If there’s any watch deserving of cult status, it’s the Cartier Pasha De Cartier. Launched in 1985, the collection aimed to marry the timeless elegance of Cartier with the stylistic flamboyance of the era – and the results were epic. Since its first release, the collection has become one of the brand’s most coveted, beloved by collectors the world over. And now it’s back. Revamped for today’s tastes but with the same distinctive features we remember from the first round, the collection reminds us exactly why the Pasha became such a classic.
1. It was named after the Pasha of Marrakech
It may only have launched in 1985, but as Monochrome-Watches reports, the story of the Pasha de Cartier can be traced all the way back to 1932. That was the year the Pasha of Marrakesh, Thami El Glaoui, commissioned Louis Cartier to create a watch elegant enough to take him through the most sophisticated of occasion, but functional enough to cope with his predilection for watersports. The result was one of the very first waterproof watches ever made. The piece was incorporated into the Cartier collection in 1943, but it would be another 40 years before it spawned its own collection.
2. The original collection was designed by Gerald Genta
In the early 1980s, swiss watch designer and artist Gerald Genta came up with the idea of using the 1940s era Pasha watch as the inspiration for a new collection of watches that drew on Cartier’s reputation for timeless elegance, but in a style more befitting of the decade’s love for flashy fashions. What he came up with turned into an instant classic.
3. It was made for men but worn by women
Despite being originally conceived as a men’s watch, Cartier’s legions of female fans were clearly not prepared to let the menfolk have all the fun. Within just a couple of years of its original launch, the Pasha had won over so many female fans, most people regarded it as more of a lady’s watch than a men’s. Cartier preferred to keep a more indifferent approach, labeling it a unisex offering and releasing versions in both 41 mm and 35 mm sizes to keep both sides of the gender divide happy.
4. The re-vamp is staying faithful to the original
A re-launch always raises concerns. Will it stay true to the original, or just trade on its name? What features are going to be lost, what’s going to be added, and what’s going to stay the same? Will it be better? Or just a shoddy remake? Fortunately, fans of the original Pasha have no need for concern. The revamp may be a little sleeker than the original but it’s still 100% a Pasha. The round case, the fluted crown cover, the four distinctive Arabic numerals, the sword-shaped hands, and the stanchion bracelet connectors are all still very much in place. So, breathe… Cartier knows exactly what made the Pasha a favorite the first time around, and has the good business sense to know that if it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it.
5. There are a few upgrades
Remember two seconds ago when we said the revamp was true to the original? While we weren’t lying, there are a couple of added features and changes worth noting. First of all, some of the 1980s flamboyance has gone…but as anyone who lived through the decade knows, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In place of the ostentation is a subtler aesthetic that’s a little more streamlined, sharer edged, and attuned to today’s tastes. Expected brushed surfaces, a glossy polished bezel, and a slightly more angular quality to the case. For the water sports enthusiasts among you, there’s also the added advantage of 100m water resistance.
6. It’s available in a full collection
Cartier is clearly confident the 2020 revamp of the Pasha is going to be just as popular as the original. Rather than testing the market with a single piece, they’ve gone all out to create a full collection in a selection of different sizes and materials. Customers can choose between a piece in steel, yellow gold, or pink gold, a diamond set or jewelry piece, or a skeletonized version. Straps are interchangeable and available in a variety of options (including alligator, leather and stainless steel), while the size options vary between the large (41mm) and the medium (35mm).
7. The price point is accessible
When we say the price point is accessible, we obviously mean accessible for a Cartier. If you’re used to spending a couple of hundred dollars at most on a watch, you might need to look away now. Customers who opt for a steel Pasha in the midrange size of 35mm will find it a steal at just $5,700. Those who opt for the larger 41mm model will have to fork out a little more (around $16,600, to be exact) while those who opt for the same model with a gold bracelet and diamond setting can expect to part with around $38,500. Skeletonized versions in the 41mm size range start at around $25,300, while the jewelry versions are ‘price on request’… and we all know what that means.
8. It’s not the only Cartier revamp for 2020
Someone at Cartier has clearly been flipping through the brand’s back catalog, at least if the number of revamps launching this year is anything to go by. Other than the Pasha, the revamp generating the most buzz is the Privé Tank Asymétrique, a face-lifted version of the 1930 classic, the Parallélogramme. As they’ve done with the Pasha, Cartier has retained enough of the familiar elements of the piece not to alienate its fans, but with a few little additions to make it more accessible to today’s customer. If you want in on the action, start saving those cents as quickly as you can… prices may start at a stonking $26,400, but with only 100 pieces being released, they’re unlikely to stick around for long.
9. There are no chronographs in the collection… yet
Chronographs may have featured in the original Pasha collection, but there’s no sight of them in the 2020 re-launch. However, if Forbes is right, we can probably expect Cartier to start introducing chronographs and other complications sometime shortly.
10. There’s a customizable option
As Watch I Love reports, Pasha owners who like the idea of adding a little something extra to their new watch can now do it. As part of the re-launch, Cartier has introduced the option for a customizable engraving to be added under the crown cover, which will remain a secret until the crown is unscrewed.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker