Cartier Clé de Cartier

Plaza Watch International - - Sihh Roundup -

In com­par­i­son to pre­vi­ous years, the 25th an­niver­sary of the SIHH didn’t ac­tu­ally yield a great deal of dis­tinctly new prod­ucts. Grand rev­e­la­tions were few and far be­tween and there was an ob­vi­ous trend for tar­get­ing the su­per-rich. As is my wont, I’m a cham­pion of watches in the more ac­ces­si­ble price realm. The ma­jor­ity of us don’t have bot­tom­less bud­gets, so gen­uine value pre­sented by his­tor­i­cally revered brands is what counts for me. Few come as lauded as Cartier, and in terms of rev­enue, they dom­i­nate in the Richemont Group. So thumbs up to them for un­veil­ing one of the few com­pletely new lines with the Clé de Cartier col­lec­tion. This means a new case and a new move­ment, and al­though it is only avail­able in gold at the mo­ment (com­pro­mis­ing my af­ford­abil­ity stance some­what), I sus­pect steel ver­sions will fol­low in due course. The Cartier Clé (mean­ing ‘key’) fea­tures a round dial en­cased in a case that leans to­ward be­ing ton­neau-shaped. Mea­sur­ing in at 40mm, this three-hand watch bears the hall­marks of Cartier and looks like an in­stant clas­sic. It’s pow­ered by a pro­pri­etary au­to­matic move­ment and is mounted on a newly de­signed bracelet that is both com­fort­able and un­der­stated. The name ‘key’ is likely in ref­er­ence to the new crown de­sign, which Cartier said was in­spired by the wind­ing keys from old clocks. It’s a stun­ning time­piece, I just hope the €18,800 price tag for the watch in 18-karat white gold is soon fol­lowed by a steel ver­sion at a more ac­ces­si­ble price point. NR

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