 meters/100 feet. 

And on the crown, you’ll always find a genuine sapphire crystal cabochon.

Dial & Hands

The dial of all Tank Louis watches has always been minimalistic but far from boring. Most of the strict, geometric styling details of the case also remain consistent throughout the dials. As expected, the dial is rectangular with Cartier’s signature Art Deco Roman numerals giving the face of each watch a poetic appearance.

Two tempered blued hands or steel sword-shaped hands to match the case completes the iconic look. Unlike some Tank models, none of the watches in the Louis lineup feature a secondhand or a date.

The appearance of the dial varies, but it is often a reflective metallic base with a radial brushed finish. Older models may have simple-grained dials or guilloche dials. The tracks for the hours and minutes are printed on top and are also slightly raised, giving the dial a bit more texture. 

In some models, the Roman numeral 4 is often represented with IIII and not IV as it should be to add more visual weight to the dial and balance the symmetry.

Others, like the Ref. WGTA0092 features these numerals only on the 12′, 9′, 6′, and 3 o’clock positions. The finishing varies according to the case material. White gold models feature a vertically-brushed, silvered dial with black Roman numerals. 

Red and yellow gold versions, on the other hand, have a radially-brushed dial and black numerals, though there are exceptions. The Ref. WGTA0092, for instance, has a gray dial with golden-finish steel sword-shaped hands. 

While the dial design has greatly improved over time, the overall aesthetic is still classic Cartier. The look is pure and enchanting, and the brushed dials give the Tank Louis a more contemporary look.

Movement

The first generation of Tanks was powered by a movement designed by Edmond Jaeger, a masterful French-Alsatian inventor, and constructed by LeCoultre & Cié. 

Edmond specialized in making ultra-thin movements, and after signing an agreement with Cartier, he became responsible for the exclusive supply of calibers to the brand for about fifteen years. 

Many of the iconic tank models from the 1920s are driven by his movements which were structurally identical to the Ebel Caliber 690 and were particularly slim. 

After the quartz revolution, extra large models of Tank watches continued to feature this mechanical movement while the large and small versions of the Tank Louis were driven by quartz movements.

In 2005, the Cartier Manufacture opened in Geneva, Switzerland. From then on, Cartier became its movement maker. The Louis line utilizes a hand-wound movement today, with a limited exception of small and large entry-level sizes, which are powered by high-efficiency quartz movements. 

The Ref. W1529856 and Ref. WGTA0067 are currently the only two quartz models and feature yellow gold on the cases. This is one of the biggest differences between the Louis Tank and other Tank models, in that almost every watch here is fitted with a hand-wound movement.

Current models of the Cartier Tank Louis are powered by the in-house 1917 MC, a slim tonneau-shaped manual-wind mechanical movement with a decent power reserve of 38 hours.

Strap Options

The Tank Louis comes fitted with high-quality alligator leather straps that supply a pure and unfiltered dose of Cartier’s character. A pin buckle rounds off the elegant look, so take your pick from dark purplish-red or semi-matt gray alligator-skin straps.

Cartier Tank Louis Watch Models

1. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. WGTA0067

1. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. WGTA0067

Encased in 33.7 mm x 25.5 mm 18K yellow gold, the Ref. WGTA0067 symbolizes timeless elegance and excellent craftsmanship.

At 6.3mm thick, the watch adopts a sleek and refined style while staying faithful to the spirit of the collection. It’s no doubt a very easy-to-wear timepiece with a comfortable strap in dark gray alligator skin fastened with an ardillon buckle in 18K yellow gold.

The ‘large’ watch has a grained silvered dial adorned by blued-steel sword-shaped hands and is the purest representation of what a dress watch should look like. Underneath the hood is a precise quartz movement. The watch is splash-proof and retails for $11,500.

2. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. W1529856

Designed as a necessary accessory for formal wear, the Ref. W1529856 is presented in an 18K yellow gold (750/1000) case with a width of 22 mm and a length of 29.5 mm. With a thickness of 6.35mm, the watch is perfect for slipping discreetly below a shirt cuff but compact enough to make you feel the presence it creates when put on the wrist.

Like other references, the distance between the lugs is relatively significant, which is why the alligator-skin strap completes the refined look flawlessly. The aesthetic of the silver-grained dial is classic and effortlessly chic, and the blued-steel sword-shaped hands reinforce the Tank Louis’ character. It is also splash-proof and retails for $10,200.

3. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. WGTA0011

3. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. WGTA0011

Tastes and styles are evolving, but the Ref. WGTA0011 demonstrates that design codes from the 1920s can still captivate the soul of modern man. Behold a seamless fusion of an enduring ‘old-school style’ with technical expertise. Finally, we meet a watch powered by the in-house caliber 1917MC.

This large model measures 33.7 mm x 25.5 mm, and with a height of 6.6mm, the watch is the epitome of sleek minimalism. The silvered beaded dial features the usual Roman numerals, with the ‘IV’ being replaced with ‘IIII’ to create a “better filled” dial with profound depth.

As a result, the symmetry is preserved, and the consistency between the rectangular layout of the minute scale and the edge of the numerals is flawless. The watch is fitted with a semi-matte brown alligator skin strap and retails for $13,000.

4. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. WGTA0092

4. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. WGTA0092

Go for the Ref. WGTA0092 as a wonderful addition to your collection or as your first luxury timepiece⁠. If you want the ideal accessory for after-dark events, you have it in this timeless icon.

This model should be held out to other brands as a lesson in uncluttered elegance. The watch is presented in a lustrous rose gold case with a beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon.

The gray dial has been stripped and taken right down to basics, so all that can be seen are golden-finish steel sword-shaped hands and Roman numerals in the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. The watch is worn on a semi-matt gray alligator leather strap with an ardillon buckle in rose gold. 

5. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. WJTA0037

5. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. WJTA0037

For an excellent final touch to your cocktail attire, I recommend the Ref. WJTA0037. Firstly because Cartier’s careful attention to each detail is visible in the soft lines and balanced proportions of the watch, and secondly, every fashion-conscious gentleman needs a splendid dress watch that is pure and enchanting.

With a case and beaded crown in 18K rose gold and 41 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.47 carat, this watch is the definition of luxury. You are guaranteed envious glances when you strap it to your wrist with a claret alligator-skin strap and ardillon buckle in 18K rose gold. 

The case measures 29.5 mm x 22.0 mm and has a thickness of 6.8 mm, so it’s a dress watch that certainly makes its presence known when on the wrist. The design of the silver-grained dial is in the traditional Tank style; simple, elegant, and discreet with blued-steel sword-shaped hands. Providing a decent power reserve of 38 hours is the in-house caliber 1917MC.

6. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. WJTA0038

6. TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH Ref. WJTA0038

Finally, an A-level conversation starter. Guess who wins the title of the most elegant and covetable dress watch in the Tank Louis sub-collection? The Ref. WJTA0038! If you’re hungry for a dose of supreme luxury from a high-end watch brand, this is a definite contender.

With a gleaming rose gold case decorated with 41 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling ~0.66 carats, this timepiece breaks out boldly from the shackles of dress watch norms. 

The case measures 33.7 mm x 25.5 mm and has a thickness of 6.6 mm. A relatively hard and durable mineral glass that scratches easily but can withstand impacts better protects the dial. Inside, you’ll find the caliber 1917 MC mechanical movement, built in-house, with a 38-hour power reserve. 

Later in the year, the Maison is set to release new Tank Louis models that evoke the hypnotic spirit of the Tank as powerfully as in its initial launch years. The iconic watches will be added to the permanent collection of the Tank Louis Cartier.

They follow the same design cues but have been reworked to produce a more delicate and enchanting image. Measuring 33.7mm x 25.5mm and housed in yellow gold, the new models are compact and slim with a thickness of just 6.6mm. 

The superbly extravagant and beyond-opulent timepieces feature lacquered dials in Bordeaux red and green with no markers. All that can be seen on the face of the watches are gold-colored hands and logos.

Available as of September 2023 as Ref. WGTA0190 in red and Ref. WGTA0191 in green, the refined dress watch will still be powered by the in-house caliber 1917 MC. They come fitted with a semi-matte burgundy or green alligator leather strap and an 18k gold ardillon buckle.

Cartier Tank Louis Pricing & Availability

Cartier Tank Louis watches are readily available and can be purchased directly from the company’s website or authorized Cartier boutiques. Each watch comes with complete accessories and a 24-month warranty. 

Prices for timepieces in the Tank Louis sub-collection begin from $10,200 for a ladies’ watch with a quartz caliber (Ref. W1529856). They progress slowly from that point on to $24,800 for a large model with an in-house movement and 41 brilliant-cut diamonds. 

Cartier has a rich history, tradition, and experience stretching back over 160 years. Their watches are true masterpieces of the jeweler’s art and offer tremendous value for money.

Should You Buy a Cartier Tank Louis Watch?

Whether you are a fashion-conscious lover of luxurious dress watches, a novice, or an aficionado, the journey through the Tank Louis offerings is always a rewarding exploration of art and history.

The Tank Louis has been an icon for over 100 years and is the only model most closely resembling the original from 1919. If you want a watch that reflects Cartier’s commitment to maintaining tradition while embracing innovation, you should reach for the Tank Louis Cartier. 

Not only will you be wearing a piece of history, but you’ll also be strapping on your wrist a timepiece which was the personal favorite of the legendary Louis Cartier.

Cartier is a luxury brand that guarantees reliability and longevity. Thousands of Cartier watches have been passed down from generation to generation as family heirlooms, so you can expect your Cartier to last beyond a lifetime and will be relatively stable in value.

If you are interested in an alternative with a more contemporary look and comparatively angular design, you will find such watches in the Tank Française sub-collection. The Tank Must is also an affordable alternative and inexpensive entry to the Tank world for budget-conscious buyers.

Other Notable Cartier Tank Models

The Tank is one of the most diverse collections in the entire horological world. It offers exceptionally compelling watches to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. Famous sub-models of the Tank collection which contribute to making it one of the most searched-for timepieces on Google include:

Tank Américaine

Tank Américaine

The Tank Américaine might seem like a watch from the 1920s due to its curvaceous case, but it was only launched a few decades ago, in the 1980s. The design is modeled after the case of the Tank Cintrée, so the watch is characterized by its rectangular case with rounded edges. 

The Américaine appears thicker and wider than the Cintrée, and though the design has undergone several changes over the years, the basic shape has remained unchanged. This distinguishes it from the other Tank variations, such as the Tank Louis.

