Cartier’s origins as a jewellery brand have produced some of the most iconic models in the history of the wristwatch, the Santos of 1904 being considered the world’s first Cheap Cartier watches wristwatch. This year, Cartier launched a series of amazing models in the field of fine watchmaking, the most famous being the celestial tourbillon. The recently launched 1904 MC is the first self-winding movement to be developed in-house, and the Cartier Calibur collection is Cartier’s first “Men Only” collection.
Cartier’s origins as a jewellery brand have produced some of the most iconic models in the history of the wristwatch, the Santos of 1904 being considered the world’s first wristwatch. This year, Cartier launched a series of amazing models in the field of fine watchmaking, the most famous being the celestial tourbillon. The recently launched 1904 MC is the first self-winding movement to be developed in-house, and its Calibre collection is Cartier’s first “Men Only” collection.
Details of the models.
The opening Calibre de Cartier, with a strong body of 42 mm, marching under the shape, contains the brand’s usual meticulous craftsmanship, like the layers on the surface is very rich. The Santos was made by Cartier for his best friend to wear during his hot air balloon flight. The Calibre de Cartier is equipped with the 1904 MC movement, which, although simple in function, shows a genuine effort in construction and polishing. It has two barrel drums and a 48-hour power reserve.
It’s fun to reminisce about childhood, because the memories that stick out are often the embarrassing scenes, the secret mischievousness and the ridiculous behavior of desperately trying to grow up. But beyond that, I can’t forget the hourly chimes in my Cheap Cartier watches grandmother’s room and how she opened the door underneath the wall clock and used the key to wind it up. The clock, which should have been obsolete in the modern style of decoration, was treasured by my grandmother as a symbol of her memories. (Watch model: WJCL0031)
Always innovative and avant-garde, Cartier has looked to the past for inspiration, to an era when watches were wound and set the time with keys. Combining this source of inspiration, Cartier has reinterpreted the modern crown and created a winding crown that resembles the way it was historically wound. This new sapphire-set crown became the hallmark of the collection, hence the name Clé de Cartier. The new Clé de Cartier watches with glossy fuchsia crocodile leather straps are a dream come true, like a mauve dream.
As time goes on and on, the memory of our childhood becomes more and more blurred, the year when we laughed and the year when we fell down. The Clé de Cartier Key collection, with its nostalgic design, seems to recall a time when keys were used for winding and setting the time, bringing us back to our childhood.
The 31 mm case in 18-carat pink gold is perfect for a slender wrist. The dial features a guilloché dial with sunburst effect, 10 brilliant-cut round-cut diamonds as hour markers, sword-shaped blued steel hands and a date window at 6 o’clock.
The crown, which resembles a key and is topped with a sapphire in 18-carat rose gold, is the finishing touch to the watch. The crown, which must be unscrewed in order to wind the watch or to set the time, resembles the winding key of an old watch. After winding or setting the watch, the crown is returned to its original position with a pleasant “click”.
This watch is equipped with the new Cartier 1847MC caliber, a refined self-winding movement developed, crafted and assembled by master watchmakers at Cartier’s Swiss Watchmaking Workshop. It takes its name from the year 1847, the year in which the brand was founded, and reflects the exceptional care and attention that Cartier has devoted to this movement. The 25.6 mm diameter, Côtes de Genève-decorated movement is self-winding in both directions and has a power reserve of 40 hours.
Only exquisite watchmaking techniques can stand the test of time, and only watches that stand the test of time can be treasured as collector’s items that seal memories. With a history of nearly one hundred and seventy years, Cartier’s constant innovation in design and its relentless pursuit of precision and accuracy make this dream watch a collectable memory.
Cartier has a very special meaning to me and is my favorite brand, bar none. The biggest misconception that Chinese people have about Cartier today is that it is the Cheap Cartier watches same as a “fashion watch”. The dial of the watch bears the logos of both brands, with different codes in their respective product archives, much like today’s code sharing between airlines.
My first encounter with Cartier was in 1998, when Chinese people’s understanding of modern luxury was still a blank slate. Cartier also started to do some tentative PR activities in Beijing that year. As the purchasing power of the Chinese people was still very weak, Cartier started by promoting the cheapest items in its line. The myth that Cartier was a fashion watch probably fell into place at that time. Cartier is a system, a kingdom, and once you enter it, you begin a strange journey.
The history of the Cartier brand began in 1847 when a Parisian, Louis-François Cartier, gave up his family’s powder keg business to become a jeweler in his own right. From the outset, the jeweler’s workshop had a strict identity – to serve only an exclusive clientele, and it soon became the favorite of Europe’s aristocracy and royalty; in other words, the brand’s association with prestige and luxury was unchanged from the very beginning. The company later moved to 13 Rue de la Paix in Paris, near the famous Place Vendôme, which is still the home of Cartier’s worldwide headquarters.
Three generations of Cartier families worked tirelessly to bring the company to its peak at the beginning of the 20th century. The key figure in this phase was Louis-Joseph Cartier (1875-1942), often referred to as Louis Cartier, whose creativity and management talent laid the foundations for the brand’s status, design style and countless legends. Another great achievement of Joseph’s time at the head of Cartier Paris (when two of the founder’s grandsons opened Cartier London and Cartier New York) was in the field of watchmaking, where the company’s expertise in jewellery-making was fully applied to its products. In addition, a keen eye for the market and the strategic decision that “watches would inevitably replace pocket watches” made the Cartier brand unique in the history of watchmaking. What is even more surprising is that in the first half of the 20th century, Cartier was in close contact with almost every major watch brand of the time, to the extent that Patek Philippe and Rolex, among others, produced special commemorative models for the brand. Antique watch collectors will have to admit that special “Cartier” models from different brands have long been an important and precious collector’s item, a distinction hardly ever shared by any other brand.
Today, no other luxury brand offers such a wide range of watches at such a long price. At this point, it’s probably easy to understand why Cartier is often mistaken for a fashion watch, because it’s hard to appreciate the full picture when you’re blind. It’s hard to define what kind of company Cartier belongs to, as if Cartier knows everything. The interesting thing is that Cartier never puts out a fashion watch, and maybe that’s the difference between being a jeweler and a tailor. Cartier’s bottom line for clothing is: scarves, belts and cufflinks, never to cross the line again.
Cartier antiques have become an important evidence for the study of French art history and modern European history. Later on, I personally participated in more and more exhibitions of Cartier, including the Forbidden City in Beijing in 2009, Singapore in 2011, Shenyang in 2013 (Diocesan Art), and the Grand Palais in Paris in 2014 (Epic of Style). On July 18, 2014, Cartier’s “Art of Time” exhibition opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai, hosted by the world-renowned maestro Yoshioka. Deren curated the exhibition. This has become the grandest haute horlogerie banquet held in China this year and the highlight of a series of cultural events marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China!