1 MATCHES FOUND
The history of Cartier began in 1847 when Louis Francois Cartier takes over a jewelry store in Rue Montorgueil, Paris. Before long, the French Maison establishes itself as the jeweler to the kings, whose original silhouettes capture the hearts of royalty.
In 1904, Cartier enters the watchmaking scene, where it goes on to establish itself as a watchmaker of shapes. Constantly challenging the basic round timepiece, Cartier proceeds to make watches from unconventional figures, from squares and tanks, to turtles and the emblematic panther.
This marriage of jewelry- and watchmaking keeps Cartier on the pulse of women’s tastes. Their refined and sensual designs, coupled with attention to detail, have become beloved classics for women. From the timelessly iconic Tank and Panthére, to the trend-setting yet classic Ballon Bleu, a Cartier ladies watch is a fine piece to cherish for generations. Explore our selection of Cartier ladies watches at SwissWatchExpo.com.
The story of how Cartier created the first wristwatch is watchmaking lore. Third-generation owner and chief designer Louis Cartier created a timepiece at the request of his friend, aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont. The pilot needed a watch that could be conveniently worn while navigating a plane, and thus, the first men’s wrist watch and first pilot’s watch was born – the Cartier Santos Dumont.
Before then, Cartier had established itself as an esteemed jeweler, with no less than King Edward VII of England calling them the “king of jewelers, and the jeweler of kings”. Royalty and aristocrats were drawn to the Maison’s intricate, neoclassical jewelry.
By the 1900s, Cartier would merge their savoir faire in creating intricate shapes, bejeweled pieces, and accurate timepieces, into watches that wear like jewelry.
In 1913, Louis Cartier commissioned illustrator George Barbier to draw an advertising campaign showing a modern, alluring woman. His interpretation resulted in the Dame à la Panthère, showing an elegant woman with long necklaces and pearls on her neck, and a sleek black cat at her feet. It is with this illustration that Cartier’s designers would find their iconic mascot: the panther. In 1914, Cartier would begin creating one of their best known creations ¬— feline-inspired jewelry that until today remains one of their best known motifs. Through the design of Jeanne Toussaint, then Cartier’s director for bags and objects, Cartier released a ladies’ bracelet watch embellished with diamonds and black onyx, in an intricate pattern inspired by the panther’s fur.
This set the stage for Cartier ladies watches, whose combination of elegant forms and a menagerie of jewels has earned a global reputation. Flagship pieces such as the Tank, Pasha, and Santos have been reimagined in daintier versions for women; meanwhile, more contemporary collections like the Panthére and Ballon Bleu, have become the embodiment of luxury and enduring style for modern times.
Recently, Cartier has updated their beloved classics for the modern woman, with sleek and ergonomic styling and contemporary aesthetics. Yet, at the heart of each piece remains the design-led craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail that has made the Paris-based jewelry and watchmaker world-famous.
For women, a Cartier watch is more than just an accessory — it is a proud statement of their sophistication and discerning taste.
As with everything Cartier, their ladies watches are characterized by refined styling, ingenious use of shapes, and top quality materials. Here are Cartier collections with models especially designed for women.
The Cartier Tank has been an icon of timeless elegance since 1917. It paved the way for rectangular watches with its unmistakable design, which was inspired by the shape of Renault tanks used by the French army during World War I.
Named by Louis Cartier himself, the Tank Louis is the emblematic design that sets the standard for the rest of the collection. It features rounded brancards that soften the rectangular case, together with slim, elongated Roman numerals, and their now signature blue cabochon crown.
Over the years, the Tank has been reimagined with various takes on its rectangular design. The Tank collection is now home to the Tank Francaise, Tank Anglaise, Tank Americaine, all of which have versions exclusively designed for women’s wrists.
The Tank comes in a wide variety of sizes and metals, ranging from petite in a case size of 22mm to the larger with a case size of 33mm. The collection includes watches in steel, yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and platinum with the option of diamonds on the case brancards. Some collections like the Tank Anglaise and Tank Francaise also have models in steel and gold for a balance of laidback charm and sophistication.
The Cartier Tank has been the choice timepiece of many style icons such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Princess Diana, and Angelina Jolie.
The Cartier Santos was introduced in 1904, becoming not just the first watch from the French maison, but also the first wristwatch created for men, and the first timepiece created for pilots. Once again, Cartier challenged traditional watchmaking techniques by introducing a square timepiece when round watches were more common. It is also set apart by its exposed screws.
In its lifetime, the Cartier Santos has been reinterpreted several times. From the original Cartier Santos-Dumont, the Santos Galbee, Santos 100, and Santos de Cartier sprang. The first two had ladies versions. In between them, Cartier introduced the Santos Demoiselle, a petite square-cased timepiece with a dressy link bracelet.