Another defining feature of the Tank Américaine is its elongated case and wide brancards, which wrap smoothly around the wrist for a comfortable fit. It is available in a variety of sizes and materials, including stainless steel, yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold.

The dial has blued steel hands with elongated Roman numerals. A beaded crown set with cabochon sapphire completes the iconic look of the watch.

Tank Française

Tank Française

The Tank Française is a popular watch model immediately recognizable by its comparatively angular design. It was introduced in 1996 and is characterized by its rectangular case with rounded edges and a chain-link bracelet integrated seamlessly into the case design.

The link bracelet often comes in gold or stainless steel to match the case, and some models also feature diamonds on the bezel or dial. The model currently comes in seven references, and it’s available in different sizes and materials.

Subtle design changes such as larger case sizes, brushed satin finishes, and integrated crowns have added a unique blend of classic elegance and modern aesthetics. Compared to the Tank Louis, the Tank Française has a more contemporary vibe with its updated details and a metal bracelet.

The Tank Française is one of the collection’s sought-after models because of its timeless design, versatility, and ability to complement formal and casual attire.

Tank Solo

Tank Solo

The Tank Solo is quintessentially Cartier and follows the Tank Française closely as one of the most popular Cartier Tank models in the market. The watch is vastly appreciated by fashion-conscious enthusiasts looking for a touch of understated elegance and vintage charm.

The purity of design and precise geometry of the Tank Solo makes it a cult favorite.

The watch retains the distinctive rectangular case shape that is characteristic of the Tank Louis model and forms the entry segment into the world of the Cartier Tank. Unlike the Tank Louis, the Tank Solo features solar-powered models in addition to quartz and automatic calibers.

It is considered a simple but luxurious Tank watch, full of character and contemporary vibes. The Tank Solo is available in various sizes to accommodate different wrist sizes and is offered with different strap options, including leather straps and stainless steel bracelets.

Conclusion

Cartier will always be at the vanguard of creating inspiring watches, and the Tank Louis remains our favorite example. 

No other watch bears the unmistakable mark and character of the visionary Louis-François Cartier. And no other model has stayed as true to the Tank’s original design while embracing innovation for over 100 years.

best cartier watches for Men

Enthusiasts always recommend well-known and reliable watchmakers like Omega, Rolex, or Patek Philippe. These are very high-quality watch brands, but there is one thing that every watch enthusiast desires that these brands rarely seem to act on. Maybe it’s irresponsible for them to do so, but perhaps they aren’t bold enough to pull the trigger, step out of the line, and make a truly unique watch design that’s completely out of the ordinary.

Cartier has consistently wowed customers with their impressively unique designs for hundreds of years. Despite the crowded watch market, the brand has managed to stand out from others and keep a high-end reputation at the same time.

History of Cartier

Cartier has been a jewelry seller to various notable people for many years. From King Edward VII of Britain to different royalties and members of the Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese Courts, the brand was even called the Jeweller of Kings and the King of Jewellery by King Edward VII of Great Britain. 

Cartier was founded in the 19th century by Louis Francois Cartier, who was born in France in 1819. He became an apprentice to Adolf Picard, a watchmaker, and gained comprehensive knowledge about watches and their technicalities. Cartier bought the business from Picard in 1847, intending to do much better than his master at the trade. 

1871 came, and the revolutionaries took power from the aristocrats in France. The elites of Paris did not have access to their money in banks, so they started selling their jewelry cheaply. 

Louis Cartier saw this as an opportunity to take advantage of their desperation and put his son Alfred Cartier in charge of purchasing jewelry from the elites. The commune ended a couple of months later, and Cartier was in serious business years later. Cartier became the number one go-to jeweler for the elites.

By the 20th century, Alfred Cartier had taken over the business and moved it to Rue de la Path, a much better location for a company of such standard. The business grew, and Alfred had to bring his three sons to join the company. 

In 1904, the iconic Santos de Cartier timepiece was born. To expand the business to other countries, Alfred opened branches in New York and London, where he put his sons in charge of all three stores. The brothers further expanded the business by socializing with dignitaries and designing and selling their jewelry worldwide. 

The famous Cartier Tank was released in 1917 with inspiration from the tire tracks of battle tanks. Alfred passed away in 1925, and his boys fully took over the business. They went ahead to introduce other ornaments as part of their collection and have remained one of the top jewelers in the world since then.

The Status of Cartier Today

Many watch enthusiasts have criticized Cartier for not being trendy in the area of male watches. This argument does not hold water because of how quickly their men’s luxury watches sell out. Most watch collectors, myself included, still regard Cartier as one of the most reputable watchmakers.

The style Cartier has maintained and improved on is one of its major differentiators from most watchmakers. For a brand worth over $10 billion and a yearly revenue of over $6 billion, Cartier can be easily regarded as one of the top brands when you talk of not just men’s watches but luxury items in general.

Important Considerations for Buying a Cartier

Different Cartier watches come with distinctive advantages, so you might be getting something different from each one. These are some things to consider when looking for the best Cartier timepiece.

Affordability 

You could easily get a Cartier for as low as a thousand dollars, and some could cost up to 40 to 50 thousand. To experience the best bits of the brand, you’ll have to put your hand deep into your pocket, but having a budget of how much you are willing to spend on a timepiece before buying one is an essential move to avoid paying more than you can afford.

Versatility

Versatility is one quality you will find in most Cartier watches. Their watches have such unique styles they usually spice up a wide range of occasions.

Value

If you plan to resell your Cartier shortly, getting a piece that holds its value should be your major consideration. Cartier watches are among the best investment pieces in the industry; however, their value always depends on the specific model you put your hands on. It’s safe to say you’re generally going to be okay with a Cartier. 

The brand heritage alone can save you a ton of money. On top of that, its collectability and craftsmanship can result in great market price rises, such as the Cartier Tank and Santos gold models.

To give you an insight on some of the watches I recommend from Cartier, here’s a list of the 15 best watches for men in 2024:

The Best Cartier Watches For Men

1. Cartier Santos Medium (ref. WSSA0029)

1. Cartier Santos Medium (ref. WSSA0029)

The Santos Cartier is one of my favorite recommendations for first-time luxury watch purchases. This is not just because it’s a Cartier but because of how solid and put together this timepiece looks. Its case measures 35.1mm in diameter, and its thickness is 8.83mm. It has a small bracelet compared to its case size, with the screws blending into the case and bracelet design. 

This timepiece has a classic Art Deco design with numerals on the white dial. The easy switch system this watch has makes swapping the bracelet for a strap easy without needing any tool. This watch uses the Cartier 1847 MC in-house movement with a water resistance of 100m. This timepiece stands out as a very functional one and is currently sold for $7,050.

2. Cartier Tank Must Large (ref. WSTA0041)

2. Cartier Tank Must Large (ref. WSTA0041)

Compared to most Cartiers, this is a small timepiece, but not small for a dress watch. Its case size measures 33.7mm x 25.5mm and a thickness of 6.6mm. It has a leather strap which looks great on smaller wrists. The watch is controlled by a quartz movement with an hour-and-minute function. If you are constantly dressed up, this is a watch for you, and you can get your hands on one for $3,100.

 3. Cartier Ronde Must 40mm (ref. WSRN0032)

 3. Cartier Ronde Must 40mm (ref. WSRN0032)

This is one of the few dress watches with the simplicity and class it embodies. It has a 40mm case diameter and a case thickness of 9.62mm. It has a leather strap slightly larger than the Tank Must watch, so this looks better on bigger wrists as well. 

The faux leather adds to its style with two lines running down both sides. The timepiece is mostly considered unisex by a range of collectors, and it currently costs $3,950. 

4. Cartier Ballon Bleu 40mm (ref. WSBB0039)

4. Cartier Ballon Bleu 40mm (ref. WSBB0039)

This is also a round watch like the Runde Must but with more round edges. Its steel casing is well polished and goes over the crown, making it look like a crownless watch from the side. It has a diameter of 40mm and a thickness of 12.4mm. 

It comes with a black alligator leather strap and minute, seconds, hour, and date functions. This timepiece is functional but also looks perfect for a dress watch. It currently costs $6,500.

5.Cartier Santos-Dumont Large (ref. WSSA0022)

5.Cartier Santos-Dumont Large (ref. WSSA0022)

This model of Santos is like an upgrade of the other Santos. It looks like a dress watch but still seems sporty. It has a blue beaded crown which makes it look more dressy, and the silver dial is well brushed with a little sunray effect.

It has a case dimension of 43.5mm x 31.4mm with a case thickness of 7.3mm. The timepiece is strapped with navy blue alligator leather, controlled by a quartz movement with a water resistance of 100m. The Santos-Dumont Large currently sells for $4,200.

6. Cartier Tank Louis Cartier (ref. WGTA0011)

6. Cartier Tank Louis Cartier (ref. WGTA0011)

I’ve always seen The Tank as a very serious watch. It maintains its rectangular shape down to its strap, which makes it look perfect with a tuxedo. Being a vintage piece, it comes with a manual winding mechanical movement, 1917 MC caliber, which is a cool touch. 

It has a Matt brown alligator skin strap with a rose gold case and buckle. Its case measures 33.7mm x 25.5mm and a 6.6mm thickness. The glass, in this case, is made of mineral crystal with a water resistance of 30 meters. The watch is worth $12,500.

7. Cartier Pasha Chronograph (ref. WSPA0018)

7. Cartier Pasha Chronograph (ref. WSPA0018)

This watch is a Chronograph version of the pasha steel, which was released earlier. It is controlled by a mechanical movement and uses an automatic winding with a 1904-CH MC. This watch comes with an extra strap, dark gray alligator skin leather, and a smart link adjustment. 

It is cased in a 41mm steel casing with three crowns for its Chronograph, date, minute, and hour function, and a see-through back with a clear view of the watch’s components. It has a thickness of 11.97mm, about 2 mm more than the Pasha Steel. It has a water resistance of 100 meters and is sold for $10,400.

8. Cartier Santos Medium Two Tone (ref. W2SA0016)

8. Cartier Santos Medium Two Tone (ref. W2SA0016)

This is the two-tone version of the Cartier Santos, and its yellow gold bezel is the major distinctive factor to tell it apart from the other Cartier Santos. Its 35.1mm case is made of steel and 18-karat yellow gold with a steel bracelet with a smart link adjustment. It comes with an extra strap that’s made of calfskin. It’s an automatic watch powered by the 1847 MC caliber. This piece is currently sold for $10,300.

9. Cartier Santos ADLC (ref. WSSA0039)

9. Cartier Santos ADLC (ref. WSSA0039)

This is a total upgrade from the Santos de Cartier, from its size to color and function. It is 39.8mm wide, 9.38mm thick, and 47.5mm lug-to-lug distance. It has a very flexible rubber strap, making it very gentle on the wrist. Its bezel and case are both in steel and ADLC. 

The case and strap are black, but the strap has a deeper black color and a quick switch system, making it easy to change straps. It’s a mechanical watch with an automatic winding system. This timepiece is sold for $8,300. 

10.Cartier Tank Française Large (ref. WSTA0067)

10.Cartier Tank Française Large (ref. WSTA0067)

This Cartier has a lot of similarities with the 1996 Cartier Tank, which was an upgrade to the first generation of Tank watches. This one comes with some serious modern touch. Its calendar and seconds hand are the first noticeable difference, followed by the steel bracelet and its 36.7mm x 30.5mm case. 

Its glass is made of synthetic sapphire and has a 10.11mm thickness. This doesn’t look like a watch that can be worn as a daily beater due to its fragile components. It has a 30-meter water resistance and a 37-hour power reserve. It’s currently sold for $5,750.

11. Cartier Santos-Dumont Small Rose Gold (ref. WGSA0022)

11. Cartier Santos-Dumont Small Rose Gold (ref. WGSA0022)

This two-tone watch differs from most Cartier watches by its smaller size. Its rose gold case makes it look more luxurious than other Santos watches. It has a case size of 38mm x 27.55mm and a case thickness of 7.3mm. Its strap is an alligator skin strap with an ardillon buckle. It has a quartz movement and is currently worth $11,200.

12.Cartier Santos Chronograph (ref. WSSA0017)

12.Cartier Santos Chronograph (ref. WSSA0017)

This watch is extra-large, and glancing at it would tell you it is functional. It has a flexible rubber strap and an additional Gomma alligator leather strap with a folding buckle. Its stainless steel casing comes with a black ADLC as its bezel. It has a case width of 43.3mm and a case thickness of 12.4mm. It’s a 1904 CH MC automatic winding watch with up to 100m water resistance. It’s currently priced at $9,750.

13. Cartier Rotonde Mysterious Double Tourbillon (ref. WHRO0039)

13. Cartier Rotonde Mysterious Double Tourbillon (ref. WHRO0039)

Twice the tourbillon, twice the complication. The Rotonde Mysterious Double Tourbillon comes in a 45mm round platinum case with a 12.4mm thickness. It has a sapphire crystal at the front and back, and the watch’s movement can be viewed from both sides. 

It’s a mechanical watch with the manual winding 9465 MC caliber. It has a blue alligator leather strap attached to a double adjustable folding buckle made from white gold. It came in a limited edition of 30 pieces and is worth nearly $200,000.

14. Cartier Santos Skeleton (ref. WHSA0009)

14. Cartier Santos Skeleton (ref. WHSA0009)

The Santos Skeleton looks like a watch straight out of a sci-fi movie. It comes in a black ADLC see-through steel case with a thick black alligator leather strap in sync with the watch’s lugs. It has a case width of 39.7mm, a case thickness of 9.08mm, and a lug-to-lug distance of 47.5mm. 

The buckle has an adjustable system that helps you set the strap size to your perfect size, making the watch fit for all. This timepiece has a second strap that comes in dark grey alligator leather. It’s a manual winding watch with a 9612 MC caliber, with a power reserve of up to 72 hours and water resistance of up to 100 meters. The watch currently sells for $30,400.

15. Cartier Drive Flying Tourbillon (ref. W4100013)

15. Cartier Drive Flying Tourbillon (ref. W4100013)

The size of this timepiece gives it a unisex look, but it’s masculine dial is the most distinctive feature of this model. It’s a rose gold cased watch with a 40mm diameter, 11.3mm thick, and 46.6mm lug-to-lug distance. 

It has an hour, minute, and seconds hand in a C-shaped tourbillon carriage. Its rectangular alligator Skin strap has a 1909 vintage Cartier clasp. It’s a flying tourbillon with a mechanical movement, the hand-winding 9452 MC caliber. This timepiece is sold for $77,500.

Conclusion

The Cartier brand remains a force to reckon with when it comes to designing male luxury watches. Although their watches might be a bit pricey, the luxurious feeling it gives and their functional design makes them worth every penny. So if you’re looking at getting a Cartier to fit any trend or season, this list should be a perfect guide. 

best cartier watches for Women

Cartier is an iconic name in watchmaking besides its embellished history of being a jeweler to the society’s elite, described by King Edward VII as  “the jeweler of kings and the kings of jewelers”. Obsessed with design, Cartier has held its own as a watchmaker. 

Its unique history in Art Deco-inspired high watchmaking has led them to create many icons of timeless elegance, molding itself into the modern-day “king of design” in the luxury watch industry. For perspective, we can call Rolex the king of sports watches and Patek Philippe, the king of complications.

From a Maison that is not born from watchmaking, it is second to Rolex. This was achieved by the brand’s focus on elegant design rather than complications, committing to the return of CPCP “Cartier Privé Cartier Paris” design language, or simply said, its original language of design. 

With a focus on shape, elegance, refinement, sophistication, and attention to detail, it has revitalized the brand in recent years. About 60-70% of its sales are from a female clientele, and while having the “strongest identity in design” in the watchmaking industry, most or all of its designs are genderless. This offers a great degree of collectability available to the female audience, with an exquisite collection to unfold.

The History Of Cartier Watches

Cartier was founded in 1847 when Louis Francois Cartier took over his master’s workshop on 29 Rue Montorgueil amidst the ongoing French Revolution. 9 years later, Princess Mathilde, cousin of Emperor Napoleon III, purchased a Cartier creation and paved the way for the Maison to have access to the Parisian high society and the international elite. 

In 1874, his son Alfred Cartier took over and was instrumental in introducing Cartier into the Royal Houses of Europe and beyond. It would be his sons Louis, Pierre, and Jacques who would aspire to transform the business from a local destination into an international luxury powerhouse with its boutiques in Paris, London, and New York. Each branch would operate independently of the other, making for an extraordinary archive of collectible and unique timepieces and jewelry pieces.

In 1898, grandson Louis, the eldest sibling, joined the Maison and would play a pivotal role in its evolution. He would establish the new boutique at Rue de la Paix in the jewelry district of Paris and would influence some of the company’s most celebrated designs like the mystery clock and exotic Art Deco designs like the “Tutti Frutti” jewels. 

He would also create watches that would become the blueprint for its future collection. In 1905, he made history by releasing the first wristwatch, sports watch, and pilots watch when he created the Santos Dumont for his friend and pioneer in aviation Alberto Santos Dumont, who inspired the need for Louis to design the first pilots wristwatch that could be worn on his wrist during flight, and whom the timepiece is named after.

Another hugely successful design to this day would be his creation of the iconic Cartier Tank in 1917, inspired by an industrial design in the form of the top-down view of a Renault armored tank used in WWI– an elegant, timeless, loved, and cherished piece of design to this day.

Cartier watches have a history of appreciation from some of the most influential, famous, and style-conscious women. For perspective, Audrey Hepburn, a star of the silver screen, was seen wearing a Gold Cartier Tank in her role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961. She was known to adore the watch and added it to her private collection. 

Princess Diana was also known to wear a gold tank on several occasions. Kate Middleton has followed her effortless style, having been spotted wearing the Ballon Bleu and the Tank Française. 

More First Ladies have chosen Cartier than any other watch brand– Jackie Kennedy famously received her first Cartier Tank when she became FLOTUS. Michelle Obama followed suit sporting her tank Francaise in her first official White House photo, and Dr. Jill Biden became the third first lady to wear a Cartier watch, having been seen wearing a gold Panthère de Cartier

Last but not least, many celebrities– Madonna in the 80s, Gwyneth Paltrow in the 90s, and 2000s onwards, Sienna Miller, Anne Hathaway, Zendaya, Uma Thurman, Rihanna, and Dua Lipa have all been spotted wearing a Panthère de Cartier. The list can go on, and it is fair to claim that Cartier watches are an essential accessory for successful women.

What’s The Status Of Cartier Today?

Cartier remained under family control from its founding until 1964; today, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Swiss Richemont Group but remains headquartered in Paris. Built in the 2000s, its modern and high-end watch manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds Switzerland is over 30,000 square meters and one of the largest in Switzerland together with the Rolex and Omega manufacture. 

For three consecutive years, Cartier has usurped Omega as the second-largest luxury watch brand by revenue, with a turnover of CHF 2.75 billion in 2022. This achievement is thanks to the widespread recognition of its extraordinary archives in recent years, the influence of A-list celebrity hype (seen on the wrists of Kanye West & Tyler The Creator), and its refocus on its icons rather than complications. 

Another noteworthy mention could be that with the widespread popularity of high-end watches in recent years and the unavailability of timepieces from its near equivalent in perceived luxury “Rolex”, Cartier’s approachability in the form of its iconic collections has influenced its recent success. 

Given Cartier’s dual purpose as a jeweler and a watchmaker, its ability to serve its female clientele has set it apart from other well-known watchmakers. With an organic and poetic vision to design, its focus on creating beautiful objects with elegant and balanced proportions rather than highly complicated movements that fit into larger cases has made its designs neutral or unisex, thereby perpetually enriching the choice of great watches for its female clientele. 

Best Cartier Watches For Women

If you’re interested in purchasing a Cartier ladies’ watch, there are tons of options to choose from. Here’s a list of the best Cartier watches for women you can pick up brand-new in 2024:

Cartier Tank Must Small (ref. WSTA0042)

Cartier Tank Must Small (ref. WSTA0042)

The WSTA0042 is the entry point within the Cartier Collection. The “Must” nameplate was first launched in 1977 during the quartz crisis. It was a subdivision of Cartier’s iconic Tank collection, equipped with a quartz movement and vermeil gold cases at a more affordable price; it was incremental for the brand to cater to the masses or growing upper middle class while offering the design hallmarks of the original iconic Tank Louis.

The Must collection recently returned to the fold, and with that, the Must Small. The new Musts would be offered exclusively in steel with a high autonomy quartz movement. Its classical design is most appealing, retaining the classical case shape and aesthetics of the original Tank Louis (only offered in precious metals and with mechanical movements), a timeless design over a century old. 

The combination of steel and quartz allows Cartier to offer low barriers for entry due to its price of only $2,950. Its case dimensions of 29.5 x 22mm and thickness of only 6.6mm make for a daily wearable, versatile, and pure Tank experience on the wrist.

