The house of Cartier had raised a lot of interest and anticipation at the SIHH 2015 in January (read our coverage of the SIHH 2015) when they announced the launch of a new line, the Clé de Cartier, which was scheduled to become commercially available in April 2015. Well, April is here and so is the Clé de Cartier.
How did the Clé de Cartier come to be?
Cartier has always considered themselves a watchmaker of shapes. And for 2015, they decided it was time to introduce a new shape...one that is modern and yet completely timeless. The Clé de Cartier has a streamlined appearance of balance and understated elegance, one which is typical of Cartier.
Of course, in the world of watches, even today, a round watch isn't what you would call uncommon...and here's what makes the Clé de Cartier different. This watch has an unusual crown which pays tribute to the watches of old, which had to be wound – the act of resetting the date and time on this piece requires the traditional turning of a key. How beautiful!...and it explains why the watch is called "Clé", which means "key", and is not so coincidentally what the crown looks like.
Getting a feel for the Clé de Cartier
The Clé de Cartier is available in sizes of 31mm, 35mm and 40mm in 18k pink gold, 18k white gold or 18k yellow gold cases, paired with leather, gold, or gold and steel bracelets. The bracelets are also new creations by Cartier – with half-links on both sides of the clasp, these bracelets are designed to have a satin/polish contrast and rest comfortably on the wrist.
All three models have the classic Cartier silvered guilloché dials, with blued steel hands and blue Roman numerals, and a date aperture at 6 o'clock. If you look closely at the numbers 'X' and 'VII', you will see a secret "Cartier" signature. The 31mm watches have solid case backs while the other two models have transparent case backs. The signature blue stone on the crown, which allows bidirectional winding, is a sapphire on the gold and jewelry watches, and spinel on the non-precious models. Unlike the earlier watches, the sapphire in the Clé de Cartier is elongated and lies flush against the crown's metal, creating a seamless appearance.
While the 31mm model is powered by automatic calibre 077 movement, the 35mm and 40mm watches house a brand new in-house manufacture automatic movement calibre 1847 MC – so named after Cartier's founding date. This new movement gives these watches a power reserve of 42 hours.
This new movement will now be used to power the Ballon Bleu 42mm, the Ronde Solo XL, Tank Solo XL, and the Santos 100 Large Model.
Get your hands on your very own Clé de Cartier
The Clé de Cartier is set to become officially available on April 18. To accomplish this, Cartier is slowly rolling out the pieces to their own stores and authorized dealers. CJ Charles is thrilled to be among the first stores in the country to have these pieces ready to sell.
Clé de Cartier Watch WGCL0005
Clé de Cartier Watch WJCL0003
Clé de Cartier Watch WJCL0012
Clé de Cartier Watch WJCL0023
Like we said, this is just the beginning. We will be getting more pieces in the near future, so please check back with us!