Cartier is a maker of luxury jewelry and watches that was launched by Louis-François Cartier in Paris in 1847. For over 170 years, it’s been trotting out superbly stylish, exquisitely crafted rings, bracelets, necklaces, and timepieces that have become among the most collectible in the world. If you want a watch that will stand the test of time, Cartier might well be the brand for you. Without further ado, here are the 10 best Cartier diamond watches of all-time.
1. Maillon de Cartier Watch – REF WJBJ0005
Like many of Cartier’s timepieces, the Maillon de Cartier watch is as much a piece of jewelry as it is a watch. The unapologetically feminine design flaunts a hexagonal dial with blued-steel sword-shaped hands, an 18K white gold case, beveled brancards, and slightly offset chain-links. Embedded in the 18k gold bracelet are 487 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 8.71 carats. Precision timekeeping is provided by way of a quartz movement.
2. Cartier Tank Française Watch – REF WJTA0023
Departures.com writes that if there was an award for the most iconic watch of all time, Cartier’s Tank model would definitely win it. It’s not hard to see why. Beloved by some of the greatest style icons in history (Princess Diana, Andy Warhol, Clark Gable, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were all fans), the collection has spawned various versions over the years, with the Cartier Tank Française Watch being one of the most celebrated. Featuring a curved 18K pink gold case set with brilliant-cut diamonds, a silvered dial bearing blued-steel sword-shaped hands, a sapphire crystal caseback, and an 18K pink gold bracelet, the Ref WJTA0023 is an outstanding update on a legendary watch.
3. Cartier Panthère de Cartier Watch – REF HPI01326
The Panthère de Cartier watch was first introduced in 1983 and discontinued in the early 2000s. In 2017, Cartier came to its senses and relaunched the iconic piece. With its modern aesthetic and its pave-inspired bracelet, the Panthère de Cartier is undoubtedly one of the most famous designs ever to come out of France. Brilliant cut diamonds are scattered generously along the 18K rose gold octagonal case and bracelet (look closely, and you’ll even notice one in the crown) while the silvered dial with its blued-steel sword-shaped hands is a masterclass in understated elegance.
4. Pasha de Cartier Watch – REF HPI01435
In 1943, Cartier launched a water-resistant timepiece that would go on to inspire one of the most iconic collections in watchmaking history: the Pasha series. The Pasha de Cartier Ref HPI01435 features that same round, water-resistant case of the 1943 watch along with four Arabic numerals and a screw-down crown cap attached to the rhodium-finish 18K white gold case by a small chain. 180 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 2.95-carat illuminate the interchangeable rhodium-finish 18K white gold folding buckle. At the heart of the watch is a faultless movement consisting of 278 parts and 19 jewels.
5. High Jewellery Watch – REF HPI00623
If you want to add some bling to your wrist, look no further than the Cartier High Jewellery watch. As much of a jewel as it is a watch, the eye-catching (but never ostentatious) piece features a rhodium-finish 18K white gold case set with glittering baguette-cut diamonds, an octagonal crown set with another diamond, and a rhodium-finish 18K white gold dial set with baguette-cut diamonds. A black alligator-skin strap with a double adjustable folding rhodium finish 18k white gold buckle set with baguette-cut diamonds completes the look.
6. Ballon Bleu de Cartier Watch – REF WE902045
As blue as the name suggests, the Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch will add a touch of sartorial elegance to anything you pair it with. Designed around a rhodium-finish 18K white gold set with 123 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 1.21 carats, a fluted crown set with a sapphire cabochon, a rhodium-finish 18K white gold bracelet, and a mechanical self-winding movement, it’s a gorgeous piece with faultless attention to detail and a hefty dose of timeless elegance.
7. Tank Cintrée Watch – REF HPI01123
With the Tank Cintrée watch REF HPI01123, Cartier brings us a fabulous update on the iconic Tank series. First released in 1921 (just four years after Cartier released its first-ever Tank wristwatch), the Cintrée’s elongated case and dial and cabochon crown quickly set it apart from the rest. An elegantly proportioned dress watch, the original Tank Cintrée featured a host of noteworthy features – so much so, hodinkee.com describes it as one of the most desirable of the vintage Tanks. The most recent incarnation of the Tank Cintrée is Ref HPI01123, a platinum watch boasting a case set with 168 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.90 carats, a beaded crown set with a brilliant-cut diamond of 0.10 carats, and a black alligator-skin strap complete with an 18K white gold buckle set with 41 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.40 carats. At its heart is the manual winding caliber 9917 MC, a faultless piece of engineering that can be glimpsed through the transparent sapphire case back.
8. Clé de Cartier Flying Tourbillon Watch – REF HPI00933
Blending the unadulterated luxury of a diamond-set case with the intrigue of a flying tourbillon, the Clé de Cartier flying tourbillon watch is an example of the heights Cartier can reach when it’s working at the top of its game. Reference HPI00933 boasts a white gold case set with 437 dazzling diamonds totaling 3.16 carats. The white gold folding buckle features another 41 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.40 carats. The soft curves, clean lines, and perfect proportions of the brass flinqué sunray-brushed dial is complemented perfectly by the navy-blue alligator strap. The watch is powered by the caliber 1847 MC, the new Cartier Manufacture Movement.
9. Tonneau Watch – REF HPI01291
At first glance, the Tonneau is a relatively simple watch. But first impressions can be misleading. The forme of the movement is dictated by the contours of the watch in a display of technical mastery that defies belief. Back when the watch was first launched in 1906, the sapphire cabochon set in the crown and the stylized Roman numerals were considered revolutionary. Today, they’re considered the bedrock of Cartier’s signature style. The Ref HPI01291 Tonneau Skeleton XL watch features a manual winding, calibre 9919 MC movement, a platinum case set with 45 baguette-cut diamonds totaling 2.36 carats, a sapphire crystal case back, and two beaded, diamond set crowns. A black alligator-skin strap with an 18K white gold folding buckle completes the stylish look.
10. Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch – REF HPI00588
Showcasing three of the finest movements in horology – a central chronograph, flying tourbillon, and astrorégulateur – the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon watch is an intriguing piece that features a smorgasbord of noteworthy features. A platinum case boasting 72 brilliantly cut diamonds totaling 1.265 carats, a crown set with a 0.2-carat diamond, and a rhodium-finish 18K white gold dial set with a mammoth 568 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 1.97 carats combine to create an irresistible piece. Even more impressively, all the components are, as hautehorlogerie.org notes, hand-finished, right down to the polished screw-heads.