Katherine S. Cunanan
July 10, 2024     |    

The Master of Shapes: Cartier and Their Tortue

A Timeless Design: Unveiling the Cartier Tortue Collection

In many respects, Cartier has mastered the art of non-traditional watch shapes. This is expected from a Maison dedicated to bringing beauty, creativity, and a deep sense of history into their creations. While many watchmakers simply produce timepieces, Cartier crafts works of art designed to be museum-worthy even a century after their debut. The watchmakers themselves speak of the immense challenges and rewards in this pursuit. Consider the Tortue. Its shape is unique, elegant, and fluid—virtually perfect. It conveys more about the wearer than just brand recognition. Here, we examine pieces from Cartier Privé, a collector’s series celebrating the Maison’s rich history and responsibility. These wristwatches are crafted in special limited and numbered editions.

For the eighth edition of Cartier Privé, the Tortue shape is offered in five distinct models, ranging from simple to complex, while maintaining a clean, balanced dial. There is also a special diamond-adorned version.

The Tortue Hours/Minutes version is a classic two-hand watch available in yellow gold or platinum, with an additional diamond-adorned platinum version — a first for the Cartier Privé collection. The dial on the gold model features a finely grained gold finish with black Roman numerals. On the platinum versions, the Roman numerals are rhodium-plated. The gold watch crown is set with a sapphire cabochon, while the platinum versions feature a ruby cabochon. All models come with alligator leather straps and matching ardillon buckles, with the jeweled piece featuring 25 pavé-set diamonds on the buckle.

All two-hand models share the same case dimensions: 41.4mm in length and 32.9mm in width, ensuring a comfortable fit on any wrist. The thickness is a slim 7.2mm. The movement is the manual-winding 430MC.

Cartier Privé Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph collection showcases even more artistry and craftsmanship. The Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph is the debut piece for this new collection, featuring a single-button chronograph and the Manufacture 1928 MC Calibre movement. This complication has historical significance, first introduced in a Tortue in 1928 and reinterpreted in 1998 as part of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris. The new watch, available in yellow gold or platinum, incorporates many historic details and techniques. It features blued-steel apple-shaped hands, a hollowed-out central seconds hand, and triangular motifs on the four corners of the dial.

The new watch is clean and readable, with beautiful details such as the intricate subdial work. The rail-track is placed outside the Roman numerals and is free of additional adornment. The stopwatch function is operated by a single pushbutton integrated into the crown, which also handles winding and setting. This new movement is only 4.3mm thick, making it the Maison’s thinnest chronograph. The watch measures 43.7mm in length, 34.8mm in width, and has a thickness of 10.2mm. The movement is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback. All pieces will be released in a limited edition of only 200 each, except for the diamond-adorned model, which is limited to just 50 pieces.

Clich here for more Cartier stories.


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