Cartier Wins Watches & Wonders Blending High Horology and High Fashion

The Cartier Santos Dual Time

Watches and Wonders may be over, but like many of you, I’m still obsessing over the countless releases that have been flooding my Instagram feed these last two weeks. While many comments I’ve seen and heard have been that this year seemed quite “dull” or “quiet”, there’s one brand that really stood apart in my opinion as a clear winner for this year’s show. While the answer most are expecting may be Rolex or Tudor based on the flooding of coverage for both brands. For me, this year’s winner was Cartier.

If I’m being honest, I’ve been pretty biased towards Cartier for a few years now, ever since they launched the solar tank back in 2022, they’ve had my attention. And as I’ve recently become obsessed with the idea of a solid gold watch, the brand has been in the back of my mind for some time now, being the first I often go to when walking into any watch shop. While the origins of Cartier run deep as a fashion house, known more for their jewelry, there’s no denying that in recent years they have stepped up their game when it comes to watches. And this year was no exception.

Cartier Santos De Cartier Dual Time

Cartier Santos de Cartier Dual Time

The absolute winner of Watches and Wonders this year in my opinion is the Santos De Cartier Dual Time. An embodiment of timeless elegance, the square case and exposed screws of the Cartier Santos have become instantly recognizable over the past few years, paying both homage to the original design while carrying a contemporary edge. It’s arguably been one of my least favorite collections from Cartier and has never garnered too much of my attention until now. Maintaining all of the design elements the Santos is known for, this year Cartier introduced the first collection’s complication – a GMT located in a subdial at 6pm.

Cartier Santos Dual Time

On top of the GMT complication that uses a 12-hour display with an AM/PM indicator, the new Dual Time has a striking grey dial, bringing a sportier element to such a classic watch. And speaking of sporty, the Dual time boasts 100m of water resistance (which is more than enough for the reality of our everyday lives), a quick switch system to allow for easy strap change between the steel bracelet and leather strap, and a toolless micro-adjustment in the bracelet. Honestly, what more can a watch lover want? Cartier has been paying attention and I cannot wait to see these in person!

Cartier Tortue Monopusher

Cartier Tortue and Monopusher

The new Santos Dual Time wasn’t the brand’s only step into serious horology this year. The brand also reintroduced the Cartier Tortue with a new mono-pusher chronograph movement. The sapphire caseback showcases the new 1928MC, a manual wound, column wheel chronograph that is beautifully finished with Côtes de Genève decoration. This new caliber comes from a partnership with THA Èbauche, the join-venture of watchmakers Vianney Halter, Danis Flageolet (De Bethune), and F.P. Journe – again showcasing their dedication to serious horology.

Cartier Santos Dumont Rewind

Cartier Santos Rewind

One of the things I find most captivating about Cartier is the fact that their reputation as a fashion brand means they can also be fun and playful without catching too much grief (because let’s be honest, we watch enthusiasts are an impossible to please group of collectors). This year Cartier really leaned into that playfulness by launching the Santos Dumont Rewind. In what could possibly be the least practical use of time telling ever, Cartier has decided to invert the time telling mechanism of the Caliber 230MC to tell the time backwards. Why? I mean, why not. The brand doesn’t have to take themselves seriously, yet still manages to unveil absolutely stunning timepieces that sere no actual practical use anyways. But then again, with phones in our hands every 5 minutes, how practical are watches these days to begin with? That’s a much larger philosophical question for us to dive into another day.

What do you think? Has Cartier earned your respect as a credible watchmaker? Or do you still think high-fashion jewelry when you see that red box?

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