What Is Cartier Privé and what will be launched in 2020?

Since 2017, Cartier’s patrimony is enriched with the re-interpretation of mythical shaped-pieces and signed complications. After the ‘Crash watch‘ and the ‘Tank Cintrée‘, Cartier has decided to pay tribute to another legendary shape.

This year the newly called ‘Cartier Privé‘ collection celebrates its 3rd. birthday!

It is a fact that I never stop talking about Collection Privée, Cartier Paris, the legendary series that started in 1998 and ended in 2008. It was a unique collection of Cartier’s historic models, like the Santos-Dumont, Tortue, Tonneau, Cintrée, Tank Chinoise, Tank Basculante and many more. All these models were re-released, sometimes in slightly bigger cases to make them more wearable and all of them had Manufacture calibers by well-known brands like JLC, Piaget, Fréderic Piguet and even Renaut & Papi. The dials were decorated with details from the past, like the name Paris underneath Cartier and a flower rosette, just as many pieces from the thirties. Open backs were not common at that time and many of the new watches had a see-thru back, to inspect the beautifully decorated movement. Most pieces were limited to just 100 pieces and they were hard to find even right after the launch.


The Fine Watch Making Collection that started in 2008, was a completely different activity.

During the last years of Collection Privée, Cartier Paris, the company changed from a more design Maison, to new expertise; Haute Horlogerie Cartier had built a big glass manufacture in La Chaud-de-Fonds and hired a number of excellent watchmakers. Among them Carole Forestier-Kasaapi. She was the head of the Manufacture, the head of the team Haute Horlogerie and created several calibers. Under her supervision, a range of really incredible complications was developed and produced. From minute repeaters to flying tourbillons and from perpetual calendars to the amazing skeleton mystery movements. Everything was possible and Cartier did and produced everything. Hundreds of Journalists from all over the world, including yours truly, were invited to the new Manufacture, to convince the Press, that this is where Cartier is able to. Unfortunaly this high-end series was not well marketed. The cases were in general much too large and the number of new pieces, especially the amount of new Rotonde de Cartier models,  every year was simply too much.


Cartier’s Management changed. Mr. Cerylle Vigneron, for many years responsible for Cartier Japan, moved to Paris and became the new CEO of Cartier International. Important decisions were made and without going into detail here, the Fine Watch Making Collection faded out in 2017.

Cartier was always famous for its elegant watches and many different shapes

– 2017 Crash Radieuse –

and Vigneron saw that very well and launched in 2017, very quietly, the new series Cartier Privé, that started off with the ‘Crash watch‘ as the first model. You may have missed this start completely since there was not much publicity about it.

– 2018 Tank Cintrée –

The next year the new ‘Tank Cintrée‘ was launched as a skeleton in a pink gold case and a limited skeleton version in a platinum case. Amazing looking watches, where the caliber was build from scratch as a skeleton. Next to these high-end Cintrée models, there was a classic version in pink- and in yellow gold and a limited edition of 100 pieces in Platina. All three with applied numerals and mechanical Manufacture calibers.

– 2018 Tank Cintrée Skeleton in pink gold –


The differences with CPCP is, that Cartier now has its own beautiful collection of Manufacture calibers to choose from, instead of relying on sister companies and of course, the more modern approach, with various dials with applied numerals, make these watches different from previous collections.

– 2019 Tonneau models –

This year at the SIHH, we saw the third launch of Cartier Privé in the form of the ‘Tonneau‘, in platinum with a ruby in the crown and in pink gold. A very good looking dress watches, the model was even a bit smaller than the XL version we know from CPCP. But the show stopper was the ‘Tank Cintrée Double Fuseaux Skeleton’. We know from the Fine Watch Making Collection that Cartier can build a skeleton caliber but this movement is completely new.

In which direction the new line ‘Cartier Privé‘ will go, in my opinion clear; Cartier’s classic designs with mechanical calibers and build in wearable sizes. Personally I hope that models like the ‘Ceinture watch‘ and the ‘Tank Normale‘, that both were ‘forgotten’ in CPCP, will get a chance this time, to be re-released. Especially the ‘Tank Normale‘ in a wearable size, and preferable on a bracelet, would be a winner in my opinion. Next to ‘time only’ models, what has always been Cartier’s strength, I expect to see again, some of the fantastic complications, like the mystery movements, minute repeaters and may be chronographs, fitted in the historic cases that made Cartier, what it is today; the powerhouse when it comes to elegant and timeless watches.

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