Curious Cartier: Esoteric Picks From the French Luxury House

Ever since the creation of the Santos in 1904, Cartier has been responsible for bringing us successive iconic models such as the Tank and the Tortue. Today we wander off the beaten path, taking a look at some of the more enigmatic models to have come out of Cartier’s esteemed manufacture.

This model features an interesting bell-shaped case and drivers style dialLot Essay by Christie’s
1990s Cartier Cloche de Cartier
1990s Cartier Cloche de Cartier. Photo courtesy: Christie's

French for bell, the “Cloche” is a clear inspiration in the case shape of the Cloche de Cartier. The fascinating design of the dial, rotated ninety degrees from a typical dial layout, coupled with the asymmetrical 18k gold case, allowed the wristwatch to be placed on its side to function as a miniature desk clock. Originally introduced in 1922, Cartier had a limited run of 200 pieces of the Cloche de Cartier in the 1990s.

1990s Cartier Cloche de Cartier
1990s Cartier Cloche de Cartier. Photo courtesy: Christie's
1990s Cartier Cloche de Cartier
1990s Cartier Cloche de Cartier. Photo courtesy: Christie's
1990s Cartier Cloche de Cartier
1990s Cartier Cloche de Cartier. Photo courtesy: Christie's
1990s Cartier Cloche de Cartier
1990s Cartier Cloche de Cartier. Photo courtesy: Christie's

Cartier Cloche de Cartier

Manufactured

1990s by Cartier

Reference Number

A 112387

Limited Edition

157/200

Case

18K yellow gold 33 x 25 mm (H X W)

Complication

Time Only

Dial

Guilloche

Movement

Manual

Cartier Pebble
1973 Cartier Pebble

This pebble-shaped wristwatch from Cartier is as rare as it is fascinating. The lozenge dial set against the rounded case emphasized by its hooded lugs, demonstrates Cartier’s strength with geometry and composition. With only six known examples to have been produced, this elegant timepiece in pink gold is accentuated by its classic Cartier radial roman numerals and cabochon sapphire-set crown.

In the U.S.A. this model is known as the “baseball” as the dial shape is reminiscent of the shape of a baseball pitch.Lot Essay by Christie’s

Cartier Pebble

Manufactured

1973 by Cartier, London

Movement Number

No. 2064364

Case Number

No. 1497

Case

18K pink gold Ø 29mm

Complication

Time Only

Dial

White painted dial with radial Roman numerals

Movement

Cal. 845 LeCoultre Co. Mechanical

Strap the watch on the wrist, however, and you instantly realise how intuitive and easy it is to read the time without having to bring your arm towards yourself.Tom Mulraney, Monochrome

Originally introduced in 1936, the Cartier Tank Asymétrique is defined by its case shape. Shearing the classic Cartier Tank case into the shape of a parallelogram results in an asymmetrical but still beautifully balanced design. The placement of the 12 and 6 o’clock positions in the corners of the geometry reveals the clever manipulation of the dial layout to suit the new aperture.

Cartier Tank Asymétrique
1936 Cartier Tank Asymétrique
Cartier Tank Asymétrique
2000 Collection Privée Cartier Paris Tank Asymétrique. Photo courtesy: Christie's
Cartier Tank Asymétrique
Ref. 2488 Cartier Tank Asymétrique in Platinum. Photo courtesy: Phillips
Cartier Tank Asymétrique
1996 Cartier Tank Asymétrique. Photo courtesy: Artcurial

Cartier Tank Asymétrique

Manufactured

1996 by Cartier

Reference Number

A 113324

Limited Edition

71/300

Case

18K yellow gold 24 x 34 mm (H X W)

Complication

Time Only

Dial

Guilloche

Movement

Manual

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