Cartier Weaves A Thread Of Shapely Complexity Through Its First 2024 Watches
— Updated on 11 April 2024

Cartier Weaves A Thread Of Shapely Complexity Through Its First 2024 Watches

— Updated on 11 April 2024
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

In the obligatory press statement that accompanied the opening of the Cartier Watches & Wonders 2024 presentation, the French luxury house described itself (not unfairly) as “the watchmaker of shapes”.

That, alongside a subtle integration of complicated mechanisms across the board, seemed to be the brand’s animus for 2024 — notwithstanding a handful of novelties in the ‘Animal Jewellery’ and Reflection de Cartier lines.

In a pinch, the brand’s committed “crafting of silhouettes that fit instantly recognisable shapes” can be seen most readily in the three watches we’ve chosen to round up below.

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Our Favourite New Cartier Releases At Watches & Wonders 2024

Santos de Cartier Dual Time

Of all the new Cartier watches, this GMT-fied take on the Santos de Cartier appears to be garnering the most early attention. The only release we’re covering that isn’t a limited edition, the Dual Time symbolises something of a full circle moment for the Santos de Cartier (which debuted in 1911 as one of the world’s first pilot watches).

Capable of tracking dual time zones — as the dial explicitly points out — this addition to the Santos de Cartier collection presents wearers with a desirable alternative to the usual array of Rolex GMT-IIs and Grand Seiko Evolution 9 travel watches. Unlike those, the entirety of the second timezone is displayed separately; in a sub-dial (at 6 o’clock) that the brand’s watchmakers previously utilised to house date windows or chronograph registers.

This makes the Dual Time unusually info-rich for a collection of ‘daily driver’ sports watches; and so Cartier has opted to keep all the remaining details simple — working in a tonally uniform palette of charcoal, silver, and light grey.

In keeping with previous best practices, this release is available on leather or a matching integrated bracelet. The latter, in particular, should be a big draw for casual collectors, thanks to Cartier’s proprietary QuickSwitch and SmartLink systems.

Santos-Dumont ‘Rewind’

Whilst the two other new Cartier watches we’ve opted to focus on are ‘complicated’ pieces in the most linear sense of that word, the Santos-Dumont ‘Rewind’ approaches technicity through a decidedly less literal lens.

True to its nickname, this one-off incarnation of the Santos-Dumont tells time backwards: utilising a new manual-wind movement (calibre 320 MC) and indices that, in conjunction, are meant to be read in reverse.

Heavily inspired by the prototypical Santos-Dumont design codes (first set down in 1904), most of the other big talking points with this release revolve around aesthetics. Accordingly, the case is fashioned using platinum (“most noble of the noble metals”) while the dial is carnelian — a semiprecious red stone known for its “boldness and subtle” inclusions.

Cartier Privé Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph

Cartier watches
Pictured: Cartier’s modernised version of the Tortue Monopoussoir — a neo-vintage design, famously commissioned in 1998 as part of the high-end ‘CPCP’ line.

Yet another 200-piece limited edition in 2024, this new remake of the cult favourite monopoussoir (“monopusher”) has proven, unsurprisingly, to be a firm favourite amongst vintage-minded enthusiasts of Cartier watches.

The origins of the tortue design can be traced back to the early 20th century, yet this specific execution (distinguished by the integration of a chronograph, controlled via a single recessed pusher) came to market in 1998: as part of the ‘Collection Privée Cartier Paris’ that has since become the stuff of collecting legend.

For this update, most of the original details have been meticulously replicated. The triangular corner motifs; “apple-shaped” hands; railway track; and azure-finish chronograph counters all make a welcome return.

And a thickness of 4.3mm, the movement powering this release (i.e. calibre 1928 MC) also makes it the “Maison’s thinnest chronograph” in the modern era — welcome news for 200 of Cartier’s luckiest clients, who regret missing the boat on the original monopoussoir wave.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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