Cartier’s best known watches are often symmetrical and formal, think Tank or Santos, but also animal inspired, most notably the Panthère. But its latest suite of ladies’ watches is unconventional in its mix of forms and finishes.
Inspired by the jewellery collection of the same name, the Clash [Un]limited is edgy, modern, and different from the brand’s usual offerings.
While I can’t profess to be an expert in ladies’ watches, the Clash is both an interesting and appealing design to my eye. It is an intriguing mix of design elements that might seem ill-matched on their face but somehow work well together. So the dial and facetted crystal are obvious retro, but they go well with the studs and balls of the bracelet; the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
At the same time, the edgy styling of the Clash doesn’t feel like Cartier, which has a predominantly classical or Art Deco house style. In fact, the Clash seems like something from a brand more associated with streetwear, like Louis Vuitton for instance. That said, the colourful variant of the Clash does evoke Cartier’s signature Tutti Fruitti jewellery.
Chic yet eccentric
Launched in 2019, Clash de Cartier was perhaps Cartier’s first collection of jewellery with a distinct streetwear aesthetic, one heavy on studs and spikes. According to Cartier, however, Clash took inspiration from the work of Jeanne Toussaint (1887-1976), the brand’s longtime artistic director who favoured geometric shapes and was responsible for classics like the Panthere.
Regardless of its inspiration, the range of jewellery gave birth to Clash [Un]limited. Chic yet eccentric, the Clash watch is characterised by an articulated bracelet featuring rolling balls as centre links.
While the designs are extravagant, the Clash watches boast surprisingly nuanced detail. The crystal, for instance, has facetted edges, bringing to mind vintage ladies’ watches of the mid 20th century. And the outer links of the bracelet sport alternating brushed and polished finishing.
The collection is made up of five models, two of which are limited edition. All share the same dimensions of 18.4 mm by 32.8 mm and a thickness of 8.1 mm. Naturally, the movement inside a no-fuss quartz calibre.
The base models are either two-tone with violet gold elements or entirely in white gold with diamonds. They all feature a simple silver dial with Roman numerals at the six and 12 o’clock.
On the other hand, the limited editions are exuberantly coloured. One is in rose gold with settings of diamonds, black spinel, coral, chrysoprase, and tsavorites. The other is in white gold model with diamonds and black obsidian. Both are matched with a diamond-paved dial.
Key Facts and Price
Cartier Cartier [Un]limited
Ref. CRWGMB0002 (yellow and violet gold)
Ref. CRWGMB0003 (rose and violet gold)
Ref. CRWJMB0004 (rose gold with diamonds, spinels, tsavorites, coral & chrysoprase)
Ref. CRWJMB0002 (white gold with diamonds)
Ref. CRWJMB0003 (white gold with diamonds, spinels and obsidian)
Diameter: 18.4 by 32.8 mm or 18.4 by 32.7 mm
Height: 8.1 mm
Material: 18k rose, yellow gold or rhodium-finish white gold
Water resistance: 30 m
Functions: Hours, minutes
Strap: Matching bracelet
Limited edition: Regular production, except for CRWJMB0003 (20 pieces) and CRWJMB0004 (30 pieces)
Availability: At Cartier boutiques and retailers beginning April 2023 for the limited editions, and June 2023 for the regular-production models
Small, yellow and violet gold: €30,000; or 44,500 Singapore dollars
Small, rose and violet gold: €30,000; or 44,500 Singapore dollars
Small, white gold with diamonds: €45,000; or 67,000 Singapore dollars
Small, rose gold with diamonds, spinels, tsavorites, coral & chrysoprase: €100,000; or 149,000 Singapore dollars
Small, white gold with diamonds, spinels and obsidian: €105,000; or 159,000 Singapore dollars
For more, visit Cartier.com