Cartier Prive Continues To Maintain Its Desirability With Five New, Ultra-collectible Tortue Models

The iconic watch now comes in a slimmer profile with elongated lugs, with two versions paying homage to the maison’s first chronograph.
by Yanni Tan

Cartier Prive

The Cartier Prive collection, a blend of heritage and modern innovation, encapsulates the essence of Cartier’s pioneering spirit in haute horlogerie. Launched in 2017 as an homage to the iconic models of Cartier’s past, such as the TankCrash, and Tonneau, the Prive line is both a celebration of history and a showcase of craftsmanship. This exclusive series revisits classic designs, reimagining them with a contemporary flair while maintaining the integrity of the original aesthetics.

The innovation in the Prive collection is not just in its aesthetics but also in its technical advancements. Cartier incorporates modern mechanisms and materials, while preserving the vintage charm that is emblematic of its original models. For instance, recent additions have featured skeletonised dials and movements. And the collection has also continued to evolve.

The impossibly elegant and distinctive Cartier Prive Hours/Minutes models (Credit: Cartier)

Now in its eighth annual edition, the Cartier Prive collection heralds a fresh chapter with the latest incarnation of the Tortue watch, which was originally crafted in 1912 and celebrated for its avant-garde, tortoise shell-like shape that challenges conventional watch design.

The 2023 versions remain faithful to the original visionary design, featuring an interplay of curves and taut lines, but with updated nuances that reflect contemporary elegance and sophistication. Upping the ante this year, Cartier introduces two distinct models within the Tortue line: the sophisticated Hours/Minutes, and the technically innovative Monopoussoir Chronograph.

Cartier Prive

The Tortue Hours/Minutes in yellow gold (Credit: Cartier)

Cartier Prive Tortue Hours/Minutes

Available in platinum and yellow gold, this 41.4mm by 32.9mm model is issued in a limited edition of 200 numbered pieces for each metal, as well as a dazzling diamond-set platinum version limited to 50 pieces. Each piece houses the Cartier Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding, calibre 430 MC, tailored specifically to align with the Tortue’s distinct silhouette. This calibre is noted for being one of Cartier’s thinnest, enhancing the watch’s sleek, refined profile.

The yellow gold version boasts a grained golden finish dial, set off by a sapphire cabochon on the winding crown and a blue alligator leather strap with an ardillon buckle. Contrastingly, the platinum models feature rhodium-plated Roman numerals with a silvered opaline dial, accentuated by a diamond on the crown and a red alligator leather strap set with pavé diamonds, marrying luxury with legibility.

Cartier Prive

The dial of the Tortue monopusher chronograph is faithful to the 1928 original (Credit: Cartier)

Cartier Prive Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph

A standout feature in this year’s collection, the Monopoussoir Chronograph incorporates Cartier’s new Manufacture 1928 MC calibre. This 43.7mm by 34.8mm model revisits the single-button chronograph function introduced in 1928, now redefined with a thinner profile at just 4.3mm, making it Cartier’s slimmest chronograph movement. The activation of the start, stop, and reset functions is ingeniously integrated into a single push-button within the crown, exemplifying simplicity and elegance.

The design details are meticulously crafted, with blued-steel apple-shaped hands, a hollowed-out central seconds hand, and triangular motifs that adorn the dial’s corners, enhancing the watch’s visual allure. The chronograph’s legibility is maximised by the strategic placement of the rail-track outside the Roman numerals, dedicating the entire dial space to the chronograph counters.

The Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph in yellow gold (Credit: Cartier)

This model is available in both platinum and yellow gold, each presenting a unique aesthetic — the platinum version features a chromatic play of blued counters against a silvered dial, while the gold version pairs golden-finished hands with a similarly grained dial.

Each of these models from the new Tortue line not only bears testament to Cartier’s long-standing tradition of blending form with function, but also advances this legacy through innovative design and mechanical finesse, making each piece a coveted object of both art and precision.

This story originally published on The Peak Singapore.

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