Cartier Panthère Medium (ref. WSPN0007)

Cartier Panthère Medium (ref. WSPN0007)

The Panther is Cartier’s iconic animal; its symbolism and elegance have greatly inspired Cartier’s creativity since 1914. 

Louis Francois Cartier’s right-hand woman and design director Jeanne Toussaint, who signed off all luxury creations under the house between 1933 and 1970, would be famously nicknamed  “La Panthère” – a tribute to her obsession with the feline that influenced her unique style and inspired her to create some of the Maison’s most prized pieces of jewelry.

Cartier presented the first “commercial” line of the Panthère in 1983, and after a brief production hiatus in 2004, it returned in 2017 to the permanent collection. The Medium WSPN0007 is a full stainless steel model with dimensions of 27mm x 37mm and a thickness of 6mm, making for a daily wearable versatile watch.

As a renaissance watch, it remains aesthetically unchanged from its predecessor, sporting a curvaceous case based on the Santos attached to a link bracelet. Its case marries effortless elegance with functionality, featuring curved edges, fluid crown guards, and the now iconic square bezel with rounded corners secured by eight screws (mirrored on its caseback).

This is combined with a classic silvered dial with printed elongated Roman numerals, a railroad minute track that frames its center, and blued sword hands offering contrast, matched to a synthetic sapphire cabochon on its crown, overall making for a signature Cartier look. 

Its fluidity in design is carried through its completely polished bracelet, with small brick-like links attached to one another; the links are curved, offering less weight, more movement, and more comfort than other Cartier alternatives. As a steel model dressed in high finishing, combined with a quartz movement, priced at $5,200, this model is an approachable icon and a highly elegant ladies-focused offering.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Pink Dial (ref. WSBB0046)

Cartier Ballon Bleu Pink Dial (ref. WSBB0046)

We know Cartier is most celebrated for its iconic case shapes; the Ballon Blue is one of its most contemporary yet unfamiliar designs due to its rounded form. While it doesn’t have the rich heritage of its iconic angular cousins, since its launch in 2007, it has become one of the most significant collections of Cartier.

This steel WSBB0046 comes in a case size of 33mm threading the lines between modern and chic in terms of wearability. It also allows for the inclusion of an automatic movement. Although appearing traditionally rounded in typical Cartier fashion, the design is unique and unmistakable. 

This is accentuated by its pebble-like design, featuring a domed face and a domed caseback, accompanied by a narrow bracelet attached to short lugs. Its short lugs help the watch to wear smaller than its case size would suggest.

This model features a salmon pink dial, a color usually reserved for haute horology pieces. It is unique and bold, with silver Roman numerals printed along its periphery (its symmetry is broken for the inclusion of the winding mechanism integrated into its rounded case), a railroad minute track frames the center of its dial, and at its center is an embossed guilloche pattern. 

Blued sword hands offer a contrast with a matching cabochon. Its aesthetics are in keeping with Cartier’s signature design language, with a twist of color. It is priced at $6,200.

Cartier Tank Française Small Gold Diamonds (ref. WJTA0039)

Cartier Tank Française Small Gold Diamonds (ref. WJTA0039)

Cartier’s collection of iconic shapes is unprecedented; when the Tank Française was released in 1996, it was among the many evolutions of the original Tank Louis. Though late to the party, its integrated bracelet seamlessly extending from its bran-chards made for an incredibly versatile design and gained it a legion of followers.

This year, Cartier revamped the model retaining its jewel/bracelet watch DNA, modernizing the design, and evolving its lines to be a bolder, sportier, and more cohesive package.

The Small WJTA0039 is one of the exquisite models within the Française lineup, featuring a full 18k yellow gold case (25.7mm x 21.2mm) and bracelet construction, combined with 22 brilliant cut diamonds embedded along its bran-chards and a matching diamond embedded in its crown that is partially integrated into its caseband (overall totaling 0.78 carats in diamonds). 

Its new golden sunray dial blends harmoniously with its predominantly brushed precious yellow metal case. Retaining the traditional Cartier aesthetic we know of, it has bold Roman numerals in gunmetal gray, a railroad minute track framing its center, and blued sword hands. 

It also has a quartz movement, which will be pretty low maintenance, a luxury perhaps for a watch that is not defined by its movement, but by its design. This angular, chiseled, industrial piece of art can be had for $29,000.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Rose Gold Diamond Dial (ref. WGBB0052)

Cartier Ballon Bleu Rose Gold Diamond Dial (ref. WGBB0052)

The WGBB0052 is a dressier take on the traditional Ballon Bleu, with a precious metal case, a diamond-encrusted dial, and an alligator leather strap. It is a tribute to the versatility of its pebble-like case shape and follows unwritten rules of being a unique dress watch to add to your collection.

This model comes equipped with a 33mm solid 18k rose gold case. It maintains the symmetrical lines of all traditional Ballon Blue’s with its domed pebble shape on its face and caseback and an integrated crown in its round case breaking the dial’s symmetry.

The main highlight of this model is its matt silvered stamped sunray dial set with 21 brilliant cut diamonds, totaling 0.10 carats. For contrast and in keeping with classic Cartier design language, it features blued hands with a matching sapphire cabochon set into its crown.

To complement its iconic “blue theme”, its alligator leather strap is blue (equipped with an 18k rose gold buckle to match the case), transforming its wearability and highlighting the presence of its unique case shape better than its bracelet contemporaries. It comes with an automatic movement and is priced at $15,600.

Cartier Panthère Small Diamonds (ref. W4PN0007)

Cartier Panthère Small Diamonds (ref. W4PN0007)

Exclusively made for women, an iconic heritage design (40 years old, based on a century-old design) with a cult following from a high watchmaking Maison and jeweler of the elites, offered with a factory diamond setting, a steel case and bracelet, a quartz movement, and therefore affordably priced at $8,400, is an unheard combination of specifications that remains exclusive to Cartier in its W4PN0007 offering.

Like the Medium WSPN0007 mentioned earlier, the small W4PN007 is an identical model in smaller proportions combined with a bezel set with brilliant-cut diamonds. Its 23 x 30mm stainless steel case with 6mm thickness offers a more elegant, feminine, and jewelry-focused wearing experience. 

For powerful women who want an iconic and fashionable watch worn by the world’s most chic and famous women, with a gem set handled by the world’s leading jewelry maker, combined with the daily robustness of steel and its low-maintenance quartz movement, it is a perfect crossroad of female horology and the world of jewelry.

Cartier Tank Must Solarbeat™ (ref. WSTA0061)

Cartier Tank Must Solarbeat™ (ref. WSTA0061)

The WSTA0061 saw its release in 2021 as a true Tank distilled down to its essence, accompanied by what would be deemed a modern revolution of the “Tank Must de Cartier” of old, due to its movement that draws power from the sun, instead of a quartz movement that made the “Must” nameplate so popular.

Solar is a brand new technology for Cartier, and a huge selling point is the carefree nature of this movement, with the ability to go through 16-year battery change intervals, twice that of the high autonomy quartz movements Cartier offers.

Compared to the modern Tank Solo line, the vertical bran-chards of the Tank Must are rounded to resemble the Tank Louis, therefore retaining the case shape and lines of the original Tank. This Small model is aesthetically identical to the current production “WSTA0042” mentioned in our list. 

With bold Roman black numerals printed along the periphery of its rectangular dial (solar cells hidden beneath), accompanied by a railroad minute track that frames the center of its silver opaline dial, sword-shaped heat-blued hands offer contrast, with a matching synthetic sapphire cabochon that sits atop a highly ornate crown. With its eco-friendly movement in mind, it comes standard on a vegan leather strap. 

Cartier Panthère Mini Rose Gold Diamonds (ref. WJPN0020)

Cartier Panthère Mini Rose Gold Diamonds (ref. WJPN0020)

The Panthère is a power watch for women, just like the “Rolex Day Date” is for men. In 1983, it was born in the midst of the quartz crisis and helped keep the Maison’s exclusive customers happy during a time when Cartier was appealing to a mainstream audience following the launch of the Must de Cartier collection. 

The Panthère was a bold move from Cartier. While many luxury brands were hurting selling luxury pieces, its unyielding focus on luxury, design, and the Maison’s “je ne sais quoi” has made it an icon. It is no surprise that Cartier dedicates a diverse collection to the Panthère, embracing grand embellishments. Within lies the WJPN0020, with lots of diamonds.

This model features a solid 18k rose gold case and bracelet; its dimensions measure 25mm x 20mm and 6mm thick, making it one of the smallest offerings in the Panthère lineup. It is combined with the signature flowing brick-style bracelet that allows for the mini-sized piece to articulate properly on the wrist. Women will also appreciate its compactness and, therefore, lightness for a watch with a full 18k gold construction. 

This reference highlights its many brilliant cut diamonds embedded into its case, bezel, lugs, and bracelet end links; the sapphire cabochon that sits atop its octagonal crown is replaced with a brilliant diamond to match. Its silvered dial is consistent with other Panthère models, with a railroad minute track and blued hands for contrast. Priced at $30,400, accompanied by a quartz movement, it is effortless high luxury packaged in an iconic, timeless design.

Cartier Ronde Must Small (ref. WSRN0030)

Cartier Ronde Must Small (ref. WSRN0030)

The Ronde can be described as Cartier’s most simple design within its vast offering of angular and irregular-shaped watches. In the horology industry today, most of us gravitate towards familiar round-shaped timepieces due to their versatility.

The Ronde is Cartier’s play in the circular watch segment. Louis Cartier’s own creation, offered in the late 1930s, today’s Ronde collection provides a timeless charm and exudes signature Cartier details that make it stand out amongst other circular dress watches.

This Small WSRN0030 is offered under the “Must” subdivision. It comes in steel, accompanied by a high autonomy quartz movement (with 8 years of power). Its 29mm round case with a thickness of 8.5mm is completely polished, with smooth lines, short inward bending lugs, and a highly ornate beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon. 

It is effortlessly sophisticated, complimented by a signature Cartier dial in sandblasted silver, with bold black Roman numerals, a railroad minute track at its center, and blue sword-shaped hands. Paired with a black vegan leather strap, it’s a timeless essential and versatile daily wearer that many will love. Priced at a suitable $2,700.

Cartier Coussin Rose Gold (ref. WJCS0004)

The existence of the Coussin within Cartier’s collection reminds us that besides the Maison being an iconic haute horology watchmaker, it is also a haute jeweler. A tribute to its prowess in both extremes, it has a unique case shape and only comes embellished fully with diamonds. 

The WJCS0004 is a medium-model quartz-equipped offering. Its solid 18k rose gold case is 30.4mm x 31.1mm in diameter, with a thickness of 7.1mm. Its case resembles the aesthetics of a cushion, hence its “Coussin” nameplate and its design is complemented with a pattern of spiral-set diamonds. 

