It was dandy aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont who talked his friend, Louis Cartier, into making a wrist-borne watch for him so it would be easier to see the time while flying. After a moving century-long history, in 2018 Cartier has reinvented its Santos.
There is a certain sense of irony in it: while trying on a new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore I realized during the 2018 SIHH that current trends seem to favor smaller watches. It seems that the watch world has finally returned to its senses with smaller sizes. And that is a good thing!
Unlike many tourbillon watches that come in fairly straightforward round cases, the Ballon Blue Flying Tourbillon de Cartier combines high-end watchmaking with a more daring and very comfortable case design. It also has quite a story to tell about the brand’s complicated pieces in the modern era.
When we talk about the age of a watch model, Cartier’s Tank deserves the place of honor. With its instantly recognizable rectangular case, this chic timepiece debuted in 1917, exactly 100 years ago. The watch has been in existence for an entire century! And now Cartier releases some new versions to celebrate.
As the resident gentleman of Quill & Pad, I feel that the time is soon approaching to write an obituary announcing the death of the dress watch. It is not that we didn’t see this coming, nor is it an isolated event, but it still hurts.
A discussion with fellow collectors that is bound to elicit interesting responses is two-tone watches. People tend to either love them or hate them. The lovers consider them the perfect mix between a sporty looking watch and a dress watch. People who don’t care for them may think of them as a weak compromise at best. What do you think?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several months, you are well aware that on October 26, 2017 Phillips conducted an auction in New York City at which the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona owned by Mr. Newman himself was sold for more than $17.5 million, a record price for a wristwatch of any kind. I was fortunate to attend the auction and its attendant events: there was much more to see and some lessons to take away, about both the current state of the vintage market and bidding at auction.
There was a time when viewers didn’t consciously pay that much attention to what kind of wristwatches movie characters wore. This often meant that actors wore their personal watches on set, sometimes even when it didn’t suit the movie. Today placing a wristwatch in a big film is big business, which also changes the types of timepieces characters now wear.
There is always something special about kicking off a new series of articles. It is like unwrapping a new notebook, sitting down with your favorite pen in hand, and beginning a new adventure. This particular adventure will take us to a very special part of the watch world: the so-called dandy watch, a word we will define right here.
Cartier Tank à Guichets: I hardly dare to say the name out loud. This is the Tank I have always dreamed of handling, but something I have never been able to do in all the years that I have been following “La Maison” to any possible event. But now I’ve been given an incredible opportunity to photograph one of these rare watches.