By Zara Zhuang

Watches & Wonders 2024: Cartier Revives the 1912 Tortue and Flips a Santos-Dumont

Cartier presents a significantly more streamlined cohort this year (2023’s mother lode comprised 17 novelties in the Tank family alone) at Watches & Wonders 2024. After reviving the Crash, the Tank Cintrée and the Tonneau across the previous editions, the Cartier Privé collection brings back the 1912 Tortue outfitted with the monopusher chronograph complication this year.

Limited to 200 pieces (and to 50 pieces for the platinum-set iteration), the watch closely follows the original design (spy the apple-shaped hands and rail track) but with subtly updated touches, such as a slimmer profile and a more aerodynamic silhouette. The manufacture 1928 MC movement operates the chronograph’s start, stop and reset functions through a single push-button integrated into the crown, and at 4.3mm, it’s the maison’s thinnest chronograph movement.

Animal jewellery watches

In the realm of jewellery watches, Cartier debuts figurative or abstract animal jewellery watches with extraordinary gem-setting, decorative techniques, and graphic patterns that evoke everything from tiger stripes to crocodile scales, inspired by animals from its famed menagerie. (Perhaps coincidentally, the trio of Tiger jewellery watches even seem to reference the square-dial-in-a-round case that the Cartier Pebble watch is so known for.)

Reflection de Cartier

The Reflection de Cartier collection also welcomes new jewellery watches, albeit with a more architectural aesthetic. The most vibrant of the four cuff watches features gemstones such as emeralds, chrysoprase and obsidian, and all are powered by a quartz movement. 

And of course there are additions to the Santos collection. The Santos de Cartier Dual Time displays a second time zone in the grey counter at 6 o’clock, as well as a tiny day/night indicator.

Cartier Santos-Dumont Rewind
Santos-Dumont Rewind

And limited to 200 pieces, the platinum Santos-Dumont Rewind watch with a carnelian dial has it all backwards: the Roman numerals are arranged in reverse, and the Calibre 320 MC mechanical movement with reversed manual winding drives the apple-shaped hands counterclockwise. (But since everything on the dial has been flipped horizontally, would this now be considered clockwise? It’s a proper riddle.)

This article was first published on GRAZIA Singapore.