With a matching diamond featuring on its ornate crown, it has 177 brilliant cut diamonds totaling 4.09 carats. Its exquisite jewelry-focused look is matched with an elegant sunray silver Roman numeral dial and a soft beige calfskin strap attached to hidden lugs behind its case. In a sea of iconic and unique designs, the Coussin is a focused tribute to Cartier’s high society flair. Priced at $32,500.

Cartier Tank Louis Small (ref. WGTA0010)

Cartier Tank Louis Small (ref. WGTA0010)

Designed and named after Louis Cartier himself, now over a century old design, the legacy of the Tank Louis preys upon the haute-ness of any retro icon in existence. Perpetuating its original blueprint since its inception (1917), this “original rectangular watch” is one of the most elegant, influential, and timeless designs ever created.

The Small WGTA0010 is offered with case dimensions of 29.5mm x 22mm, a thickness of 6.35mm, and a quartz movement. Its case is made fully of 18K yellow gold and is attached to a tan alligator leather strap with a matching 18k yellow gold buckle.

It has a silver-grained dial with bold black Roman numerals, a railroad minute track at its center, and contrasting blued sword hands that match the sapphire cabochon that sits atop its ornate crown. Its design language and aesthetics exude signature Cartier DNA and are the continued format of the Original Tank Louis. Priced at $10,200, it is essential for any haute horology lover.

Cartier Panthère Small Gold (ref. WGPN0039)

Cartier Panthère Small Gold (ref. WGPN0039)

While the Panthère is known to be a soft, delicate, elegant, and feminine evolution of the Santos, an iconic and timeless design on its own, the WGPN0039 takes its elegance and evolution further with a double-loop bracelet based on the articulate brick style link bracelet that defines the Panthère collection. Its full gold construction and exotic-styled bracelet further lend its functionality as a timeless, highly recognizable timepiece towards becoming a statement piece of jewelry on the wrist.

Sized as a Small Panthère with a 23mm x 30mm 18k yellow gold case and a thickness of 6mm, it is well balanced in size and presence on the wrist with its novel double loop bracelet. Like all Panthère models, design is the main focus of this piece while benefiting from a low-maintenance quartz movement. 

This model is a testament to the versatility in design of the Santos case that evolved into the Panthère and the versatility of the brick-style bracelet that was created for the Panthère. It is a package of historic high watchmaking and high-end bracelet-making that Cartier is known for. The best of both worlds can be had for a hefty $36,700.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Rose Gold (ref. WJBB0063)

Cartier Ballon Bleu Rose Gold (ref. WJBB0063)

Since its launch in 1983, the round watch from Cartier, the Ballon Bleu, has become a mainstay and a huge success in the collection. It is not uncommon to see it on the wrists of movie stars, political figures, and even royalty; Kate Middleton is famously known for choosing to wear hers frequently. The WJBB0063 takes the quintessential ladies’ Ballon Bleu with its signature elements and offers an uber-luxury combination of a precious metal construction and gem setting.

This model features a 33mm solid 18k rose gold case with compact lugs attached to a matching 18k rose gold interchangeable bracelet. Its sizing hits the sweet spot between being refined and contemporary on the wrist. In keeping with the wider preference of watch collectors of today, it features an automatic movement. The main attraction of this model is its full gem-set bezel consisting of 47 brilliant cut diamonds totaling 0.68 carats. 

Its dial is silvered with a sunburst effect, bold black Roman numerals are printed along its periphery, with a railroad minute track at its center. Its hands are blued, offering contrast, with a matching sapphire cabochon set into its fluted crown. 

Like all Ballon Bleu models, its crown is integrated into the case, breaking the symmetry of the dial. Its combination of precious metals, gem setting, mechanical movement, and usage of the classic Ballon Bleu template makes for a clean, simple, and timeless design that can be passed down to generations. It comes with a price tag of $32,900.

Cartier Pasha Diamonds (ref. WJPA0019)

Cartier Pasha Diamonds (ref. WJPA0019)

The origin story of the Pasha begins in the early 1930s when the Pasha of Marrakesh (hence its “Pasha” nameplate) commissioned a waterproof watch from Louis Cartier so that he could go swimming with it.  While the original design of this watch created in 1933 remains shrouded in mystery, the Pasha design we know today was penned by the legendary watch designer Gérald Genta in 1985.

It is a rounded case design that doesn’t play by Cartier’s rule book, with a square railroad track on its dial, forgoing characteristic Roman numerals for Arabic ones. It also featured a diving bezel and a canteen-styled crown to hark back to its origin as a sports watch.

The WJPA0019’s party trick combines its iconic 80s design with an exquisite gem setting. It has a 30mm 18k white gold case, attached with a centralized lug design to an 18k white gold bracelet. The watch is completely gem-set with 425 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 7.3 carats.

It is complemented with a traditional Pasha-style opaline flinqué dial that has a square railroad track and blued steel sword hands for contrast. Typical of Cartier’s ladies’ models that are focused on aesthetics and extreme luxury, it comes with a convenient quartz movement. It is priced largely at $132,000, not for the faint-hearted.

Cartier Coussin Medium White Gold (ref. WJCS0012)

Cartier Coussin Medium White Gold (ref. WJCS0012)

Cartier’s ability to communicate its language of design in the form of poetic case shapes is unprecedented. The Coussin is a design inspired by the shape of a cushion and is elevated through its exclusive usage of gem settings, harmoniously complementing one another. This model is also made to deform like a cushion, another element of storytelling in design achieved through the sensation of touch.

The WJCS0012 is a medium-sized offering with case dimensions of 39.3mm x 32mm and a thickness of 13mm. It is only offered with a quartz movement, which is the more convenient choice for a watch that is suited best for special occasions. Its flexible 18k white gold case is completely gem set, including its dial, in a swirl pattern. 

This comprises 85 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.38 carat, 587 sapphires, 276 stavorites, 45 emeralds, and 18 tourmalines. Its blue-green persona is matched with a blue calfskin strap featuring a white gold buckle. Priced at $79,000, it is a unique and unmistakable offering, combining haute watchmaking with haute jewelry making that defines Cartier’s legacy.

Conclusion

Cartier stands proudly as one of the most recognizable watch brands in the industry today. Its established/rich history as a jeweler, and its pioneering commitment to beautiful designs (case shapes) that follow form before function, have led the Maison to create timeless icons that have captivated the minds of the most astute collectors. 

In a time where precise/reliable timekeeping has easily become available to the masses, and haute horology merely exists through how it makes us feel; its visual storytelling and consistency of design language means that you know a Cartier when you see one. It is a love letter to the cultured art of fine watchmaking.

how much are cartier watches

Last year, an ultra-rare Cartier Cheich watch sold for a staggering $1.1 Million at Sotheby, one of the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewelry, and collectibles.

Rolex and Patek Philippe have largely dominated the world of watch auctions, but this would be the second time a Cartier would crash the auction records, attracting a high degree of recognition from the world’s most discerning horological collectors.

As the innovative French company continues to capture the attention of watch enthusiasts and lovers of fine jewelry worldwide, prices for Cartier watches are also rising. Cartier has been the go-to brand for those in the upper echelon who want to discreetly display their opulence and high social status, but the recent recognition is drawing a broad audience from all walks of life.

The Swiss watch brand, which is headquartered in Paris, France, is a longstanding Maison sought after by royals and nobles from around the world. From adorning the wrists of queens and princesses to stealing the show on lots of Oscars red carpet events, Cartier is still the unofficial jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers.

Whether you’re in the market to add a standout piece of art to your collection from Cartier, or you’re just curious about the prices, you’re sure to find answers in this article!

About Cartier Watches

From the first men’s wristwatch – the legendary Cartier de Santos – to the instantly recognizable Tank, Cartier is a brand epitomizing luxury, expertise, and exquisite craftsmanship. It is even credited with popularizing wristwatches at the turn of the 20th century with the release of the original Santos.

Ever since it first began producing elegant watches and jewelry in 1847, Cartier has established a strong reputation in the luxury watch industry. The brand combines traditional watchmaking techniques with innovative designs, resulting in timepieces that are both classic and contemporary.

Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious jewelry manufacturers, the French luxury Maison has been a trailblazer in the world of watchmaking.  

Cartier watches are all crafted from high-quality materials, including stainless steel, gold (yellow, rose, or white), and platinum. They also incorporate luxurious elements such as diamonds and other precious gemstones into some models, adding to their elegance and exclusivity.

This year, a world-leading brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance, ranked Cartier as the 7th most valuable brand in the world, with a value of over $12 billion. It has also maintained its spot among the top ten luxury jewelry brands in the world for over 50 years, with an endless list of famous fans.

Cartier’s watch catalog includes numerous jeweled watches, such as the Haute Joaillerie and Indomptables de Cartier. It has attracted many prominent wearers, such as Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham, Sophia Vergara, Jennifer Aniston, Katie Holmes, Pippa Middleton, and Kate Middleton.

The luxury watch brand is known to create icon after icon in a wide range of watch collections, each with its distinct style and characteristics. Some popular collections include Santos, Tank, Ballon Bleu, Caliber de Cartier, Drive de Cartier, and Panthère de Cartier.

Cartier’s long innovative tradition has fixated it as one of the world’s most famous jewelry manufacturers with a robust performance in today’s luxury watch market too. Within the luxury watch market, the brand is a leading emblem, commanding prices as high as $100,000 for exquisite models adorned with diamonds and other precious gems. 

Ultimately, the Cartier represents desirability and opulence, as very few watches say you’ve made it quite like Cartier. 

The History of Cartier

Cartier is a renowned French luxury watch and jewelry manufacturer with a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. Founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, the company initially started as a jewelry workshop that Louis took over from his master, Adolphe Picard. 

He ran the workshop successfully, offering exquisite pieces to an elite clientele. However, it was Louis-François’ grandsons, Louis, Pierre, and Jacques Cartier, who propelled the brand to international fame and established its reputation in the world of horology.

In 1904, Louis Cartier, a visionary and innovative designer, introduced the Santos wristwatch, named after the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Pioneer aviator Santos-Dumont had complained to Louis of the unreliability of pocket watches while flying and desired a practical timepiece that could tell the time accurately at altitudes above 25,000 feet.  

The Santos wristwatch was one of the earliest examples of a purpose-built men’s wristwatch, as, at the time, pocket watches were more common. The timepiece featured a distinctive square case with exposed screws on the bezel and became a symbol of elegance and sophistication. For the first time, Cartier named the watch after its original wearer.

