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The return of the century-old Cloche de Cartier
New Models

The return of the century-old Cloche de Cartier

Tuesday, 20 April 2021
By The FHH Journal editors
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The FHH Journal editors

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2 min read

The “cloche” (bell) shape appeared in Cartier pieces in 1920. “Cloche de Cartier”, because, when placed horizontally, its outline is reminiscent of a service bell rung at a counter. Like many Cartier signature pieces, it has been named after its shape, made notable for the purity of its line and clear inspiration.

A collector’s piece that is unusual and unique in its category, it adopts all the Maison’s watchmaking codes. The “rail track” and hour markings are adapted to the dial’s asymmetrical shape and the crown is set with a cabochon. Both respectful of the Maison’s watchmaking tradition while at the same time breaking away from common practice, this Cloche creation is unusual in that it may be read whilst worn on the wrist and can additionally be removed and placed on a table to be transformed into a “desk clock”. Two new calibres have had to be made at the Cartier Manufacture at La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland to adapt to the aesthetic imperatives imposed by this unique shape.

The Cloche de Cartier Classic and Skeleton

Barely 100 years old and still ticking as it did on the very first day. Keeping everything from the original, with a singularity that surprises at first glance, making you see things differently as you get closer to it. Available in pink gold, yellow gold or platinum, it displays all of Cartier’s watchmaking codes: rail tracks, sword-shaped hands and a closed-set cabochon on the winding crown. It has stayed faithful to the original model’s finishes: satin-finished on the back, polished between the lugs or edges, it is powered by the 1917 MC Manufacture mechanical movement, a calibre created in 2019.

Cloche de Cartier Classic © Cartier
Cloche de Cartier Classic © Cartier

This year, Cartier has chosen to apply one of its watchmaking signatures, the skeleton, to this iconic watch: a true technical feat in the field that involves adapting this complication to the watch’s atypical shape. Three skeleton models complete this collection. While it showcases the immediacy of an entirely openworked dial, it required the Manufacture 1917 mechanical movement to be completely reworked into a very fine network of gears, visible through the transparent Roman numerals, now transformed into bridges. It is now known as the 9626 Cartier Manufacture movement.

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