INTRODUCING: Cartier Pasha De Cartier
The French Maison continues to evolve the “cult watch” by taking a leaf out of its archives and endowing it with complications.
The Pasha de Cartier is perhaps as famed for its distinctive look as it is for the story of its rather mysterious origins. Although it is named after Pasha El Glaoui of Marrakesh, one of the Maison’s most loyal customers from the 1920s to 1950s, it wasn’t launched until 1985. The Pasha de Cartier that we know today resembles a 1943 watch with a protective grid guarding its crystal against bumps and scratches, but there is no substantive proof that this watertight watch is the same as the one created for its namesake. Nonetheless, all of that didn’t stop the watch from attaining cult status.
After a brief hiatus in the 2010s, the Pasha made a triumphant return in 2020, and Cartier is maintaining this winning streak by expanding it into a full-fledged collection. While the collection has been given several updates of late, it retains many of its characteristic features, such as its round water-resistant case, oversized Arabic numerals, and a screw-down crown cap with a tiny chain attached to the case. In a somewhat unexpected move, however, the Maison decided to bring back the protective grille this year, connecting the modern collection to the 1943 OG, albeit with a slight tweak.
Previously, a special tool was required to remove the grille, but Cartier has developed a system of tiny clasps and springs that allows it to be attached and detached easily so that one can wear the watch in two styles effortlessly. The Pasha de Cartier Grille currently comes in only a 41mm yellow gold version or 35mm and 30mm diamond-set rose gold versions, with the former two equipped with automatic in-house movements and the latter fitted with a quartz movement.
Cartier is also continuing its penchant for showcasing complications on the Pasha with three new 41mm models – Moonphase, Skeleton, and Flying Tourbillon – featuring iconic in-house movements. While the Moonphase, in steel or rose gold, flaunts its poetic complication with a midnight-blue planisphere strewn with stars, driven by the automatic Calibre 1904-LU MC, the Skeleton in black ADLC steel is a vision to behold as its self-winding 9624 MC movement brandishes bridges in the form of the watch’s signature numerals. Finally, the anti-gravity mechanism of the rose gold Flying Tourbillon performs its enchanting dance, seemingly suspended in mid-air, powered by the manual-winding 9552 MC calibre.
On the other hand, those looking for something less flashy would gravitate towards the new 41mm steel iterations instead. Available as a straightforward time-and-date or chronograph model, both sport anthracite grey dials that bring out the noble hue of the blued steel sword-shaped hands brilliantly and are powered by automatic in-house movements.
By virtue of its round yet distinctive form, we are confident that the Pasha de Cartier will continue to adopt more complications for years to come. However, after witnessing the revival of the protective grille in gold this year, we can’t help but hanker for a new version in steel.
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