Watch & Jewellery
BELL OF THE BALL: Cartier's Cloche de Cartier
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Cartier
'Cloche de Cartier' makes a return in 2021
'Cloche de Cartier' makes a return in 2021
'Cloche de Cartier' makes a return in 2021
'Cloche de Cartier' makes a return in 2021

Due credit must be given to Cartier for giving us every staple wristwatch case in the book: Round, rectangular, tonneau, square, oval to even the odd asymmetrical. It didn’t create these case shapes in order to kowtow to trends. Heck, even today, it is still manufacturing them for its active catalogue which is no mean feat for any modern day watchmaker to take on such a wide-ranging inventory. But just when you think Cartier already has plenty on its plate, it has added one more shape into the mix, one that might only be privy to hardcore fans of the maison. Named Cloche de Cartier, this historical wristwatch launched in 1921 first debuted a year prior in the form of a brooch. As the name suggests in French (pronounced as klosh), the unique shape takes after that of a desktop bell, those that you might see on a reception counter. What is also unique about this D-shaped aesthetic is that the dial is also rotated to a 90-degree position, which means one is able to look at the time the right-side up whether one’s watch-wearing hand is on the keyboard or a steering wheel. The other accidental discovery about this wristwatch is when it rests on any flat surface, it also functions as a makeshift table clock. Despite being part of Cartier’s collection for several decades, it was only ever produced as a limited piece, with only a few hundred being made with each reiteration, in platinum or gold. (It is of little surprise if only an odd thousand of this model are in existence today.) Now, Cartier is giving today’s generation of collectors a limited window to plug the gap in one’s collection. The new breed of Cloche de Cartier returns in pink gold, yellow gold or platinum with three additional skeletonised models for those looking for a modern twist to this classic. Sized just like how vintage watches should be, its measurements of 37.15mm by 28.75mm means that those with smaller wrists ought to find this an attractive proposition. What is relatively modern about its make is in the in-house manufactured heartbeat. The closed dials are powered by a manual-winding 1917 MC movement, whilst the skeletonised versions run on the manual-winding 9626 MC (both with 38 hours of power reserve). Now, if you’re wondering how many pieces of these will be circulating worldwide, there aren’t really too many: only 100 per case material for the closed dials and 110 pieces in total for the skeletonised versions. Then, do the math on when these might appear again. Your guess is as good as ours.


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