The first timepieces started to appear in the Maison’s registers from 1853: men’s pocket watches as well as watches in the form of pendants, brooches and châtelaines for women.
Over the years, Cartier watchmaking has distinguished itself by focusing on the notion of design, symbolized in 1904 by the creation of the Santos de Cartier watch: the first modern watch designed to be worn on the wrist.
The Cartier watchmaking heritage is ever-evolving, allowing the Maison to revisit the shapes of timeless classics through new versions, all while remaining as faithful as possible to the historic model yet with modernized ergonomics that meet today's requirements.


For Cartier, everything begins with the design. An uncompromising feature in every design is a clean and precise line. This seemingly radical concept has become the Maison’s signature.
Tank, Santos, Panthère, Ballon Bleu: These unique and iconic collections are instantly recognizable and based on 4 main principles of creation: the purity of the line, accuracy of the shape, precision of proportions and precious details.
The intelligence of their designs place them seamlessly within their times, as well as within their futures. They can all be reinvented again and again, and they continue to inspire conversations as a boundless source of creative energy that Cartier dares to develop over time.



In 1917, Louis Cartier took inspiration from the purity of the lines of the Tank watch to create a new watch shape. The two parallel brancards of the Tank watch are its signature. The secret lies in the balance between the lines and shapes, the volume and harmony that emanate from the design and lend the Tank its remarkable elegance.



In 1904, Louis Cartier granted the aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont's wish: to be able to tell the time while flying without having to let go of the controls to check his pocket watch. Cartier broke ground by imagining a square watch in a world dominated by round ones, with screws, traditionally hidden in watchmaking left visible on the bezel. Rounded edges, symmetrical bevels and curved horns that converge towards the bracelet, these design elements define Santos. Original precision allows Cartier to re-work the proportions of the Santos watch according to the times.



First created in the 1980s, the Panthère watch is the ultimate jewelry watch. Instantly recognizable, the Panthère watch takes its name from its bracelet that exudes a feline sensuality with links that coil seductively around the wrist. It is an iconic style that layers elegance upon elegance, through a delicate square case with rounded corners, refined visible rivets and a dial that displays all of Cartier’s watchmaking codes.

ballon bleu


Created in 2007 from a new vision of roundness, the Ballon Bleu case is domed on both the front and back. Its emblematic crown cap, which is incorporated into the case, makes it instantly recognizable. With this watch, Cartier pays homage to the great tradition of watchmaking and brings a new twist to its codes by transforming the rail-track, introducing the blue bubble and adding the optical illusion of the domed sapphire crystal.


Rail-tracks, cabochon sapphire, Roman numerals: These elements are all found on Cartier watches from the first creations and are still present in the aesthetic codes of today’s models. Their unmistakable style and graphic identity make them timeless signatures.

Roman numerals

Black, graphic and sloping, the Roman numerals on the case radiate out from the central axis, reinforcing the purity of the line present on Cartier watches.

rail road


The dials feature a rail-track: a double line with a minute scale. Its design resembles the tracks of a railway line. Louis Cartier is to thank for this highly unique design.

blue hands


The blue hands are the product of a watchmaking tradition found in the Swiss mountains. It was here where the watchmakers invented this bluing process, whilst seeking a way to prevent watch hands (which at that time were not water resistant) from corroding under tough climate conditions. This expertise has since been preserved and carried out by Cartier in a unique way: the hands are placed in kilns that are heated to over 300° for a duration of time that is calculated down to the second in order to obtain the iconic blue color of Cartier watch hands.
Producing these hands requires over 20 different procedures and over 10 different techniques including hammering, cutting and polishing. Each second, minute and hour hands are paired so that they are the exact same blue color on each watch.



Cartier’s winding crowns are set with either a sapphire cabochon or a blue spinel depending on the model, bridging the gap between jewelry and watchmaking.



Cartier's winding mechanism is adorned with a seven or eight-sided beaded or fluted crown depending on the style of the timepiece.


Guilloché dial

Engraved on the dial, the Cartier guilloché decorates the watch. This decorative technique first appeared in Cartier’s jewelry workshop at the start of the 20th century. It consists of engraving fine lines on the plate of the dial to form different motifs such as waves or sunrays.



The Cartier signature is subtly placed at an angle in one of the Roman numerals on the dial. Can you spot it?