In recent years, several high-end watch brands – including Audemars Piguet, MB&F and Richard Mille – have taken more control of their own secondary markets by refurbishing, certifying and selling their own pre-owned pieces.
Then, you have Vacheron Constantin, which has taken a different approach to this since 2005 with its Les Collectionneurs programme. Under this project, the manufacture sources for its vintage wristwatches and pocket watches from private collectors as well as auctions, restores them and offers them to clients.
Taking a similar route to Vacheron Constantin, Cartier now presents the Cartier Vintage collection, focusing on the brand’s unique shapes from the 1970s to 2010s. Following London and Paris, Singapore has just begun offering Cartier Vintage pieces to collectors here.
The pieces were sourced and authenticated by experts from the brand’s Image, Style & Patrimony department, in collaboration with partners including watch fairs and specialised retailers.
The range in Singapore – available at the maison’s flagship store in Ion Orchard – comprises eight pieces from four collections that are emblematic of Cartier’s horological designs. These are the Collection Louis Cartier, the Atelier de Paris MCHP (Manufacture Cartier Horlogerie Paris), the Collection Privee Cartier Paris (CPCP) and the Pasha High Complication Collection.
From the Cartier New York Archives (1935): A design for a large platinum tank watch that was purchased by Princess Louise Van Alen Mdivani.
From 1981 to the mid-1990s, Collection Louis Cartier was the collective name for all of the house’s solid gold watches – ranging from classics such as the Tank to unusually shaped models like the Baignoire (oval) and the Square Incurvee (rounded rectangle).
The Manufacture Cartier Horlogerie Paris, on the other hand, came into being in the early 1980s, when part of the brand’s watchmaking production was moved from Switzerland to Paris.
Holding a special place in the hearts of many collectors, the Collection Privee Cartier Paris focused on technically and aesthetically impressive pieces targetted at connoisseurs. It was first launched in Switzerland Italy in 1998, and then introduced worldwide the following year.
Including models such as the Tortue Minute Repeater (part of Singapore’s Cartier Vintage collection), CPCP watches have the following defining characteristics: cases made of precious metals, an alligator strap with a folding buckle, the inscription “Cartier Paris” on guilloche dials and mechanical movements.
A bit of a wild card and adding plenty of quirkiness to the Cartier Vintage collection, the Pasha de Cartier golf watch is a limited-edition timepiece from the Pasha High Complication collection. This range was introduced in 1986, and each of the numbered models are individually made from one gold ingot.
The Pasha de Cartier golf watch is a 38mm statement piece – to put it mildly – that allows users to keep track of the golf scores of three golf buddies and themselves. Viewed under four magnifying lenses, each score display is controlled via four pushers topped with coloured stones. Love it or hate it, it’s definitely a watch that helps to convey Cartier’s creative, colourful history.