Building on the success of the Santos, Cartier continued to create iconic timepieces. By this time, branches had been opened in London, New York, and Saint Petersburg, and the fame of the young watch brand was quickly spreading.

During the First World War, Cartier introduced the Tank watch. The watch was inspired by the design of the newly introduced tanks on the Western Front in World War I. The Tank watch boasted clean lines, a rectangular case, and a unique integration of the lugs with the case, creating a seamless aesthetic. It quickly gained popularity and became a symbol of modernity and timeless style.

In the following years, Cartier expanded its watch collection with various models and designs. In the 1920s, the brand introduced the Tortue watch, characterized by its distinctive curved case shape, and the iconic Pasha de Cartier, a waterproof watch originally designed for the Pasha of Marrakech. 

The Pasha featured a large round case, prominent Arabic numerals, and a protective screw-down crown cap attached to the case by a chain. Cartier also established itself as a pioneer in the field of women’s watches. 

In 1932, the brand unveiled the Cartier Tank Basculante, a reversible watch that could be flipped within its case to protect the dial. This innovative design allowed women to adapt their timepieces to different occasions and outfits.

Over the years, Cartier collaborated with renowned watchmakers and craftsmen, further enhancing the quality and technical excellence of their timepieces. In the 1920s, the brand partnered with Edward Jaeger (of Jaeger-LeCoultre) to create movements for their watches. They also collaborated with Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and Movado to acquire solely for Cartier. 

In recent decades, Cartier has continued to innovate and push boundaries. The Tank Française watch collection was launched in 1996, and in 1997, the brand celebrated its 150th anniversary with legendary creations. 

Cartier Ballon Bleu was introduced in 2007, featuring a distinctive spherical crown guard, and the Caliber de Cartier collection in 2010, showcasing their in-house movements. Cartier also expanded their watch offerings with models like the Drive de Cartier, Clé de Cartier, and Santos de Cartier, catering to different tastes and styles.

Today, Cartier is entirely Swiss-owned by the Richemont Group and is regarded as one of the most prestigious jewelry manufacturers in the world. The headquarters are still in Paris, but the brand operates more than 200 stores in 125 countries.

All Cartier watches are revered for their impeccable craftsmanship, timeless designs, and attention to detail. They are regarded as status symbols and are worn by celebrities, dignitaries, and watch enthusiasts worldwide. The brand’s legacy of combining elegance, innovation, and artistic flair has firmly established it as one of the most prestigious and influential watchmakers in the world.

How Much Are Cartier Watches?

Cartier has been producing high-quality watches since the 1900s and has been a prominent player in the world of horology for over a century. The price of Cartier watches can vary greatly depending on the model, materials used, complications, and other factors.

At the lower end of the spectrum, you will find some Cartier watches priced between $2,500 to $5,000. In this price bracket, you can purchase entry-level classics like the Ronde Must de Cartier watch and some stainless steel Cartier watches. 

For Cartier’s iconic models like the Santos, Ballon Bleu, and Caliber de Cartier, prices generally start around $4,000 for basic models in stainless steel. As you move up to watches with precious metal cases, diamond accents, and complex complications, the prices can exceed $100,000 or even more for limited-edition or highly intricate pieces.

Cartier Santos

Cartier Santos

Cartier Santos, introduced in 1904, is Cartier’s flagship model. It was designed for Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, a good friend of Louis Cartier, who wore the watch on his wrist as he made the world’s first public engine-powered flight for 21.5 seconds. This feat earned the timepiece the distinction of being the first pilot’s wristwatch in the world. 

Designed to transcend time, Santos Cartier is a statement piece characterized by a distinct square dial, art deco Roman numerals, and distinctive screws on the bezel and bracelet. The Santos-Dumont and Santos de Cartier are the two major lines available in this collection though other iterations of the Santos are available.

The Santos-Dumont became commercially available in 1911 and is a classic interpretation of the original Santos. During the Second World War, production of the Santos Dumont ceased and only resurfaced in limited editions in 1998 and 2004. 

Fast forward to 2019, and the cult classic returned as a standard production piece. Santos de Cartier, on the other hand, was launched in 2018 and is a more contemporary variant with ultra-modern vibes. Both watches retain the spirit of the original Santos with a square shape, sloping Roman numerals, railroad minute track, and eight decorative screws on the bezel.

The watches in the Santos collection are available in stainless steel, titanium, ceramic, platinum, etc. Prices for watches in the Santos collection begin from $3,900 for ladies’ watches with a quartz caliber to over $68,000 for highly complicated gold and platinum variants with in-house mechanical movements when buying directly from the manufacturer. 

Top models in this collection are also available in white gold with encrusted diamonds. Expect to pay over $120,000 for the ultra-high-end watches (like the Santos 100 XL Tourbillon) with precious metals and exquisite complications.

When exploring the second-hand market, prices may vary depending on the specific model, condition, and rarity. Starting prices for stainless steel Santos-Dumont and Santos de Cartier are around $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the size and movement used. Skeletonized models can be gotten on the gray market for around $30,000, while premium models that feature gold, diamonds, and/or complications, such as a flying tourbillon, can cost upward of $100,000.

Cartier Tank

Created in 1917, the Cartier Tank is an icon inspired by the shape of a French Renault tank (the Renault FT-17) which Louis Cartier saw in use during World War I. The unorthodox rectangular case and linear design of the Tank was a challenge to the traditional round watches of that era and the timepieces quickly became an instant success.

Since its debut, the dress watch has remained the epitome of understated elegance and has been captivating discerning minds with various sub-collections like the Solo, Américaine, Française, and Anglais.

The Tank collection has undergone many changes in the use of materials, the dial designs, movements within, and so on, but its classic good looks and practical design have not changed. The Tank has graced the wrists of some of the most influential personalities in the world including luminaries like Princess Diana, Muhammad Ali, John Kennedy, and Fred Astaire.

The rectangular case is typically made of precious metals like gold or stainless steel. It is known for its clean lines and geometric form with a cabochon-shaped crown typically adorned with blue sapphire or other precious gemstones. The dial of the Cartier Tank watch usually features Roman numerals, often in a bold and stylized font, with slender (often blue-colored) sword-shaped hands.

Like Santos, the Cartier Tank watch design is strongly influenced by the Art Deco movement of the early 20th century. Extraordinary models, such as the limited edition Tank Chinoise watch, a skeleton wonder that showcases a Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding, also exist.

The Chinoise features a platinum case, brancards, buckle, and crown adorned with a dazzling array of 162 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 1.77 carats. It also has gray steel sword-shaped hands and a sapphire crystal.

The Cartier Tank watch is available in both quartz and mechanical movement versions for men and women. There are also solar-powered versions like the Ref. WSTA0060.

The starting price for a new Cartier Tank watch typically ranges from around $2,500 to $3,500 for the entry-level models, while more intricate and high-end versions could go well beyond $20,000 or even higher. 

Limited edition and rare vintage models can command significantly higher prices, up to $100,000. Prices in the resale market fluctuate consistently and vary on the condition of the watch, demand, and supply, model, but prices begin from around $2,100 for pre-owned entry-level Tank watches. 

Cartier Pasha

The lore surrounding the creation of the Cartier Pasha is much like that of the Santos. Though there is no evidence to support the story, the legend goes that the Cartier Pasha was invented at the request of a ruler, the Sultan of Marrakech, named Pasha. 

This Sultan, a great admirer, and friend of Louis, desired a watch he could wear at all times – even while bathing – without caring about its functionality or accuracy and asked Cartier if he could provide one for him.

Louis Cartier, in his usual innovative and creative mastery, took up the challenge and invented what is largely considered to be Cartier’s first waterproof timepiece, “the Pasha watch”, in 1932. It remained a special edition and went under the radar until 1985, when the model was officially introduced into the Cartier collection and named “Pasha de Cartier.” 

The classical watch had two distinct features, still found in some Pasha models today. Firstly, it was fitted with a screw-down crown cap, fastened to the case by a small chain, and secondly, a grid was placed over the crystal of the watch.

The outstanding crown guard, which has not gone through any major change to this day, and other elements like a round case, screw-down case back, and centrally-positioned lugs are what make the Pasha a masterpiece. The Pasha watch also typically features Arabic numerals, sword-shaped hands, and a date function.

Over the years, Cartier has released various iterations of the Pasha watch, incorporating different materials, movements, and complications. The collection includes models for both men and women, offering a wide range of sizes, styles, and materials, such as stainless steel, gold, and diamonds.

An overwhelming selection of Pasha timepieces can be found easily and in 2020, Cartier launched many exquisite models for men and women. The price of a Cartier Pasha watch can vary significantly based on several factors, including the specific model, materials used, complications, and other design elements. 

However, prices begin from $5,300 for stainless steel models with a quartz or automatic caliber (such as the Ref. WSPA0021) on the official Cartier website, while limited editions like the Pasha de Cartier Serti Vibrant watch command a staggering $206,000. 

The Pasha de Cartier Serti Vibrant watch is a masterpiece and features a 35mm white gold case and bezel adorned with 228 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 3.60 carats. The dial, also in white gold, boasts an additional 318 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 3.10 carats, while the white gold bracelet set has 828 brilliant-cut diamonds, totaling 6.12 carats.

On the secondary market, prices vary greatly, but you can purchase a pre-owned stainless steel Pasha for as little as $2,000. The Cartier Pasha collection continues to be a symbol of sophistication and luxury, appealing to watch enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.

Cartier Ballon Bleu

Cartier Ballon Bleu

Created in 2007, the Ballon Bleu de Cartier is a quintessential model, second to none. According to Michael Groffenberger, the senior category director of fine jewelry & watches at The RealReal, if Ballon Bleu is ripped off from Cartier to form a unique brand, it would be the fourth largest worldwide. 

From gracing the wrists of royals like Kate Middleton to complimenting the attires of A-list celebrities like Johnny Depp, the Ballon Bleu epitomizes Cartier’s vision to create a territory marked by a unique style. As its name suggests, the Cartier Ballon Bleu features a distinctive round case with a prominent crown guard resembling a floating balloon or bubble. 

The collection combines classic elegance with modern design elements, making it a favorite among watch enthusiasts and fashion-conscious individuals alike. The Ballon Bleu is a perfect blend of artistry and technical mastery, designed to leave a lasting impression on anyone and everyone. 

Other notable features of the Cartier Ballon Bleu watches include a rounded case and a fluted or smooth crown set with a blue cabochon-shaped synthetic spinel. The dial often showcases the signature Roman numerals and blue sword-shaped hands, and the cases are typically crafted from high-grade materials such as stainless steel, yellow gold, white gold, and platinum. 

