Cartier Platinum Pocket watch - Mother of pearl dial - Anno 1929


The Watch

While many know Cartier for its precious metal-shaped cases, Roman numerals, and sophisticated wrist presence, it's not impossible that some people know Cartier as the French manufacturer of extraordinary pocket watches.

Emphasis on 'some', as while it's true that they have consistently made pocket watches since 1866, Cartier has never been a large producer of watches for the pocket - they tend to favour being the solution for hands-free timekeeping thanks to a certain Alberto Santos-Dumont. Nevertheless, in the late 1920s, they produced this, and it's rather special.

Rendered in platinum, this early 20th-century pocket watch has a rounded case accented by an aggressive triangular pendant bow and a twelve-o'clock winding crown. Measuring 45mm in diameter, one of the only trademark Cartier features can be found externally, thanks to its cabochon-tipped crown. Complete with a solid closed caseback and in a mirror-polished finish throughout the exterior, the standout details of this pocket watch continue to excel when exploring its memorable dial execution.

Such is the individuality of this piece, If it wasn't for the Cartier signature at twelve, zero features of this dial hint towards the Maison's well-documented brand language known the world over. It all starts with a light-grained silver-toned dial, which acts as the canvas, with a raised dot track around the outer periphery with slightly larger instances for each hour. And then things go to the next level, as a mother-of-pearl chapter ring houses raised yellow gold Arabic numerals in a Breguet style. Indicative of pocket watches are the hour and minute hands on this piece, thermally blued and cathedral style. They're very much not ordinary Cartier, but as you've likely figured out by now, we're far beyond the realm of convention.

While there is a documented example of a pocket watch from 1925 with the same mother-of-pearl chapter ring, Breguet numerals, and cathedral hands, the platinum case has rock-crystal faceted edges, an open caseback, and the movement is a LeCoultre 139 rather than the EWC calibre in this example. This example was sold to the Maharani of Pudukota. 

The Movement

A European Watch and Clock Company calibre powers this 1929 Cartier pocket watch. The movement has 19 jewels and lovely Geneva striping throughout its bridges, accented by anglage. Many consider EWC calibres the most desirable movements used by Cartier for their build, accuracy, and finishing. The movement number of 17XXX can be found on the movement and the case, confirming the originality.

Confirmation Of Provenance

Below is a breakdown of the hallmarks and numbers found on this pocket watch that have been cross-referenced to legitimise its age and provenance.

      The watch's case and caseback carry a serial number of 21XXX, which, according to Cartier archives for serial numbers and date ranges, dates the pocket watch to 1929.

      The solid caseback carries two hallmarks. The first is a dog head, a known French hallmark for platinum, while the second is an Edmond Jaeger mark indicating the marker.

      The triangular pendant bow also features another instance of the platinum dog head hallmark.

●    A documented example of a pocket watch from 1925 with the same mother-of-pearl chapter ring, Breguet numerals, and cathedral hands, the platinum case was sold to the Maharani of Pudukota. 


Over its near 100-year life, this 1929 pocket watch has received a light polish to its rounded case, however, every element remains original, with the watch having once passed through the hands of a trusted authority on Cartier.


By the early 20th century, Paris, London, and New York were established as the three distinct houses of Cartier. Headed up by the founder's (Louis-François Cartier) three grandsons, this international spread of business contributed massively to the worldwide success of the Parisian jeweller and watchmaker. Jacques Cartier went to London, Pierre to New York, and Louis Cartier remained at the Paris boutique. Over the decades of their blossoming, each location became known for its varying styles and slightly nuanced implementations of its creations, and in our world of watches, nuance is everything. While watches rarely came out of New York, London and Paris became some of the most desirable, with the London location taking the spot for being the most expressive (Think the Crash).

The inception of Cartier's wrist timekeeping production was born out of a request from Alberto Santos-Dumont for a device that could be worn on the wrist while piloting his early aircraft as having to simultaneously hold a pocket watch was impractical, but that doesn't mean the Maison shied away from creating pocket watches. While exceedingly rare, pocket watches have always remained in production by Cartier despite never being a manufacturer famed for the production of such creations. Nevertheless, when they did make them, they were always of exceptional quality and often were one-off creations.

Something that may come as a surprise to some considering how the current brands are deemed competitors, Jaeger LeCoultre and Cartier's histories are closely intertwined, with Edmond Jaeger of Jaeger and Louis Cartier having partnered together in business during the 1920s, forming The European Watch and Clock Co. With Jaeger's expertise in movement manufacturing, this venture would continue throughout the 20th century, with Cartier pieces that feature EWC movements commanding premiums due to their elevated performance and quality.

If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. No stock is kept on site.

* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *

Reference Cartier Platinum Pocket watch 1929
Movement Manual
Caliber European Watch Company 
Dial MOP Breguet numerals
Size (Case) 45 mm
Material (Case) Platinum
Bracelet  -
Buckle  -
Hallmarks & numbers Deep & clear. 
Year 1929
Papers  - 
Box  -
Warranty 2 years


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