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Men's Cle | Bronze | Cartier Watch Collection

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Named after the French word “Clé” which stands for “key”, the Cartier Cle stands out because of its rectangular-shaped crown, inspired by traditional winding keys of 19th century clocks. Together with its elegant, fluid case shape, the Cartier Cle offers an interesting tactile experience for the wearer. It is available in time and date, and tourbillon editions. Explore our collection of Cartier Cle watches for men at SwissWatchExpo.com.

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Cartier Clé Collection

The Clé de Cartier was introduced in 2015 and was the latest chapter in shapes for the French maison. Geometry and shapes has always been important in Cartier’s history, and they play an integral role in the creation of the house’s designs – from the rectangular Tank to the spherical Ballon Bleu.

The big story for the Clé is its C-shaped case, with a soft geometric curve hugging a round dial. It gives a nod to bold designs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, while remaining distinctly Cartier. While its case shape is new, what really sets the Clé apart from other watches is its crown. Shaped like an ingot, the crown is inspired by the keys used to wind antique clocks and pocket watches. So proud was Cartier of this innovation that they named the watch after it, with “Clé” being French for ‘key’.

The Cartier Clé combines elegant looks with a sporty, cosmopolitan feel, a wide range of metal options, as well as three sizes to suit men and women. It’s perfect for those who seek a timeless Cartier watch that’s a little more unique. Explore our collection of Cartier Clé watches from SwissWatchExpo.com.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CARTIER CLÉ COLLECTION

The Cartier Clé is one of the newest models from the French maison, having been released only in January 2015. It features a completely new shape for the brand, while referencing signature Cartier design details.

The ovoid shape of the Cartier Clé, at a quick glance, resembles watches from the late 1960s to 1970s, such as the Omega Seamaster Cosmic. What makes it unique however, is that it is not one solid case. Its foundation is made of a circle, which appears both suspended and embedded into the curved, cushion-shaped lugs. These result in fluid contours that look very elegant, and curves that sit comfortably on the wrist.

Aside from the case, what really gives the Cartier Clé its wow factor is the unique crown. Shaped like a gold bar, it sits flush onto the curved case and is topped with the signature blue cabochon. Given its shape, the crown operates differently from a traditional one – once pulled, rotating it aligns to either a horizontal or vertical position, which then moves the hands forward to set the time and date.

While the case and crown were new, the dial was classic Cartier. Deep blue Roman numerals with the ‘secret’ Cartier signature, and sword-shaped steel hands sit on top of a silvered dial with a flinque center.

Cartier also debuted a then-new movement with the Clé collection – the in-house developed caliber 1847 MC. It takes the place of modified ETA movements which Cartier used to power models with higher production numbers. With its round shape, its movement is also plainly finished, but it’s designed to provide stability, with the rotor incorporating a durable lever system.

This self-winding movement provides a 42-hour power reserve, and it can be found within the 35mm and 40mm editions of the Cartier Clé.

With its dress watch-meets-daily wearer design, and its novel movement, the Cartier Clé not only provides an attractive value proposition it also satisfies the desire for a Cartier watch that’s a little more unusual than its ubiquitous models.


ABOUT THE CARTIER CLÉ COLLECTION

Instead of reviving one of Cartier’s vintage designs, the Cartier Clé cleverly takes inspiration from two classic elements: an ovoid case reminiscent of mid-century watches, Cartier’s classic opalescent dials with blued Roman numerals and hands. It also adds an atypical feature in its rectangular crown, which is wound like a key.

All these elements combined form an elegant and cosmopolitan yet slightly sporty watch which can be worn by both men and women.

Metals: Upon its launch in 2015, the Cartier Clé was exclusively made in 18k white gold or 18k rose gold cases. Within a year, Cartier introduced a two-tone stainless steel and 18k rose gold edition. In 2016, a full stainless steel edition followed.

Ladies models in 18k white gold and rose gold come with a choice of diamond bezels or diamond markers. There is also the rare ref HPI00980, a full pave diamond-encrusted 18k white gold model.

Sizes: The Cartier Clé comes in three case sizes – 40mm or the men’s size, and 35mm and 31mm for the ladies.

Bracelet: All versions of the Cartier Clé come in a choice of leather bracelets or straps, except for the two-tone steel and 18k rose gold edition, which blends the two metals for its bracelet.

Features: Cartier Clé models feature time-and-date dials, but there is also a rare ref HPI00933 Flying Tourbillon model. Aside from its tourbillon at six o’clock, it features an 18k white gold case set with 437 white brilliant-cut diamonds, and a navy blue alligator leather strap.


CARTIER CLÉ REFERENCE NUMBERS

All Cartier models have a reference number, which is used to properly document their manufacture and sale. These are randomly assigned and are composed of 8 characters, which usually begin with a letter, followed by an alpha-numeric combination.

Below are the reference numbers for the Clé de Cartier collection:


REFERENCE NUMBERS MODEL MATERIAL
WSCL0018
W2CL0002
WGCL0005
WGCL0006
WGCL0004
WGCL0003
Cartier Clé 40mm Stainless steel on leather strap
Steel rose gold
White gold on leather strap

White gold on bracelet
Rose gold on leather strap
Yellow gold on bracelet
WSCL0006
W2CL0003
W4CL0006
WJCL0032
WJCL0013
WJCL0049
WJCL0002
Cartier Clé 35mm Stainless steel on leather strap
Steel rose gold
Steel on leather strap, diamond bezel
Rose gold on bracelet
Rose gold on bracelet, diamond bezel
White gold on leather strap
White gold, pavé diamond case, bracelet, and center dial
WSCL0016
WSCL0005
WJCL0031
W2CL0004
Cartier Clé 31mm Stainless steel on leather strap
Stainless steel on bracelet
Rose gold on leather strap
Two-tone steel and gold


COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CARTIER CLÉ

The Cartier Clé introduced a new shape and ingenious winding crown to the French maison’s range of classic timepieces. Here are the most asked questions about the Cartier Clé.

WHAT IS A CARTIER CLÉ?

The Cartier Clé or Clé de Cartier is a watch design launched in 2015. It introduced an ovoid, round-meets-tonneau shape to the Cartier portfolio, and a unique bar-shaped crown reminiscent of keys used to wind antique clocks and pocket watches.

The Clé de Cartier comes in men’s and women’s models, and in various metals including steel, 18k yellow, rose, and white gold, and two-tone steel and rose gold.

IS THE CARTIER CLÉ WATERPROOF?

Cartier Clé watches, like most of Cartier’s dress watches, are water resistant to 3 bar or 30 meters. With this level of water resistance, they can be worn daily and still be protected from splashes (such as handwashing) but they are not recommended for use during water sports or swimming.

IS THE CARTIER CLÉ DISCONTINUED?

As of 2022, the Cartier Clé still appears on the Cartier website, however the selection is limited to stainless steel models. Other models of the Cartier Clé are available in the secondary market. Explore our collecton of Cartier Clé watches here.