Known for its affinity for shaped cases, Cartier resurrects an icon of the 1980s that borrows its form from the familiar square casing of one if its bestsellers, the Santos. First introduced in 1983, the Panthère de Cartier watch was in production through the start of the new millennium before being discontinued. Described by Cartier as “jewellery first, timepiece second”, its re-emergence this year as a key highlight at SIHH is in line with its new CEO, Cyrille Vigneron’s heavy emphasis on the Maison’s jewellery pedigree and expertise.
The new timepiece’s linked brick-lay bracelet is now more supple, but aside from that, all the other important design features from the original icon have been left intact: Screwed-down square case, Roman numerals, railway track index, as well as the small Cartier brand printed across the “X” numeral. They are currently available in small (22mm) or medium (27mm) size and powered by a quartz movement, just as it had been in the past.
Offered in two-tone steel and yellow gold variants, steel, white, yellow or rose gold, they are available with or without diamonds, with the most opulent ones featuring diamonds on the bracelet, case and bezel. Incorporating the spotted panther motif — arguably the Maison’s most emblematic icon — are two special designs: The medium fully-set white gold model, which is devoid of hour markers, bears enamel spots that are scattered across the entire watch, while the pink gold model (available in two sizes) features alternating lacquered and pink gold bricks that exude an undeniable art deco vibe.
The new Drive de Cartier collection that debuted last year adds two models to the family. The first is the Drive de Cartier Moon Phases, which is powered by the manufacture movement 1904-LU MC featuring an astronomical moonphase complication. Designed with a convex curved glass case and stamped guilloché dial, it is available in pink gold or steel. The other addition is the Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat watch whose case has been sized down to a mere 7mm. Available in pink gold, or in a limited edition of 200 white gold pieces, the manually driven watch makes an elegant staple in any gentleman’s wardrobe.
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