Cartier is many things – classic, chic, and cool are just a few words to describe this brand. They have produced an enormous range of watches since their founding in 1847, including the Tank (whose 100th anniversary is coming up in September), the Ballon Bleu, the Santos, Roadster (RIP), and finally the Panthère de Cartier. I didn’t know what to expect this year from Cartier, but was glad to see that they had brought back the Panthère de Cartier collection as a focus for 2017. They have revived this classic collection with great enthusiasm, and in a range of metals and finishes.
The panther was first used in a watercolor painting commissioned by Louis Cartier back in 1914 (Woman With A Panther, by George Barbier) and Mr. Cartier liked the image so much that it soon became the symbol of the brand; later in 1914 the first "Panther" piece was produced by Cartier – which was a bracelet watch, set with onyx and diamonds. The Panthère de Cartier watch collection was initially launched in 1983, and was in production all the way through the early 2000s when it was discontinued. Cartier has reinstated the Panthère watch collection in two sizes, and nine metals and/or finishes.
The new Panthère comes in two sizes, small and medium, measuring 22mm and 27mm in diameter respectively. Both sizes feature the same square case with screwed-down bezel and linked brick-lay bracelet with concealed folding clasp. All are powered by a quartz movement, which isn’t ideal, but this watch is not about technological advances.
The Panthère is available in yellow gold, rose gold, rose gold with diamond bezel, white gold with diamond bezel, white gold covered in diamonds, white gold covered in diamonds with black enamel animal spots, two-tone steel and yellow gold, plain steel, and a limited edition rose gold with black lacquered links. The collection runs the gamut from very affordable models in steel, to full gem-set high jewelry pieces.
Cartier being Cartier, there are also several models which are more directly inspired by the spotted panther motif, which was extensively explored by Cartier’s legendary and charismatic design director, Jeanne Toussaint.
This is a welcome re-edition to the Cartier line, next to the Tank, the Panthère is one of the most iconic ladies’ watches. For more information, visit Cartier online.
Pictured: Medium Rose Gold, $23,000; Medium Yellow Gold, $23,000; Panther motif Medium, white gold and diamonds, $141,000; Small Model, white gold and diamonds, $81,000; Small Stainless Steel, $4,000; Small Two-Tone Steel and Yellow Gold, $7,350; Medium, Rose Gold and Black Lacquer, $28,900.