Over the last couple of years, Cartier has made a name for itself for being one of the most interesting and attractive brands in the watch industry. The Parisian house is considered watch royalty and is generally the only other brand that comes close to having the brand recognition of Rolex. What’s the secret to their success? Let’s take a closer look.
Cartier: A Rich History
Cartier started out as a family business and has roots dating all the way back to 1847. As I explained in a previous article about Cartier, the brand catered to European royalty and the wealthy upper classes pretty much from the start, but it wasn’t until 1904 that the brand created its first wristwatch in the form of the Santos-Dumont. A string of different models followed, but the release that defined the future of the brand came in 1917 with the Cartier Tank. But why is Cartier now getting more and more popular as a watch brand?
While Cartier has since released many great versions of the Tank, there have also been a whole host of unique one-off pieces created for some of the most wealthy and influential people in the world. That alone makes Cartier one of the most, if not the most interesting brands when it comes to stories and myths. From the Pasha of Marrakech to the British royals, and countless movie stars, athletes, and politicians, Cartier has been the brand of choice again and again, making it one of the most prestigious watchmakers out there.
Cartier Watches: An Incredible Portfolio of Timepieces
As you can imagine, such a rich history goes hand in hand with an incredible portfolio of timepieces. Many of you will have heard of famous collections like the Cartier Tank, Santos, and Pasha, but it doesn’t stop there. The standard lineup also includes the Cartier Ballon Bleu, Panthère, Ronde, Baignoire, Coussin, Tortue, Maillon, and Privé collections. The latter is particularly interesting: The Privé collection is home to amazing timepieces that Cartier revives from its archives, bringing them back to life with modern techniques and materials.
In 2022, the brand unveiled new editions of the Cartier Tank Chinoise, all of which look stunning. In 2021, we saw the return of the Cloche de Cartier, which seconds as a nightstand clock. The year before that, the Tank Asymétrique made a comeback – yet another one-of-a-kind design from the Cartier archives. This just goes to show you that the brand has pushed the boundaries of watch design over the decades without ever losing that timeless Cartier signature.
A Cartier for Every Taste
In addition to the incredible number of models and variety of designs, Cartier watches come in a range of sizes for both men and women. In fact, many of the designs have a unisex appeal, making them a great fit for anyone. It’s refreshingly easy to navigate the different model ranges and find the perfect fit for your wrist thanks to Cartier’s size indications, i.e., small, medium, large, and extra large, as opposed to diameters. This is another break from convention compared to other watchmakers.
Additionally, Cartier makes both quartz and mechanical watches, giving you more options. It goes without saying that quartz models are more affordable than their mechanical counterparts. But Cartier doesn’t just produce standard, run-of-the-mill mechanical watches. As you probably know, Cartier invests a lot of time and money into surprising the industry with amazingly complicated watches. One example of this is the Masse Mystérieuse released in 2022 – a stylish statement piece featuring technical wizardry where the movement is also the rotor. In short, there is literally a Cartier for everyone.
Cartier Prices: You Don’t Have to Break the Bank
You can buy a new Cartier Tank starting at roughly $3,000, but prices go up to multiple tens of thousands. There are also great pre-owned Cartier Tanks available, starting at roughly $1,500. If you move up to $5,000, you can choose from a wide variety of sizes and variants. These price points make Cartier a comparatively accessible, prestigious brand, even for those who are just getting into the watch world or those who don’t want to spend a fortune on a watch.
Trends Change, Cartier is Timeless
One thing’s for certain, Cartier watches are style statements and signs of good taste and success. To this day, the brand’s offerings are worn by royals, politicians, movie stars, and athletes alike. Thus, Cartier has already reached the pinnacle of prestige. One thing that has changed over time is the general brand perception.
For a long time, Cartier timepieces were perceived as dress watches most suitable for formal occasions, but that association is now long gone. This comes down to the brand diversifying and offering more sporty variants of its models, and to the fact that vintage dress watches are no longer exclusively paired with formal attire today. Younger generations, in particular, like to mix styles and genres. A Cartier timepiece suits numerous looks, which is great; it’s yet further proof that Cartier watches truly are timeless statements of style that will appeal to generations to come. All things considered, it’s not at all surprisingly that Cartier is one of the most popular brands of the moment.