Cartier also offers variations with diamond-set bezels for those seeking additional luxury and glamor. The watches in this collection also house reliable Swiss-made mechanical or quartz movements. Cartier has provided a wide range of unique watches for men and women that all adhere to the highest standards of watchmaking. 

The watches are usually paired with stainless steel or gold bracelets that match the case material, but there’s also the option of leather straps in various colors and finishes, allowing for customization and personalization.

There are variations available for both men and women, with options for smaller or larger dials, different materials, and various complications like chronographs and moon phases. Prices for a Cartier Ballon Bleu watch begin from $6,000 for entry-level timepieces like the Ref. WSBB0067 and goes as high as ~$490,000 for the Clash (Un)Limited watch Ref.HPI01459.

The Ref. HPI01459 is lavished with Rhodium-finish white gold everywhere and a reversible bracelet set with 179 onyx and 4435 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 14.4 carats. Ballon Bleu’s pure lines, precise proportions, charming aesthetics, and accuracy have made it a coveted choice among fashion enthusiasts. Starting prices on the secondary market are around $5,800.

Cartier Ronde

Cartier Ronde

The Cartier Ronde collection was designed by Louis Cartier in the 1930s. If you’re looking for a watch from Cartier that beautifully balances classical elegance with other recognizable elements of a Cartier timepiece, you’ll find it here.

The line disappeared for a while but was reincarnated in 2009 and includes sub-collections like the Cartier Ronde Solo and Ronde Louis models. All the watches here pay homage to the original Cartier Ronde watch and bear the same geometric contour. 

Self-winding or precision quartz movements are used to power the Ronde watches and they are offered in 29, 36, or 40mm cases. Each watch has a sandblasted dial decoration and retains its distinctive ‘Chemin De Fer’ (meaning railroad in French) feature with Roman numeral indices. 

The Cartier Ronde watch collection is vast, with each piece carefully crafted to embody the exceptional savoir-faire and timelessness of the French luxury Maison. Its portfolio is filled with fascinating pieces like the Masse Mystérieuse skeleton—a true marvel of mechanical ingenuity. 

The lowest price for a Cartier Ronde watch on the brand’s website is $3,195.34 for an entry-level stainless steel watch with high autonomy quartz movement (the Ref.

WSRN0030). Prices move from that point on to over $300,000 for the enigmatic and highly sophisticated Cartier Masseap Mysterieuse. On the secondary market, the majority of Cartier Ronde watches change hands from around $3,000 to over $38,000 for platinum editions.

What’s The Most Expensive Cartier Watch?

The Cartier Phoenix Décor Secret Watch, priced at $2.76 million, holds the record for being the most expensive Cartier watch that you can buy today. Tucked away in a glittering phoenix-shaped beauty, the watch features 3,010 brilliant-cut diamonds, as well as pear-shaped and portrait-cut diamonds worth just over three carats. The eyes of the Phoenix are made from emeralds, and the timepiece is part of the Merveilles du Nil de Cartier collection.

What’s The Cheapest Cartier Watch?

At the time of writing this article, the cheapest Cartier watch in the brand’s portfolio is a Ronde de Cartier. Priced at $2,700, the Ronde Must de Cartier Ref.WSRN0030 presents an opportunity for average earners to get a sweet taste of the good life. 

Entry-level Tank watches can be obtained for $3,200 (for example, the Ref. WSTA0061 with a photovoltaic SolarBeat™ movement), while the cheapest Panthère de Cartier can be purchased for $3,600.

Is Cartier Watch A Good Investment?

When it comes to investing in luxury watches, Cartier is a brand worth considering. Cartier watches have consistently shown a strong performance in terms of value retention and appreciation, with many timeless classics coveted by watch enthusiasts and collectors alike.

While several factors contribute to how well watches from the legendary Maison hold their value or even appreciate, limited or special editions always hold their worth and increase in value over time in the second-hand market due to their exclusivity.

Timeless classics such as the Tank or Santos are known to hold their value well over time, too, because of their enduring appeal. Cartier watches are often seen as a status symbol worn by celebrities, royalty, and influential figures, adding to the brand’s exclusivity. 

Again Cartier uses high-quality materials and lots of precious metals and gems in the production of their timepieces. Of course, a watch crafted with solid gold will make a better investment option than a stainless steel timepiece.

The attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship also ensures that each Cartier watch is a work of art that will last in excellent condition for years to come.

While Cartier watches can be a good investment, it’s important to note that the value of a watch is influenced by various factors, including market demand, rarity, condition, and the specific model or collection. It’s advisable to do thorough research, consult with experts, and consider your personal preferences before investing in a Cartier watch.

Conclusion

Cartier is a watchmaking pioneer with over 160 years of experience and expertise. If Rolex is “pret-a-porter” and Patek Philippe is “haute couture” then Cartier is the crème de le crème of the Haute Horlogerie industry. Check out our selection of authentic pre-owned Cartier watches at the best prices here.

In the world of luxury timepieces, some watches become instant classics, while others may go unnoticed until it’s too late. The Cartier Calibre de Diver was one such timepiece that didn’t really catch on with the watch crowd after its release but will give any diver today a run for its money. 

This post scopes the Calibre de Diver in-depth, including its history, features, models, and alternatives. Unfortunately, we can’t say why Cartier exed the line, but fortunately, we can say it’s not because it was ugly or overpriced. 

It’s a classy and rare collection with features that scream luxury, sophistication, and elegance. You can still grab one or find similar options after this review.

About the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver

Cartier was primarily known for creating elegant and sophisticated watches and jewelry. However, it expanded its offerings to include more practical watches suitable for adventurers and explorers. 

One of the earliest examples of Cartier’s foray into rugged watches was the Santos, created in 1904 for the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. It was designed to be easy to read in flight and featured a sturdy, square case that could withstand the rigors of aviation. The Calibre de Cartier Diver line only recently joined the Cartier family in 2013.

It meets the rigorous ISO 642 standards for water resistance, legibility, and durability. This Diver is water-resistant up to 300 meters and features a unidirectional rotating bezel to measure elapsed time underwater. Despite its practical design, the Calibre de Cartier Diver maintains the elegance and finesse symbolic of the Cartier brand.

The watch has a sporty rubber strap, a bold Roman-numeral dial with luminous markings, and a polished stainless steel svelte case. Additionally, its 1904 MC automatic movement has a twin-barrel mechanism and a power reserve of 48 hours.

Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Models

The Calibre de Cartier Diver collection has over five (5) models. All of which share the same features with minor design variations. Some of the most popular models in the collection include:

The Calibre de Cartier Blue WSCA0010

The Calibre de Cartier Blue WSCA0010

This model features a blue dial with a matte finish and Super-LumiNova indicators. The blue unidirectional bezel is made of ceramic and also has Super-LumiNova markings to read time spent underwater. 

Like its counterparts, the case is made of stainless steel and is 42mm. It also features the Cartier Calibre 1904 MC automatic movement and a water resistance of 300 meters. However, its black strap either comes in leather or rubber.

Calibre de Cartier Diver Rose Gold W7100036

Calibre de Cartier Diver Rose Gold W7100036

This model is a two-toned dressy diver with a rose gold and stainless steel blend on the bracelet and case. The 18K rose gold unidirectional bezel, and the dial has markers and hands that are Super-LumiNova treated. So are the hands of its silver opaline dial.

Calibre de Cartier Diver Black W7100056

Calibre de Cartier Diver Black W7100056

This is the most popular model in the Cartier Diver line. The dial of this watch is black and has a stamped snail pattern with luminous indications and a black rubber strap. It also has steel markers that have been ADLC-coated.

And like the others, the case is 42mm stainless steel, has the Cartier Calibre 1904 MC automatic movement, and is 300-meter water-resistant. Other Calibre de Cartier watch models include:

  • The Calibre de Cartier Diver W7100057 with black dial and silver steel bracelet
  • The WSCA0011 model with blue dial and blue rubber strap
  • The WSCA0006 model

ISO Standards and Cartier Tests

Dive watches have become a popular tool among water sports enthusiasts, sports watch lovers, and watch collectors. But, as popular as these watches are, many skip what puts the “dive” in the dive watch. 

Did you know any watch that doesn’t meet the ISO 6425 standards can’t be called a diver?

Even if it has 400 meters of water resistance, it must be certified. Basically, ISO 6425 outlines the official physical requirements of dive watches, including water resistance, pressure resistance, magnetism, shock resistance, legibility in the dark, rotating bezel, and resistance to external forces. 

However, the most crucial requirement is the “overpressure test.” This test requires submerging the watch in 125 percent of its rated depth before leaving the factory. This is not a basic water-resistant test because not all water-resistant watches are dive-friendly. And if your timepiece isn’t adequately tested or doesn’t meet the standard, you might be walking around with a shock-conducting watch.

While Cartier might not have a legendary dive watchmaking experience, it does take these requirements seriously. It performs several tests to ensure that the Calibre de Cartier Diver line meets these standards. Watches in this line undergo a water resistance test at 375 meters or 125 percent of its rated depth. 

Additionally, it undergoes a pressure change test, sand in the bezel test, a temperature change test, a magnetic field test, and a pressure on the case, strap, and crown test. Plus, the brand’s dive watches are made to pass a condensation test to ensure that no water penetrates the case.

The watch is also tested for underwater visibility to ensure that the luminescent treated hands, markers, and numerals are readable 10 inches away from the face in the dark. Overall, Calibre de Cartier watches are solid and true watches that stand out in the crowd and meet the ISO 6425 standards.

Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver ref. W7100056

The devil, they say, is in the details, so let’s take a closer look at the defining features of the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver ref. W7100056, from the intricate details on the dial to the high-quality materials used in its construction.

Case

The Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver ref. W7100056 has a slim and lightweight case. Only 11mm thick and 111 grams, it’s svelte compared to the robust profile of most dive watch cases. 

Durable

It’s high-quality stainless steel with a fine brushed finish across its surfaces. But possess a light-reflecting polished finish along the bevel and lugs. 

Furthermore, its solid case back is locked airtight with eight small screws and has the emblem of authenticity inscribed – Diver’s watch. It’s only legal or seen on watches that satisfy ISO 6425 standards. 

This means the watch is true to its name and can handle a depth of 300m. Most won’t take their Cartier diver anywhere near the deep sea, but it’s refreshing to know it’s competent.

