The Manual Wind: Clè de Cartier


With so many new models regularly being released into the watch marketplace, it can be surprisingly easy to spot an instant classic.  Brands are always focusing on new technology and often forget the art of a timeless design.  One brand known for its dedication to maintaining timeless design is Cartier.  Its latest introduction, Cle de Cartier, holds true to that dedication.  Combining Cartier’s latest movement technology, with a design as timeless as the rest of its classic lineup, the Cle de Cartier is a fitting addition.


Offered in 18k white or rose gold in three sizes, 40mm, 35mm, and 31mm, this classic round step bezel design is very Cartier.  Metal bracelets or crocodile straps fit to offer different options.  Part of the new design is the unique crown.  Defined by its name, Cle in French means “key”, the crown resembles one and turns as a key would in a wind up clock.  This unique crown is attached to a very durable Cartier in-house caliber yielding a 48 hour power reserve.  Topped with a silver guilloche dial with blue accents, the Cle has all the characteristics of what Cartier stands for.


This new addition to the Cartier line resembles all the previous classics that came before it.  The last piece rolled out like this from Cartier, the Ballon Bleu, became one of the most popular Cartier models and still is.  With the Cle only being offered in gold for the time being, this will exclude a lot of consumers from having the opportunity to purchase.  Knowing Cartier, a steel version will be out soon enough, so sit tight.  This piece has a strong resemblance to an Hermes timepiece that came out a number of years ago which did not make a big splash.  Expect the slightly different Cle de Cartier to cannonball into the luxury watch market.  This piece can now be seen in showcases at U.S. dealerships.