New Cartier watches 2021, here is our selection
Cartier is among the most active brands of 2021. The watch division has released a long list of new timepieces, including range extenders, new collections, and Haute Horlogerie pièces. The French brand aims at boosting its presence in the watchmaking industry and attract watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs across all market segments. Here is a selection. I'd pick the Pasha Chronograph as my favorite new watch and the Cartier Vintage project extension as an intelligent move to attract the most discerning collectors. Let's also welcome the Tank Must and the renovated Cloche de Cartier. Finally, the Santos Dumont XL product line holds two new limited edition models, while the Ballon Bleu comes in a mainstream 40 mm new size.
The Pasha de Cartier Chronograph
Although a new 30 mm option has joined the Pasha collection, the headline news is the 2021 Pasha de Cartier Chronograph. The new chronograph preserves the base model's uncluttered design; it confirms a more contemporary approach than the previous generation.
The Pasha Chrono is 41 mm across and slightly under 12 mm thick; it is water-resistant to 100 meters and has a unidirectional rotating diving bezel, whose detenting is crisp and top-notch.
Powered by the in-house Chrono caliber 1904-CH MC, it looks superb in the 18-karat yellow gold variant and feels so much 80's. In contrast, the full-steel Pasha is not growing on me, given the steel bracelet is too ordinary and dilutes the Pasha signature case design. By removing the crown protector, you access a tiny plaque where you're allowed to engrave your initials on demand.
There you have it! Here is the 2021 Cloche, the bell-shaped wristwatch whose source of inspiration is the original, from 1920. It is available exclusively in gold (white or yellow) and platinum with a "chemin de fer" minute ring and Roman numerals. The case measures 37.15 mm by 28.75 mm and features the 1917 MC hand-wound mechanical movement with 38 hours of power reserve when fully wound.
Each of them comes as a single run of one hundred pieces; the platinum is the most attractive and the closest to the original version as far as I'm concerned. Alongside the time-only proposition, Cartier has crafted skeletonized models available in 18-karat pink gold or, once again, in platinum, with or without diamonds.
The skeleton Privè is powered by the finely engineered caliber 9626, whose bridges are in the shape of Roman numerals, thus replacing the dial.
Santos Dumont XL
The hand-wound Santos Dumont XL collection ranks among my 2020 all-time favorite releases, and the 2021 additions are no different. The 100-piece limited edition in platinum aims at doubling the first release's success, my cup of tea being the thirty-piece Santos Dumont in platinum.
Offered inside a blue lacquered wood box with cufflinks and a Cartier pen, the Santos Dumont Precious Set is the second collector's box in a row. The timepiece features a wave pattern on the dial and Arabic numerals with blue hands and a matching blue alligator leather strap. Cartier is launching a new steel and gold edition alongside this premium option, with Arabic numerals and a wave pattern. Both timepieces' case backs have been engraved with Alberto Santos-Dumont's flying machines.
You'll therefore find the "Flying Machine n°19" on the steel and pink gold model, which is limited to 500 pieces, and the "Guide Rope Maritime" on the Platinum edition instead. The two-tone Santos Dumont XL also comes with a red "chemin de fer" minute and Cartier logo, offering a sportier alternative to the standard two-tone variant with Roman numerals.
One of Cartier's oldest timepieces has undergone a significant overhaul. Initially introduced in 1917, the Cartier Tank is the first rectangular wristwatch from the French atelier. As the name suggests, the Tank is inspired by the shape of a tank. Its sides are shaped like a tank track. Cartier has extensively redesigned the Tank collection by playing with nostalgia and heritage. The "Must" moniker, which dramatically grew Cartier's notoriety during the 1980s, is back in business. What a pity we do not see that logo on the dial too.
The Cartier Tank Must
The Tank Must is the base offering; Cartier has thoroughly restyled the collection by adding plenty of case, bracelet, and strap options, housing mechanical quartz, and solar-powered movements, proof positive of how Cartier is slightly stepping into the green luxury industry.
The Cartier Tank Must comes in three sizes: The Large and the Small models share the same thickness but offer a different case length and height. The Tank Must Large measures 33.7 mm by 25.5 mm, while the Small measures 29.5 mm by 22.2 mm. They're both powered by a quartz movement, whose battery runs for eight years, or a SolarBeat photovoltaic cell technology running for at least 16 years. Cartier's goal was to offer the SolarBeat technology as a like-for-like option to its quartz-operated sibling.
Just place them side by side, and you'll hardly spot any difference. The SolarBeat variants also feature straps made from recycled material from apples cultivated in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. Finally, the Tank Must Extra-Large measures 41 mm by 31 mm and is 8.37 mm thick, adopting the automatic caliber 1847 MC with 4 Hz and 40 hours of power reserve.
Cartier Tank Must de Cartier
In addition to the previously described steel models with Roman numerals, Cartier introduces the Tank Must de Cartier's re-edition, a three-variant ultra-minimalistic collection with blue, red, or green dial. They all come as Large models, thus featuring a quartz movement. While the blue and green options look popular, the red option is very much Cartier instead. Like the original Les Must de Cartier collection, the three models are not limited and serve as a more affordable step into Cartier's world, confirming how the Tank 2021 collection is a sales volume multiplier to the watch division.
Kudos to the designers for offering such a sleek dial, whose connection with the eighties stands out, but I would have gone for hand-wound movements too. I hope Cartier will soon extend the portfolio by producing Extra-Large models with a hand-wound caliber. I believe we're in front of an ambitious project and a growing product family.
Cartier Tank Louis Cartier
The Tank Louis Cartier comes in two special limited editions, both available as Large-sized models; they, therefore, wear too small on larger wrists. The Tank LC is a manually wound watch; it adopts the 1917 MC caliber. Cartier offers two options, and they're both in gold: the first is in yellow gold with a red and metallic matching dial, the second one pairs a pink gold case with a vivid blue on strap and dial.
The dial combines a metal base and a matte-colored ring (either in blue or purple-red) with a gold-stamped minute ring, hands, and Roman numerals, thus creating a pleasant contrast of tones.
Cartier Vintage Collection
The Cartier Vintage project is a chance for collectors and the brand: Cartier extends an already existing but little known project regarding vintage Cartier watches, a means to keep the brand's second-hand market under control, while offering buyers the chance to purchase historical models while taking advantage of Cartier's comprehensive overhaul and an eight years warranty. Cartier also comes into contact through the customer registration process with the very active and ever-expanding vintage customer audience.
The restoration process, according to Cartier, includes a whole aesthetical and functional overhaul, which brings each timepiece to a NOS condition. You are guaranteed to get your hands on top-specs Cartier watches along with the extract of the archives, which includes the watch's origins, a plus for anyone looking for a Pasha de Cartier Golf or a Tortue 8 Jours.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Cartier)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®