Crown

The crown guard – a vital water resistance feature – stands out. It is pretty large, and the blue gem gives it a mythical look. So much so that it adds 3mm to the watch’s size, over 45mm as opposed to the 42mm diameter of the case. But the crown guard is not the only factor increasing the watch’s diameter. The bezel and band are also quite enormous.

Fluted Unidirectional Bezel

Speaking of the bezel, it is made of black ADLC and has a unidirectional design to prevent timing mistakes underwater. You don’t want to be halfway through your dive and realize you accidentally reset the dive time backward.

Crystal

The sapphire crystal is stunning. In addition, it’s scratch-resistant, so you do not have to worry about bumping it against an underwater rock or hard surface. Additionally, it’s anti-reflective, which means you can read the time clearly from different angles.

Dial

The Calibre de Cartier Diver ref. W7100056 black dial is a brilliant work of art. It has many fascinating features that will get you all tingly and excited.

Date Display 

For one, let’s talk big date. Its unique two-digit date display is both beautiful and functional. Located at 3 o’clock with a calligraphic III Roman numeral crown is its bean-shaped date window.

A triangle indicator puts the current date in the crosshair for easy reading. It also shows the date before and after, which is a minor, but important attention to detail to stay organized

Hands

Cartier uses classic sword hands for the hour, minute, and seconds hands. Speaking of which, there’s a standalone seconds window at rocked in at 6 o’clock. Another super cool feature of this watch is the glow-in-the-dark feature. All three hands, the small-second chapter ring, the XII numeral, and the baton hour markers are all treated with Super-LumiNova

Super-Luminova

While this Diver can stay bright for up to 18 hours, its lume strength winds down pretty fast. It doesn’t matter, though, because, with low juice, you may not be able to read the in the dark seas, but it’ll glow enough on your wrist in a dark room. Only the inverted triangle on the bezel glows, so the other markings aren’t visible in the dark.

Authenticity Badge 

Counterfeiters rarely get luxury watch designs right. But what’s most exciting is the style in which the Cartier name is engraved in microprint in the X numeral as an anti-counterfeiting feature, which is a major way to know that you’re wearing an original watch.

Movement: Caliber 1904 MC

All Cartier Divers use the 1904 MC movement designed in-house by prominent Swiss watchmaker Carole Forestier-Kappi. Anyone familiar with Carole’s work will expect no less than a masterpiece. 

She designed the Rotonde de Cartier Astroregulateur, which won the “Best Men’s Complication Watch” award at the 2010 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. This one’s built for accuracy and durability.

Solid Engineering

It sports twin, series-coupled barrels working together to even out the energy flow as the mainsprings wind down. It also has a power reserve of 48 hours, which isn’t enhanced by the twin barrels. However, these barrels improve longevity by generating less friction-inducing force.

Sturdy

The 1904 MC movement has 27 jewels that run at 4Hz, 28800vph. A bidirectional rotor in the mainsprings is mounted on ceramic bearings that increase the watch’s longevity. Instead of using a standard reverse, Cartier improves shock resistance and winding efficiency by utilizing a V-shaped pawl.

Additionally, Geneva stripe finishing on the rotor and automatic winding bridge and circular graining on the main plate is a testament to Cartier’s commitment to creating high-quality timepieces. An Etcahron adjustment regulates the watch’s energy release, a flat Nivarox balance spring, and a Glucydur balance wheel.

Bracelet / Strap

Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver ref. W7100056 has a soft, thick, and supple black rubber strap that measures 120mm by 74mm. The material is finished like leather with fluted inlays to avoid irritation if it gets wet. Cartier took this rubber strap to the next level by ensuring it’s water, wear and tear, UV radiation resistant, and can withstand relatively extreme temperatures.

In short, this strap is built to last. It wears comfortably, too, with its Cartier-embossed pin buckle to fit into wetsuits without bulging. This adds more appeal to this revered Diver as a dress watch.

One thing about the Calibre de Cartier, unlike many divers, is you don’t get strap options for versatility. Although there are models with stainless steel and different rubber styles, replacement isn’t user-friendly (buy-in-store). For example, the WSCA0010 and the W7100054 come in leather and steel bracelets, respectively.

Should You Buy a Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver?

Honestly, I don’t believe that watches are made for special kinds of people – except for the costly ones. Find a watch’s features helpful or appealing, and can afford it? Go for it. In this case, the Calibre de Cartier Diver is a watch for people who appreciate quality, style, and adventure.

As the name implies, this timepiece is a “Diver” watch that satisfies all ISO standards for dive watches. It is made for people who love exploring the outdoors, climbing mountains, or diving deep into the ocean’s depths. So if you’re looking to play Jacques Cousteau for a second, consider buying this watch.

But the Calibre de Cartier Diver isn’t just for underwater explorers or thrill-seekers. It’s also a classy watch for casual and formal outings. 

It’s perfect for playing dress up at the office, a fancy gathering, a boat or yacht cruise, and even the movies. Consider it a tiny piece of luxury on your wrist, adding that extra touch of class to your already sophisticated outfit.

However, tech-savvy folks might not be enthused by this watch because it doesn’t necessarily have all the bells and whistles of a smartwatch. But it’s still a watch with technology, and you might find the engineering intriguing.

Is the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Discontinued?

Yes. Cartier unexpectedly discontinued the Calibre de Cartier line in 2018. Nevertheless, the incredible collection highlighted the brand’s stellar craftsmanship and ingenuity. Unfortunately, the reason for the discontinuance is uncertain. Is it possible that Cartier didn’t want to appear too sporty, or the initial sale didn’t blossom as much as they expected?

Well, the brand is constantly evolving and developing new products. So it is possible that sometime in the future, they will rebrand and revive the collection as a vintage classic. But for now, the collection is only available on the second-hand market.

Alternatives To the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver

The Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver line has impressive models in different colors and bracelet variations. But then, not everyone will be intrigued by this collection. So here are some alternatives with similarities and liberating differences.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (ref. 5015 1130 52A)

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (ref. 5015 1130 52A)

If you think the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver, ref. W7100056 is big, you haven’t met the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. This rugged watch is much bigger, with a case size of 45mm and 15mm thick. The case, made of titanium, has a matte finish and an exhibition case back.

It is durable and corrosion-resistant, which fortifies it for underwater use. The dial of this Blancpain watch is equally impressive. Its hour, minute, and seconds hands and markers are all luminescent, aiding nighttime visibility.

The date window is also conveniently placed at 4:30, and unlike that of the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver, it is not obtrusive. What I love most about the dial is the two-toned sunburst finish. So, depending on the direction of the light, the dial often transitions from blue to black.

Similarly, the unidirectional bezel is quite pleasant since it is easy to grip and luminescent. But that’s not the craziest part. Now imagine having a mechanical watch that can run independently for six days without winding. Yeah, that’s right.

This watch has an impressive 120 power reserve thanks to the watchmaker’s in-house movement – the Caliber 1315.  The Caliber 1315 movement features three series-coupled mainspring barrels and a silicon balance spring which mitigates shocks and has high resistance to magnetic fields.

Its numerous screws and the crown screw are also shock resistant and enhance stability. Additionally, the Caliber 1315 also has a secure date protection mechanism that guards against harm to the date wheel if a manual adjustment is made while the movement is already changing the date.

Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-06-80-33)

Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-06-80-33)

Here’s another alternative to the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver that meets ISO 6425 and DIN 8306 standards. It’s a classic watch with a vintage-inspired look that’s hard to resist. But what’s cool about this timepiece is its size – the case size and diameter are 39.5mm and 12.50mm, respectively, which should fit a wide range of wrist sizes.

One amazing feature of the Glashütte Original SeaQ (ref. 1-39-11-06-80-33) is the simplicity of its features. The time window, which doubles as the 3 o’clock marker, is lodged plainly on the dial. It has no enormous crown guard, exhibition case back, or helium escape valve. 

All of its features are legible, usable, and functional. From the unidirectional black bezel to the gold and luminous white hour, minutes, and seconds markers and hands, and even down to the screw-down crown, you’ll find a need for every feature.

The only part of this watch that might seem a bit extra is the sword hour, arrow minute, and lollipop seconds markers. Like why so extra? What happened to regular hands? But it’s all part of the aesthetics, which extends to the ceramic bezel, black dial with an infusion of colorful numerals, and a half-barrel profile case.

Under the hood, the SeaQ is powered by the Glashütte Original’s self-winding movement – Caliber 39-11. It is a highly accurate and reliable upgrade to the 1978 Spezichron Caliber 11-26. However, this watch doesn’t have a strong power reserve like the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver watch – it only has a power reserve of up to 40 hours. Its water resistance is also limited to 200 meters.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer (ref. 1183-126-3/42)

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer (ref. 1183-126-3/42)

The Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer (ref. 1183-126-3/42) is an exceptional timepiece with precision, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. It boasts a 43mm stainless steel case with a thickness of 13.85mm. The silver dial’s wave pattern adorned with Roman numerals and silver steel epitomizes elegance with authority. 

It has a dressy circular-themed design. The case is round, and so are the windows for the date and small seconds subdial at the 6 o’clock position and the power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock.

In addition, extended lugs complement Marine’s rubber straps and deployment clasp for a stylish casual look. Unlike Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver watches, it has an exhibition case back that showcases the movement and Ulysse’s signature anchor motif.

The movement is an in-house UN-118 caliber developed by Ulysse Nardin and is particularly well-embellished with 50 jewels. It’s also a COSC-certified chronometer which means it’s not only a tough diver but an accurate timekeeper. The UN-118 caliber also boasts an impressive 60-hour power reserve, a silicon escapement, and a balance spring. 

The watch is thus shock-resistant and has anti-magnetic properties. Plus, the movement is equipped with Ulysse Nardin’s proprietary time zone setting, allowing you to adjust the local time easily without affecting the watch’s accuracy.

However, as functional as the Marine is, there are deeper dive watches. For example, it only has a water resistance of 100 meters and lacks a bezel for tracking elapsed time.

Conclusion

And there you have it! Another endearing masterpiece of horology from the world-renowned luxury jewelers. The Cartier Diver’s Watch is a fantastic creation that captures the essence of adventurous and luxury fashion. It’s not a Santos or Tank but doesn’t foray with its slim, sleek, yet hulking profile. 

Maybe the Calibre de Diver was a failed experiment or a statement innovation to show Cartier is more than a luxury design. You’d be wrong in either case because you’re still interested after a decade of decommissioning, and it’s a solid watch. 

But again, if, for some reason, say, the price or scarcity, you would like options, our list of alternative timepieces has relatively identical features and is worth looking into. 

Keep exploring and stay exquisite!

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