In 1920, Cartier released a bell-shaped watch called Cloche de Cartier. It was original yet a bit quirky. The Cartier Privé collection is growing with new models inspired by this asymmetrical watch. 

The Privé collection is a line that draws attention to the Cartier’s much-vaunted past. Last year the French Maison presented the Tank Asymétrique, today we can get acquainted with the renewed Cloche de Cartier.

Cartier Privé Collection

The Story

Cartier is a brand well-known for weird shapes. As we can see, this collection is very specific but intensely characterful as a result. As a luxury market lover, I am full of admiration for brands that make bold moves such as this. The Privé line is neither easily digestible nor particularly affordable — a heady combination that nods to Cartier’s self-confidence.

Before becoming part of the Privé Collection, the Cloche de Cartier was reinvented few times. The first such reinvention took place in 1984. A second overhaul followed in 1995. Most recently, the line was revamped in 2007. Each time, Cartier tempered the wild looks and fearsome price tag by exercising its right to limit the available pieces. Predictably, the same pattern is being followed this time around. The collection consists of three watches, each of them is limited to 100 pieces.

Cloche de Cartier

Cloche de Cartier With 1917 MC

Looking at the Cloche de Cartier, the use of gold or platinum is striking. And rightly so! Before launching Les Must de Cartier, the French jewelry and watchmaker worked exclusively with precious metals. Just as this is a callback to those earlier designs, so too have the precious metal housings been retained.

The new models presented today are also available with functional and reliable manual-winding 1917 MC. Produced in-house by Cartier, the watch can generate a power reserve of 38 hours and operates at 21,600vph. Also, what makes it even more impressive and closer to the original is the thickness. It’s thin and smaller than we would expect by modern standards. The case measures only 37.17×28.75mm. However, for me, the off-center dial makes such a statement here, the sizing is almost an afterthought. In addition to the odd shape, the dial has been rotated 90 degrees clockwise. That means the 12 o’clock marker sits next to the crown.

Cloche de Cartier

Cloche de Cartier With 9626 MC 

Cartier, however, could not stop at renewing the classic collection. So the French brand went a step further and released this model in a skeleton version that is even more limited. This style comes in also three variations. The simplest designs are made of pink or yellow gold. Each of them features two different alligator straps and will be produced in only 50 pieces.

The final timepiece is made of platinum and set with 129 diamonds. Only 20 will be made. These timepieces employ the extravagant-looking, manual-winding 9626 MM movement. I find the execution of this specific concept quite impressive and cutting-edge. The x-ray mechanism leaves nothing to the imagination. I love it! But, of course, this specific design is not for everyone. What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments below. For more information, visit the Cartier website.