Cartier was founded in 1847, which means that for more than 170 years watch lovers have been presenting their nearest and dearest with the luxury brand’s glamorous, elegant creations at Christmas. The brand is hugely popular with men and women, so it’s a fail-safe choice. It was also the first brand to produce ladies’ bracelet watches, and in recognition of that, we have brought together some of its classic ladies’ timepieces presented on a bracelet, from the iconic Tank Solo to the historic Panthère and the beautiful Ballon Bleu, which would make a truly excellent Christmas gift
“For over 170 years watch lovers have been presenting their nearest and dearest with Cartier’s elegant creations at Christmas“
The spoils of war
The first ever Tank watch was created in 1917, in the midst of the First World War, and the prototype was presented to US General John Pershing. The elegant-looking piece was inspired by the design of the Renault FT-17 tank, which had gained a reputation for its small yet highly innovative design, including the housing of its weapon in a fully rotating turret. Since then, this unisex watch has become an icon of the house, having been worn by the likes of Jackie Kennedy and Andy Warhol. We adore the collection’s Tank Solo watches, which bring a contemporary feel with a combination of rounded and square edges. In particular, ladies are guaranteed to fall for the 31mm stainless- steel Cartier Tank Solo watch presented on a stainless-steel bracelet (£2,340). Cartier’s recognisable sword-shaped blued-steel hands tick over the uncluttered silvered opaline square dial with Roman numerals. Furthermore, the quartz-powered piece is water-resistant to 30m, adding practicality to this gorgeous piece with unexpected military connections.
Cool for cats
The panther first appeared on a Cartier in 1914, in the form of a sparkling ladies’ watch paved with diamonds and onyx. However, the Panthère de Cartier collection was not launched until the 1980s. Today, Cartier has maintained the timepiece as the maison’s ‘ultimate jewelled watch’, serving not only as a timepiece but as a piece of jewellery. We find the quartz-powered 27mm 18-carat yellow-gold and steel Panthère de Cartier watch with a matching bracelet (above, £7,250) particularly charming. Staying true to the aesthetics, the medium-sized model features a clean silvered Roman dial, complemented by an 18-carat yellow-gold bezel.
Up to the minute
Cartier has an astonishing history – and, in recent years, it has also produced some brand new watches to rival the exalted reputations of collections which first appeared over a century ago. One such example is the Ballon Bleu de Cartier, first launched in 2006, which has already reached legendary status thanks to its unusual design and more notable wearers, including Kate Middleton. Take the 33mm stainless-steel version with a matching bracelet (£5,150). It showcases a silvered guilloché opaline dial, blued- steel Cartier sword-shaped hands, plus the model’s recognisable crown protector arching over the blue synthetic spinel cabochon. The watch’s spherical, balloon-shaped case features the in-house automatic Cartier 076 movement with its 38-hour power reserve. Cartier has served the Royal Family ever since it became a purveyor to King Edward VII in the early 20th century, and there’s no doubt that the Ballon Bleu is fit for a King – or, in this case, a Duchess.
Read more of our Gift Guides on Calibre Online to help you find the perfect gift.