What makes Cartier’s new releases so special?

What makes Cartier’s new releases so special?

Russell Sheldrake

It’s always a highlight of our year, getting to walk around the Cartier booth at Watches & Wonders, taking a look at the brand’s curiously shaped watches. We have covered the brand’s full release list already, and even given our own thoughts on them too. But we wanted to get the inside track from the man who probably knows more about them and their backstory than anyone else. Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s image, Style, and Heritage Director has worked at the company for two decades and is perfectly placed to tell us the back stories on these new releases.

Rainero takes us on a tour of what he sees as the highlights of this year’s collection, starting off with the big Privé releases that took the form of the Tortue. Both time only and monopusher chronograph versions speak to the very heart of what the Privé line is all about.

cartier Privé Tortue Monopoussoir platinum

These shaped pieces are bringing historic designs that date to over 100 years back to the current collection, making the most of Cartier’s incredibly deep back catalogue. With the Monopoussoir speaking to Louis Cartier’s own design philosophies of not allowing pushers to disrupt the final product and aesthetic.

cartier santos dumont rewind case profile

But the new releases were not limited to the Privé collection. Rainero also wanted to talk us through the new entrants to the two styles of Santos that we have this year. The Santos-Dumont Rewind in particular left many perplexed when first seeing it, as the characteristic Roman numerals were placed the wrong way around the red carnelian dial. On the other hand, the new, sportier, Santos de Cartier adds the rather useful complication of a second time zone in a cool, monochromatic look. Both of these models speak to the spirit of Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Brazilian aviator and friend of Louis Cartier, but in vastly different ways.