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The Hottest Cartier Watches To Buy In 2021

Few other jewellers demand the same respect as Cartier. The French jeweller and watchmaker has maintained a presence in the upper echelons of luxury ever since its founding by Louis-François Cartier in Paris, 1847. Proof of its premium nature can be found in the number of royal warrants it holds with various royalty around the world, which date back to 1904 following the 1902 coronation of King Edward VII of Great Britain.

It was Louis-François’ grandchildren – Louis, Pierre and Jacques – who really put the Cartier brand on the map, thanks to their ingenious designs and savvy marketing tactics. One such design for a wristwatch that has remained iconic ever since came in 1904, when Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont approached Louis Cartier to tell him of his troubles reading his watch while flying. Louis went to the drawing board and designed the Santos watch, with square bezel and flat design. The rest, as they say, is history.

The three brothers spread out around the world to further establish the Cartier name, opening boutiques in New York City and London, and continued to make wise business dealings with other companies, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, who would produce movements exclusively for Cartier’s watches.

Definitely lending themselves more towards formal and special occasions, Cartier watches are ones that remain exclusive, desirable and are often the pinnacle of many collections. We felt it time to select our favourite models for you to add to yours.

Ballon Bleu de Cartier, Rose Gold, Blue Dial

Cartier - Ballon Bleu de Cartier, Rose Gold, Blue Dial

Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier, Rose Gold, Blue Dial

Reference Number: WGBB0036
Case Material:
Rose Gold
Case Size: 42mm
Price: AU $23,900

Cartier watches don’t always need the aid of complications to attract attention, as is the case with this Ballon Bleu. This family of watches represents the epitome of elegance the brand has become renowned for, and thanks to its slimline design and curvaceous body, can happily slide under a shirt cuff whether attending a formal event or heading into the office.

This particular model, finished with a blue dial and matching blue alligator-skin strap, plays on the favourable trend for blue dial watches, giving it a touch of class in the process. As with all Ballon Bleu watches, a sapphire cabochon is set within the crown, a feature that is imitated across Cartier’s other timepieces, making them instantly recognisable.

Ballon Bleu de Cartier, Steel

Cartier - Ballon Bleu de Cartier, Steel

Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier, Steel

Reference Number: W69016Z4
Case Material:
 Stainless Steel
Case Size: 42mm
Price: AU $9,150

Taking the same Ballon Bleu silhouette but employing it in a more approachable fashion, this stainless steel version of the elegant timepiece is one that should be included in the dress watch collections of many. The same Roman numerals and blue sword-shaped hands make an appearance once again, as does the crown-set cabochon. You don’t get a sapphire with this model, hence the price, but with a synthetic spinel cabochon making a perfect substitute, it remains just as sophisticated.

Santos de Cartier, Steel and Gold

Cartier - Santos de Cartier, Steel and Gold

Cartier Santos de Cartier, Steel and Gold

Reference Number: W2SA0009
Case Material:
 Steel and Gold
Case Size: 39.8mm
Price: AU $16,200

Not only one of the most iconic Cartier models, but one of the most iconic watches to have ever been produced, the Santos de Cartier is one of the company’s earliest models. It was this model that Louis Cartier produced in response to Alberto Santos-Dumont’s request for a legible watch he could use while flying.

This larger edition features a date window at 6 o’clock and is powered by Cartier’s own 1847 MC self-winding calibre. What’s more, this most recent version of the Santos benefits from Cartier’s SmartLink system, which allows you to easily remove links without the use of a screwdriver, and you can quickly change the strap to the included leather option thanks to an efficient quick-chance system.

If you put just one Cartier watch into your collection, make it a Santos.

Santos de Cartier, Black

Cartier - Santos de Cartier, Black

Cartier Santos de Cartier, Black

Reference Number: WSSA0039
Case Material:
 Stainless Steel
Case Size: 47.5mm x 39.8mm
Price: AU $11,600

However, whether your Santos is finished in a classic silver and gold finish, or this Uber-cool all black number, is down to you. Certainly exhibiting a much more modern appearance than its brethren, this all-black Santos – achieved via an Amorphous Diamond-Luke Carbon (ADLC) coating on the case, bezel and crown – including black dial and black date window.

It’s the intricate details on this all-black edition that truly exemplify how good of a watchmaker Cartier is. Some other watchmakers may default to a white date window with black text, for example. Not so here, and in employing a black window instead, the colours aren’t broken up. We also love the black rubber strap, designed to imitate the stainless steel bracelets found on other models through the use of screw-shaped rivets.

If you want a Cartier watch to wear as an everyday piece, this all-black Santos de Cartier could be just the ticket.

RELATED: Cartier’s New Santos-Dumont XL Is The Perfect Dress Watch For Men With Large Wrists

Tank Solo XL, Pink Gold

Cartier - Tank Solo XL, Pink Gold

Cartier Tank Solo XL, Pink Gold

Reference Number: W5200026
Case Material:
 18K Pink Gold and Stainless Steel
Case Size: 31mm x 40.85mm
Price: AU $12,800

The Tank is Cartier’s flagship collection. Inspired by the top-down view of an army tank, it is somewhat poetic that a harsh and brash piece of military equipment would inspire an elegant and iconic wristwatch. The Tank de Cartier family encompasses various models, but all share the same case design in that the case sides extend into the lugs – like the tracks of a tank.

The Tank Solo is a more accessible model within the Tank family, and this XL model, presented on a brown alligator-skin strap and finished in 18K rose gold and stainless steel, is quintessential Cartier. What’s more, you also get a self-winding automatic movement, important, because the majority of the Tank Solo collection is given quartz movements, making this somewhat of a specialty.

Tank MC

Cartier - Tank MC

Cartier Tank MC

Reference Number: W5330003
Case Material:
 Stainless Steel
Case Size: 44mm x 34mm
Price: AU $10,600

Another member of the Tank family is the Tank MC. Unlike the vast majority of Tank watches that preceded it, ever since the model’s launch in 1918, this Tank MC uses an in-house manufacture movement – the ‘MC’ stands for “Manufacture Cartier”. Many Tank de Cartier’s released previously used movements sourced from other watchmakers, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, among many others.

However, what you get here is Cartier’s 1904 calibre which is used to power the hours, minutes, seconds sub-dial and date. The MC also gets a slightly different case design, employing a slightly curved appearance to improve wear on the wrist. While it may ‘only’ be made from stainless steel, the price tag attached makes for very appealing reading, considering what you get in return.

Tank Solo XL, Steel

Cartier - Tank Solo XL, Steel

Cartier Tank Solo XL, Steel

Reference Number: W5200028
Case Material:
 Stainless Steel
Case Size: 31mm x 40.85mm
Price: AU $5,750

What we haven’t yet featured, is a Tank de Cartier on a stainless steel bracelet. Let us put an end to that, with a prime example of how accessible Cartier watches can be. The name alone will no doubt conjure up connotations of high prices and unattainability. But in this Tank Solo, complete with mechanical automatic movement, you get a gorgeous timepiece that will happily take pride of place in any well-rounded collection.

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