The Pasha de Cartier is a bit of a mystery. Is the original Pasha the water-resistant watch Cartier made for the Pasha of Marrakesh who commissioned it in 1931? Or is it the Pasha former Cartier CEO Alain Dominique Perrin commissioned Gérald Genta to design in 1985? Since the first watch is nowhere to be found (and it was a one-off), I would say that the original Pasha is the watch that debuted in the mid-eighties. And we can now go clubbing back to the ’80s with the two-tone Pasha de Cartier 41mm watch, the latest incarnation of a creation that ruled the night(clubs) three decades ago.

The late ’80s and early ’90s were times when carefree optimism, bold exuberance, and lavish expressions of life, style, and taste ruled. It was the days of the famous “House Temples” of Amsterdam such as RoXY, Mazzo, and iT. And when I think of those colorful places, wildly extravagant scene, and its resplendent audience, I think of the watch that fits perfectly: the sumptuous Pasha de Cartier.

… that watch defined the hedonistic approach to life in all of its glorious details.

I was into Breitling Navitimers and Rolex Explorers in those days, but I had friends who had quite an opposite taste, both in music, lifestyle, and watches. They were very much into the Santos and went bonkers when the Pasha de Cartier was introduced — that watch defined the hedonistic approach to life in all of its glorious details. Last year Cartier introduced a revamped, updated take on the Pasha theme, and this year the collection expands further. The steel and gold 41mm automatic model (W2PA0009) is the one we partied with at Fratello HQ.  And, I must admit, it did bring back some hazy memories.

Clubbing Back To The 80s With The Two-Tone Pasha De Cartier 41mm Watch

The two-tone Pasha de Cartier 41mm watch

The word “pasha” provokes visions of abundance, wealth, luxury, coolness, and carefree living. It is a brilliant name for a watch that debuted in times when the world was partying like there was no tomorrow. The Pasha de Cartier had the panache, élan, and style to match the era. On the wrist it was the ultimate expression of a life lived in the fast lane. Pasha’s classy looks attracted the young, chic, and fashionable crowd. It was also sophisticated and original. Genta took a screw-down dust cover from WWI trench watches and by doing that he created one of the most recognizable contemporary watches.

Louis Cartier patented it; Gérald Genta used it

The crown doesn’t get all the credit for making the Pasha de Cartier such an eye-catching and distinctive design. The way the bracelet/strap is attached to the case also plays a big part in that. But credit where credit’s due, it wasn’t Genta who came up with this design, it was conceived and patented by Louis Cartier in 1931. He designed the Vendôme-style bars with rounded pyramid shapes at both ends. They may look like little pyramids, but they’re actually large, single Clous de Paris.

New for the latest generation Pasha is Cartier’s QuickSwitch strap/bracelet changing system that works by simply pressing a button on the backside of the lugs to remove the bracelet/strap with a simple click. The steel/yellow gold Pasha de Cartier 41mm comes with both a bracelet and a navy blue alligator leather strap with specific end-links. To make life even easier, the bracelet also has a length adjustment system. Cartier named it the SmartLink system and by pushing a button you release the fixing bar thus allowing the removal of excessive bracelet links. The idea behind this? You can now buy a watch with a bracelet (online) and make it fit your wrist yourself. No need to go to visit your local Cartier dealer. Is that a good thing? Well, for the online shopper it makes life just a bit easier, that’s undeniably true.

A characteristic cabochon²

Back to the crown of the Pasha. The perfectly round case without traditional lugs makes the capped-crown-and-chain device the icing on the cake. When you unscrew the sizable crown with its signature blue synthetic spinel cabochon, it will delicately dangle on its one-link chain.

What it reveals is a tiny crown with a tiny cabochon — perfectly proportioned and a very nice touch. Luckily it has a sculpted surface, so it’s not that hard to operate.

Clubbing Back To The 80s With The Two-Tone Pasha De Cartier 41mm Watch

The two-tone Pasha de Cartier 41mm watch on the wrist

On the wrist, the 41×9.95mm feels pretty slim and comfortable. The steel case with its yellow gold bezel is water-resistant to 100 meters, something the Pasha of Marrakech — allegedly he only used his special watch only in the swimming pool — would definitely approve. The surfaces are a mix of brushed and polished finishes. It’s the large, sloping bezel in luxuriously mirror-polished yellow gold that sets the tone for this particular Pasha model. The polished yellow gold middle links stand out from the outer steel links with a brushed finish.

… Cartier also gave the dial a subtle gradient effect with the edges being slightly darker than the center.

On the silvered dial, a stamped guilloché decoration plays with the light. To create a more dynamic dial, Cartier also gave the dial a subtle gradient effect with the edges being slightly darker than the center. A Pasha isn’t a Pasha without four large Arabic numerals – they are a contemporary touch to the traditionally colored and decorated dial. The blued sword-shaped hands indicate the hours and minutes. And there’s also a central seconds hand plus a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Clubbing Back To The 80s With The Two-Tone Pasha De Cartier 41mm Watch

Easing the pain with decorations

When you flip the Pasha you come eye to eye with Cartier’s in-house Calibre 1847 MC. This is an automatic, entry-level 4Hz movement that replaces the ETA calibers Cartier used in the past. The anti-magnetic properties are on point thanks to Cartier having used non-magnetic nickel phosphorous components for the escapement mechanism and also made some sort of shield made of a paramagnetic alloy.

A bit less innovative or impressive is the traditional/old-fashioned 40-hour power reserve. Maybe the Côtes de Genève decorations on the rotor and bridges can ease that pain a little.

Clubbing Back To The 80s With The Two-Tone Pasha De Cartier 41mm Watch

How did the Pasha de Cartier make me feel?

This is quite an easy question to answer, to be honest. I liked it, but it didn’t make me put on old DJ Jean tracks if you know what I mean. It also made me realize that I like the bi-color 40mm Ballon Blue better if I had to choose. The Pasha de Cartier in steel and yellow gold sells for €11,200. Apart from DJ Jean, I’m sure the target group consists of early adopters when it comes to house and acid who get that warm glowing feeling when looking at the watch. They will be hit with hazy memories of grandiose parties without end and want to get that feeling back, desperately.

And there’s also the new style-conscious YOLO generation that can’t wait for the clubs to re-open and the festival season to restart. The Pasha de Cartier is ready to shine like it never shone before. It’s just a matter of time. More information on the different Pasha de Cartier models on the official website.

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Watch specifications

Pasha de Cartier 41mm Large Model
Silvered flinqué
Case Material
Steel and yellow gold
Case Dimensions
Case Back
See-through sapphire case back
Automatic Calibre 1847 MC
Water Resistance
100 meters
Navy blue alligator leather strap and steel and yellow gold bracelet with SmartLink adjustment and QuickSwitch system.
Hours, minutes, central seconds, and date.
All Cartier timepieces purchased from a Cartier boutique or Authorized Retailer can enjoy the complimentary extension of the International Limited Warranty for up to 8 years.