Watches and Wonders 2024: The Tortue comes out of its shell as the star novelty at Cartier 

Cartier represents a new expression of an archive design inspired the turtle shell at this year’s Watch’s and Wonders, Gloria Fung reports

With more than a century and a half of history and archive to draw back on, Cartier finds inspiration in its legacy and has made modern classics out of its own historic icons over the past several years. The likes of the Panthere and last year’s Baignoire bangle offer unique insights into the house’s past while redefining what the modern jewellery watch represents for women. 

This year, Cartier revives yet another dormant design from its historic lineup of timepieces, once again setting into motion a fresh interpretation of a silhouette that marks a departure from the conventional round dial. The Cart Tortue was the third watch the house ever designed and first made an appearance in its catalogue and boutiques in 1912.

Cartier Privé Tortue Monopusher Chronograph

Added to the Maison’s Privé lineup, the design is presented in two iterations, the time-only and the monopusher chronograph, at this year’s Watches and Wonders. 

The Tortue, which means turtle in French, has seen re-editions over the years. It was most notably the silhouette used to house Cartier’s monopusher chronograph movement built in collaboration with watchmakers F.P. Journe, De Bethune’s Danis Flageolet and Vianney Halter in 1998.

Cartier Privé Tortue in platinum with diamonds

The new Tortue Monopusher is powered by a Cartier manual calibre with a 44-hour power reserve. The single pusher, which doubles as the crown, stops and starts the two time-tracking subdials of the chronograph. 

This year’s rendition of the Tortue Monopusher is presented in platinum or yellow gold, each presented in a limited 200-piece run. 

Cartier Privé Tortue

Measuring 43.7 mm x 34.8 mm, the piece comes slightly larger than the time-only version, which measures 42.4 mm x 32.9 mm. In platinum or gold, a third version of the time-only iteration of the platinum version features diamonds set around the case. The metal designs are limited to 200 numbered pieces, while only 50 are available with diamonds.

Both references come complete with alligator leather straps, blue for the gold version and burgundy for the platinum pieces. 

Also see: Watches and Wonders 2024: Montblanc dives into the extreme with new zero-oxygen watch

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