While the current collections, the Santos-Dumont and the Santos de Cartier, no longer makes models exclusively for women, they are available in small and medium case sizes that can be enjoyed by both sexes. These collections are available in yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and two-tone options.
The panther was first used as a symbol by Cartier back in 1914, and feline-inspired jewelry has since become a staple of their catalog. But, it was not until the early 1980s that Cartier introduced the Panthére watch collection. This line of fine timepieces is presented with a trapezoidal case, and a supple link bracelet that wears like jewelry.
The Panthere was presented in mini, small, medium and large cases from its launch until it was discontinued in 2004. When it was reintroduced in 2017 with a more modern aesthetic, mini, small, and medium sizes were available (21mm x 25mm; 22mm x 30mm; 27mm x 37mm).
Its chic and stylish appearance is well maintained with a wide assortment of metals – from stainless steel, all-gold varieties, and two-tone steel and gold. One can also opt for models with brilliant cut diamonds on the bezel and lugs for added sparkle.
From its initial run in the 1980s until its 2017 relaunch, the Cartier Panthére has been the choice watch of “it” personalities. From Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, to Dua Lipa and Zendaya.
The Cartier Pasha earns the distinction of being the brand’s first waterproof watch. Introduced as a collection in 1985, it was supposedly inspired by a one off watch that Cartier produced for the Pasha of Marrakech, who wanted a water proof timepiece he could swim with.
The Pasha’s water-resistance is achieved with a screw down crown and a chain that attaches it to the case. Some editions also have a metal grid protecting the crystal and dial. Beneath this sporty façade is a classic face, with Arabic numerals and leaf-shaped hands. This blend of sport and sophistication made it the choice luxury watch of the 1980s jet-set.
In 2020, Cartier updated the Pasha’s design to suit contemporary tastes. The case design is slightly tweaked and given a high-polish finish. The Arabic numerals, blued sword hands and cabochon remained. The bracelet was upgraded to Cartier’s QuickSwitch system which makes changing the strap possible without tools.
The new Pasha de Cartier is available in 35mm and 41mm sizes, but smaller sizes remain at reach in the pre-owned market. As a collection, the Pasha is available in stainless steel and in three kinds of gold.
CARTIER BALLON BLEU
The Cartier Ballon Bleu is a relatively young collection, having been introduced in 2007. Despite its short lifespan, it is now one of Cartier’s best-selling collections.
“Ballon”, which means balloon in French, inspires its refined take on the round timepiece. It features a domed crystal, and a unique crown guard that encloses the round blue sapphire cabochon.
The Ballon Bleu collection offers a wide range of sizes, with the smallest at 28mm and the largest at 42mm. While the 36mm model is considered the largest size for women, there’s no stopping one from getting the largest case, as it lends a trendy, oversized look.
The collection is available in stainless steel, solid gold (yellow, rose, and white), and two-tone models that blend steel with rose or yellow gold. Its basic dial is rendered in silvered guilloche, but they also come in sunburst pink, blue, and silver, as well as in mother of pearl. Some models also come with diamond hour markers or full diamond bezels.
The Cartier Ballon Bleu has graced the wrists of modern style icons including Kate Middleton and Sofia Vergara.
Named after the French word for tub, the Cartier Baignoire is characterized by its distinctive oval shape. Taller and more elongated than the typical oval, the result is a minimalist design that is at the same time eye-catching.
The Baignoire was first released in 1957. Its refined design earned the favor of many Hollywood actresses, including Catherine Deneuve, Romy Schneider, and Jeanne Moreau. A choice between a diamond pavé bezel and a Clous de Paris bezel added an extra luxe touch.
Modern editions of the Cartier Baignoire come in white and rose gold, but previous editions are available in yellow, white, and rose gold. Diamonds on the bezel up the ante on luxury.
Cartier ladies’ watches come in a diverse range of styles, sizes, and materials, offering every woman the perfect timepiece to suit her taste. Here are the most commonly asked questions about Cartier ladies’ watches:
Historically, the Cartier Tank, Ballon Bleu, and Panthere watches have been the most in demand Cartier models for ladies. Steady demand for these models does not guarantee that their value will increase over time, but it does mean they will be easier to resell in the future. The type of material used for a Cartier watch is also a factor – watches made with more expensive materials such as gold and diamonds tend to hold their value better.
Most of Cartier’s ladies watches are water resistant to 30 meters or 100 feet. This level of water resistance is enough to make it splash proof, such as in cases of rain or handwashing, but is not intended to be used during water activities like swimming or snorkeling.
Cartier generally recommends a service every 5 years. This assumes that in between routine maintenance, the watch is stored properly and not worn in harsh conditions.
However, there are sme signs that the timepiece needs a service sooner rather than later. Check out our guide for Signs It’s Time for Watch Maintenance.