Written By: Vahid Moradi
Cartier watches make a statement, unlike any other watch brand, blending form and function in a way that epitomizes refinement. Each style of some of the most popular Cartier watches have subtle differences so you can truly find something to fit your personality.
When you decide to buy a Cartier watch, you’re buying more than just a simple timepiece—you’re buying in a timeless legacy.
As such, we need to ask ourselves a question—do Cartier watches hold their value?
The short answer is yes, Cartier watches hold value and may even increase in value. The longer answer is that it depends on several factors. Vintage Cartier may go up in value more than a newer model. Trends may change as time passes and value may increase or diminish accordingly. Let’s answer the question by looking a little deeper.
History of Cartier
When exploring whether luxury Cartier watches will hold their value or how to tell if a Cartier watch is real, it makes sense to discuss why they are so valuable in the first place. To do that, we must look at the history of Cartier and how it became such a respected brand:1
Cartier was founded in 1847 when Louis-Francois Cartier took over his master’s workshop in Paris.
The first Cartier boutique was opened in 1859 in Paris.
Cartier’s heirs expanded the brand beyond Paris, setting up outposts in New York and London.
Cartier, the luxury watch brand, became known for innovative techniques such as using platinum in jewelry and finding inspiration in unlikely places such as the Renault tanks of World War I. This innovative spirit led Cartier to be called the “Jeweler of King, King of Jewelers.”
Cartier’s creation of the Santos de Cartier, luxury watch designed for his friend—the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont—helped popularize the wristwatch for men. Until that time, men used pocketwatches almost exclusively. Santos-Dumont’s use of the wristwatch soon spread and made the wristwatch a popular fashion accessory.
Cartier was family-owned until 1964. Today, it is a subsidiary of the watchmaking Swiss Richemont Group. It maintains three historical Maisons in Paris, New York, and London. Its headquarters remain in Paris.
- As of 2020, Cartier has an estimated brand value of 12.2 billion dollars, making it the 56th most valuable brand in the world.2
Cartier Watches Resale Value
With history as our guide, Cartier styles pass the test of time and a watch bought today may gain value over the long term as it becomes more desired and rare.3
However, it’s impossible to predict what any market will be in two years, five years, or ten years. Because of that, it’s difficult to say for sure exactly how well a Cartier watch will fare if resold. To determine whether a Cartier watch will hold or increase in value, multiple factors need to be considered:
Sales of Cartier
To show how Cartier watches hold their value, we as a Cartier authorized dealer can look to some of the larger sales of Cartier watches and pre owned Cartier watches. While not all Cartier watches will become collector’s items, many have, and the prices these items can collect at auction can be staggering:4
Earlier in 2021, at the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction XIII, a Cartier Pebble was sold for the price of CHF 403,000 (nearly $450,000).
Also this year, Bonham’s sold a different Cartier Pebble for another massive sum (nearly $311,000) which was over its original estimated valuation between $210,00 and $280,000.
- In 2002, a Tortue Minute repeater was sold by Antiquorum for CHF 993,000 (over $100,000)
While these are extreme examples of very rare watches (the Cartier Pebble sold earlier this year was one of only two in existence), it does show just how valuable Cartier watches can become.
Styles of Cartier Watches with High Resale Potential
While it’s impossible to tell which Cartier watch will hold the most value in the future or which is the best Cartier watch for ladies, certain styles tend to hold more value. Keep in mind that although past performance is not necessarily a predictor of future results, if a watch has proven its resilience over more than a century, it’s likely that it will still be desired and valuable into the future.
Here are a few Cartier watch styles with a high potential for resale value:5
Find Your Cartier at CJ Charles
While we’ve talked a lot about the monetary value of Cartier watches, there’s another value worth touching on: their value to you. A watch can be viewed as simply a functional timepiece, but it’s also something we wear every day. It’s an extension of ourselves and an expression of our style. In that way, the ultimate value of any watch may go beyond the simply monetary and become something much more personal.
To find that personal connection, it helps to be able to talk to experts and let them guide you to the watch that best suits you. At CJ Charles, our experts are ready to help you through the process of finding the perfect watch. We know a watch has more value than just its price and we’re happy to find you the Cartier watch that will be most valuable to you.
Written By: Vahid Morai
Vahid Moradi’s lifelong passion, dedication, and commitment for the jewelry industry led him to become the respected owner of CJ Charles Jewelers in 1988. From that moment, Moradi’s single focus in business was to become recognized as the pinnacle of value and world-class quality in the his Community. Over 34 years later, CJ Charles continues to grow and thrive as a successful, family-owned business that consistently provides exceptional service to all their clientele.
- Gentleman’s Journal. A brief history of Cartier. https://www.thegentlemansjournal.com/a-brief-history-of-cartier/
- Forbes. The World’s Most Valuable Brands. https://www.forbes.com/the-worlds-most-valuable-brands/#32870b3f119c
- Watches Guild. Which Cartier watches hold their value? https://www.watchesguild.com/articles/cartier-holding-value
- Rescapement. 5 of the most expensive vintage Cartiers ever sold at auction. https://sub.rescapement.com/p/5-of-the-most-expensive-vintage-cartiers
- Cartier. All Collections. https://www.cartier.com/en-us/watches/all-collections/