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Cartier returned the bell


As always, at least in recent years, we start the Cartier year with new timepieces with something from the Cartier Privé, a curated collectors’ favorite. This year is no different either, with the instantly recognizable Cloche de Cartier watch becoming the focus of attention. There are several versions of the Cloche de Cartier to discuss and explain the name, but we will leave space in this story for a brief presentation of some other notable 2021 editions of Cartier. Most notably, this would be Tank must, and Tank in general, as well as some new highlights to expect from Pasha de Cartier. First, the Cloche de Cartier …

Cartier calls this shape a bell, literally bell the meaning is in french. This shape first appeared on Cartier watches in the 1920s (1922 according to the brand, and confirmed by Christie’s auction house) and has remained an integral part of the Maison’s identity ever since. You may have never seen a cloche, but it feels like a Cartier. The dial alignment is also unusual, with the 12 o’clock position lying along the same axis as the crown. This is not a contemporary touch; Cloche models always have their own style. For the year 2021, there are standard versions and framed versions as well, like previous creations of the Cartier Prive. They all measure 31.75 x 28.75mm and we can report that they are quite thin, although the manufacturer has not disclosed the thickness of the case yet.

In the skeleton versions, the 1917 MC production movement is reworked into a form-fitting proposition called Caliber 9626. One of the main differences here is the thickness at 3.55mm for the 9626 and 2.9mm for 1917 MC. On the other hand, these movements have similar characteristics, being hand-wound, with a short power reserve of 38 hours.

In other places, Tank comes with major changes – the 1917 caliber MC appears here in the Tank Louis Cartier models, there are two beautiful variations as seen here (gold and rose gold). These models are Amazing dress watch actually delivered by the second hand. Then there’s the rest of the new Tank models, now known as the Tank Must (in the Must de Cartier sense), and there are plenty of variations. The biggest messengers will be the ones with the Solarbeat photovoltaic quartz movement that boasts a battery life of 16 years. These models are also marked with unique straps, first made with plant material (40% is apple waste). Without a doubt, these will form the backbone of the Cartier sustainability story.

We conclude this first look with a few Pasha de Cartier models, one being a 41mm chronograph and the other a 30mm feminine watch. The chronograph is perhaps the most anticipated watch, with everyone sensing its imminent arrival. It is powered by an automatic 1904 -CH MC movement. We’ll have a lot to say about this model later, as well as the Tank Must, for which we barely scratched the surface.

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