Shapes, sizes, and vintage inspiration are the cornerstones of Cartier’s 2021 novelties. This year, the Maison revealed a collection of pieces that echoed elements of the past whilst evoking a sense of the future in the form of strong designs.

In its latest range, Cartier once again showcased its ability in haute horlogerie with timepieces that highlight the perfect marriage between tradition and novelty. Like previous years, the brand continues to nurture its watchmaking identity through its heritage and unique shapes.

Cartier’s 2021 novelties undoubtedly strengthen the brand’s watchmaking identity. These exemplary additions to the Maison’s extensive body of work in watchmaking are proof of that.

Pasha De Cartier: Ergonomic Appeal

With its distinctive codes, chained crown and extraordinary design, the Pasha embodies an aesthetic of strength and power. Ever since it was launched in 1985, the model has remained steadfast to those qualities. This year, the cult watch’s repertoire grows with two new key designs.

Joining the Pasha family is a 41mm chronograph version, which further boosts the Pasha watch’s power and visibility. The presence of a rotating bezel and two push-pieces accentuates the watch’s design.

The new chronograph version, available in steel or gold, is equipped with a 1904-CH MC Cartier Manufacture movement and a sapphire case back. Both versions can be interchanged thanks to an adaptation of the Cartier-developed QuickSwitch system.

Following the launch of the 35mm version in 2020, the Pasha becomes more feminine with a new 30mm size. Available in gold or steel, the watch features a jewellery-watch diameter and a quartz movement, and arrives with all the signature details found on a Pasha watch. This includes personalised engraved initials hidden behind the crown cover, as well as interchangeable straps. Buy here.

Cartier Libre: Animal Instinct

Cartier’s 2021 Novelties Cartier Libre
The Cartier Libre Tortue Snake Watch (left); Cartier Libre Baignoire Turtle Watch (Right)

Every year, the Cartier Libre collection explores the Maison’s repertoire of signature-shaped watches. This offers a candid look from Cartier, providing an opportunity to revisit and shake up codes whilst revealing a wealth of inspiration from its vast repertoire.

As such, it makes perfect sense to see this third opus of the Cartier Libre collection as part of Cartier’s 2021 novelties. To help realise these new editions, studio designers sought inspiration from iconic animals from the Maison’s menagerie.

The Baignoire/Tortue, Tortue/Serpent are undoubtedly extravagant and highly bejewelled creations. But behind each timepiece’s excessive shape lies a meticulous design, one with pure lines, precise proportions, and precious details.

The Baignoire watch and its tortoise décor revisits the aesthetic heritage of the 2019 timepiece, giving it a new identity. It takes inspiration from the animal, utilising materials that evoke a shell such as buff-top stones with the graininess of diamond paving.

To bring the tortoise to life, the dial features random diamond paving, playful anthracite, and black lines along with a geometric composition with a scale motif. Its case is lined with a stripe of buff-top tsavorites along with sapphires inside the dial and on the corners of three central hexagons.

The Tortue on the other hand borrows elements from the snake. Created in 1912, the Tortue watch epitomises pared-down simplicity due to its unique shape and a case constructed around two large curves. The new Cartier Libre edition, further enhances this classic, adorning it with scale motifs and ringed curves.

Black or coral-coloured enamel, mother-of-pearl with water tones — brightened by drops of polished gold and closed-set diamonds on the case — are used to subtly suggest the presence of the serpent.

Tank Must: A True Statement Piece

Cartier’s 2021 Novelties
Cartier Tank Must.

The Tank has been a model synonymous with Cartier ever since its debut in 1917. Over the years, the watch’s iconic design has endured, ensuring its prominence as a quintessential avant-garde piece.

Timeless, sure of itself and of the purity of its design, the Tank watch captures the zeitgeist in 2021. After more than a century, it has been reinvented with the Tank Must. The Design Studio has reworked the design of these new models with monochrome versions and an original version based on a new photovoltaic movement. Taking direct inspiration from the Tank Louis Cartier, the design of the Tank Must has been developed while staying faithful to the historic model.

Equipped with rounded brancards and revisited dial proportions, finesse is the guiding force behind this new design. A watch that dares to return to great classicism down to the smallest detail, with a precious pearled cabochon winding crown and the return of a traditional ardillon buckle on the leather strap version.

Faithful to the spirit of the ’80s, the new Tank Must watch is available in three monochromatic colours that are embedded into Cartier’s DNA: Red, blue, and green. Steel watches that favour minimalist dials with no Roman numerals or rail-tracks, and a fully chromatic look with matching straps.

Tank Louis Cartier: A Colourful Rebirth

Cartier’s 2021 Novelties Tank LC
Tank Louis Cartier

For over a century, the Tank watch spawned several variations. Louis Cartier reworked its design from as early as 1922. With its case stretched, brancards refined and edges softened, the Tank L.C. was born.

With its rail tracks, cabochon sapphire, Roman numerals, Louis Cartier laid the foundations of a signature watchmaking aesthetic, with its very latest version perpetuating this tradition to within a few subtle nuances.

Now, the Louis Carter Tank cultivates its timeless elegance in colour. The choice of blue and red is a must, as these colours are a part of Cartier’s DNA. An intense red and a bright blue highlight and enhance the watch’s pure lines.

Cartier has added sophisticated details to these new precious versions, including Roman numerals and gold-coloured rail tracks, which help to enhance the dial’s graphic intensity. The blue version is in pink gold, the red in yellow gold, both coordinated with the straps, and these two watches come with a Manufacture 1917 MC movement with manual winding. Buy here.

Cloche de Cartier: A Rare Aesthetic

Cartier Privé, is widely known to celebrate the Maison’s mythical models through numbered, limited edition watches. This year, following models such as the Crash, the Tank Cintrée, the Tonneau and the Tank Asymétrique, the Cloche de Cartier becomes the fifth opus of the range.

The Cloche de Cartier is a rare watch, and certainly a standout amongst Cartier’s 2021 novelties. It first appeared in 1920 and illustrates Cartier’s approach to shapes. Unusual and unique, this collector’s piece adopts all the Maison’s watchmaking codes. The rail track and hour markings adapt to the dial’s asymmetrical shape and the crown is set with a cabochon.

Due to its unusual design, it may be read whilst worn on the wrist and can additionally be removed and placed on a table to be transformed into a “desk clock”. To ensure optimal timekeeping, two new calibres were made to adapt to the aesthetic imperatives imposed by this unique shape.

Two versions of the piece are made available. The Classic Cloche de Cartier – available in pink gold, yellow gold, or platinum – displays all of Cartier’s watchmaking codes such as the signature rail tracks, sword-shaped hands and a closed-set cabochon.

The Cloche de Cartier Skeleton on the other hand adapts an open worked dial to the watch’s atypical shape. To see this vision through, the Manufacture 1917 mechanical movement had to be completely reworked into a very fine network of gears, visible through the transparent Roman numerals, now transformed into bridges.

(Images: Cartier)

written by.
Richard Augustin
Former chef turned writer; Richard has tip-toed around the publishing industry for two decades. When not busy chasing deadlines, you can still find him experimenting with recipes in the kitchen.

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