5 Iconic Watches that Granted Cartier a Unique Place in Horology Industry

For those who aren’t still aware, Cartier has global recognition as ‘the jeweller to kings and the king of jewellers’. The brand has a significant association with royalty and esteem. With outstanding technical prowess and one-of-its-kind creations, Cartier acquired a unique place within the horology industry.

However, Cartier’s progress towards achieving the status of a serious watchmaker began with the invention of its first wristwatch – the Santos. The company designed the watch in response to a request that the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont made to his friend Louis Cartier. 

He wanted a timepiece that he could wear on the wrist, thereby freeing himself from taking the hands off the aeroplane’s controls. The Cartier Santos epitomises the brand’s technical prowess and creative power, thereby becoming a flagship model of Cartier. 

Despite having a history that traces back to 1847, Cartier remains at the foreground of Haute Horlogerie. So let’s have a look here at five of the most iconic Cartier watches that have cemented the French house’s position in the horology industry, granting an iconic status. 

Cartier Santos

Beginning with the first wristwatch of Cartier, the Santos can be considered as the pioneer of the air. The story behind its creation attests to the fact. Like already mentioned above that Cartier crafted its first Santos for Alberto Santos-Dumont. He wore the watch in 1906 during his first public flight. 

However, the unique square-shaped case and instantly-recognisable Roman numerals characterise the Cartier Santos. The epochal look is further boosted by a stainless steel case and bracelet as well as exposed screws on the bracelet and the bezel. 

Together with its illustrious history and distinctive silhouette, the Santos is highly sought-after among collectors. It has been more than 100years that Cartier Santos watches are in production. 

However, Cartier launched a Santos in 2018, equipping it with an in-house movement. The watch flaunted rounded edges and softer lines, offering a more fluid look. 

Undoubtedly, the Santos epitomises much about Cartier’s heritage, and this is perhaps the most significant reasons behind collectors investing in this watch. 

Cartier Tank 

Characterised by a rectangular case, the Cartier Tank is known to be the ultimate symbol of the new watchmaking period. Interestingly, Cartier designed the Tank, taking inspiration from the First World War military tanks. So Cartier enthusiasts feel physical as well as emotional connection with this model. 

What makes the Tank more appealing is its retro-inspired aesthetic that adds classic charm to a gentleman’s style. The fact is that the Tank has everything to be your cosy daily watch. 

Cartier offered this flagship collection in different variations of metal and movements. On the one hand, you will find a choice of steel, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and even, palladium models. On the other hand, you can also choose between quartz and automatic versions.

However, the famous models that define Cartier’s fame as an excellent watchmaker are the Tank Louis and the Tank Solo. Interestingly, the Cartier Tank Louis flaunts a design pretty similar to the original Tank watch of 1917, thereby adding to its popularity. 

The original Tank, the ‘Normale’ flaunts a non-traditional shape (for the era), a subtle 2-hand design and a blue sapphire crown. Although Cartier has unveiled several versions in the Tank lineup, the ones representing the original Tank will remain unbeatable. 

Cartier Panthere

The Cartier Panthere watches pay homage to the brand’s most authoritative director Jeanne Toussaint who is responsible for the emblematic Panther that defines the brand. Toussaint designed the legendary Panther ring for Cartier in the 1920s. Since then, Cartier celebrates the symbol of this wildcat by unleashing several variations within the Panthere collection. 

However, this famous Cartier lineup that escalated the Cartier’s position in the horology industry consists of different rectangular and round shaped watches. They are available in gold, steel and also, in a combination of both. 

The five-link bracelet of the watches sits elegantly around the wrist. Moreover, some timepieces are even embellished with gemstones to boost their opulence. Encased in precious metals such as 18ct yellow gold, pink gold and flaunting black-lacquered finishes, these watches create a refined and instantly-recognisable look. 

What makes Panthere watches more coveted is the fact that they are created as unisex models. So you can consider the Panthere watch creations as Cartier’s exclusive recipe to success. 

Cartier Ballon Bleu

The Ballon Bleu epitomises the brand’s commitment to progressing Haute Horlogerie in the contemporary era and unparallel craftsmanship. However, Cartier designed this elegant piece of the wrist, keeping true to its traditional notions. 

Since its introduction in the 2000s, the Ballon Bleu has become a vital contributor to the brand’s annual sales. What characterises the watches of this collection is the unique case shape, reminiscing of a pebble. They flaunt rounded top and bottom, conferring a very sophisticated and comfortable look. 

Another defining feature of the Cartier Ballon Bleu is the graciously integrated crown guard that descends over the sapphire cabochon crown. However, the case ranges from 29mm to 42mm in diameter. There are classic white gold Ballon Bleu versions with silvered guilloche dial. Moreover, you will also find models adorned with diamonds. 

The iconic Cartier Ballon Bleu line consists of a wide variety to make an elegant choice by tasteful buyers. The case of relatively 14.8mm thickness solidifies the commanding looks of the timepiece. No doubt, the Ballon Bleu is a significant example of Cartier’s exclusive craftsmanship and innovative know-how. 

Calibre de Cartier

There are many reasons to jot down this collection in this list. The Calibre de Cartier range includes watches with complications such as tourbillions and also, with perpetual calendars. While the tourbillions improve the precision of Cartier’s in-house movements, perpetual calendars help in keeping track of a busy timetable.

These timepieces exhibit the brand’s unique technique. And their strong essence of elegance makes them extremely coveted among professional business people and sporty gentlemen.  The Calibre de Cartier collection is indeed a significant creation that has acquired the brand a huge worldwide following. The grand complications are agreeably more valuable. However, all these timepieces hold their value incredibly well with time. 

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