Cartier Bamboo Coussin - Yellow gold - Ref 78102



Through the swinging sixties to the economically turbulent yet ultra-glamorous seventies, the journey for Cartier was just as wild as it was for everybody else.

1964 was the year that Pierre Cartier took his leave from this world, the last of that Cartier star trio to return to the skies above. Louis, Pierre and Jacques, the three grandsons of Cartier's founder, had spearheaded the exponential rise and international conquest of their family's brand. They were three brothers with a united vision, talent and determination, who - from Paris to London and New York - left the most phenomenal legacy.

They had built an empire filled with gold, pearls, platinum and diamond-set, heavenly dreams. Yet as with any empire, when its leaders fall, those heavenly dreams can so easily shatter into a million and one pieces.

Following Pierre's passing, the Cartier empire was sold and divided. Cartier Paris, New York and London would now fly solo, and whether each branch would continue to conquer their respective territories remained to be seen. This shake-up of Cartier's structure reflected the societal shake-up that was sweeping across London, New York and Paris. Cartier London would find itself in the beating heart of that psychedelic and heady riptide of free love, hope and promise. Yet under the expert guidance of Jean-Jacques Cartier, great-grandson of Cartier's founder, Cartier London rode and ever so slickly flowed with the immense wave of exalting change. 1967 would see the forward-thinking, 100% ahead-of-its-game Cartier London workshop release one of today's most hyped Cartier watch models: The Crash.

Cartier New York's aesthetic feel tended towards something a little more 'rough-cut' than princess. With the Love bracelet (1969) and Juste un Clou (1971), screws and screwdrivers became icons of the new luxury. The impeccably dressed Aldo Cipullo, born into a vast family of southern Italian jewellers, brought the Neapolitan flame of passion and creation to Cartier New York from 1969 to 1974. A flame of passion and creation, expertly shaped by the cutting-edge atmosphere of 1960s/1970s New York.

These were new kinds of Cartier dreams. This was a new kind of Cartier love. New dreams for a new era, a new generation - a new kind of clientele.

The Cartier Bamboo line emerged in 1970, possibly originating in Paris. Not as hard-hitting as New York, nor as crash crazy as London but rather a relaxed, stylish and playful approach to Cartier's long-standing romance with the delicate beauty of the Far East. The collection included fabulously bold, decadent and major statement-making hoop earrings, as well as necklaces, bracelets, rings and of course, exquisitely designed Cartier watches.

The watch

The Cartier Bamboo Coussin (Coussin being the French for cushion) was created in two sizes: a lady’s version with reference 78110 and the larger version (28.5mm x 36mm) presented here, with reference 78102. This particular piece exhibits a low serial number, placing it amongst the early versions of the watch. Rumoured that only around 250 pieces of the Bamboo Coussin with reference 78102 were ever produced, this timepiece is a little-known - and highly original - 1970s Cartier treasure.

18k yellow gold forms the incredibly unique shape of the case. The ringed form of a Bamboo stem gives the case its rectangular form, yet the normally upright and straight line of natural Bamboo has been given a distinct, organic flow. This piece is alive with movement and an unmistakable 70s groove. As Cartier's traditional railway minute track lightly expands outwards, the bezel follows suit while the outer lines of the case counter the move and flow flawlessly inwards. The crown at the 3 is particularly prominently beaded, a small touch of 70s glamour, and complete with a rounded, blue sapphire cabochon. The white lacquered dial displays absolutely no signs of age and, complete with its black printed Roman numerals and blued hands, is in perfect condition.

Two interesting features of the dial, which denote this particular Bamboo Coussin's early manufacture, are the vintage style font of the 'Cartier' below the 12 and the capitalised, uncommonly prominent 'PARIS' at the 6.

The two-part case is held together by four screws, visible on the brushed, remarkably clean caseback which, consistent with the era of its production, displays just one engraving - the reference and serial number of the timepiece, plus one hallmark.

The movement

Powering this particularly prized piece of vintage Cartier is the Swiss made Cartier calibre 78-1 which contains 17 jewels, beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph and gives the watch a power reserve of 42 hours. Calibre 78-1 is a round movement that displays Côtes de Genève decoration and exhibits a lever escapement, monometallic balance as well as flat hairspring.

How it wears

With the moves, the swing, that 70s groove of the Bamboo Coussin's whole entire design, from case to dial, this watch brings serious flair and style to the wrist. Fantastically prominent style and flair owing to its considerable vintage-era dimensions. There is certainly nothing shy or retiring about the exotically stylish Bamboo Coussin. Evoking a glamorous lounge vibe, with its natural Bamboo inspiration and 'cushion' form - cast in 18k yellow gold - this timepiece beautifully reflects the newly relaxed yet daringly stylish spirit of the era of its production.

The set & condition

This Bamboo Coussin is a rare, and highly unique in its style, vintage Cartier timepiece that is in absolutely incredible, original and untouched condition. Not only is the condition spectacular but the timepiece comes with its original box and Cartier yellow gold folding buckle, as well as its original and barely-worn, black Cartier strap.

If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium.

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 78102
Movement Manual
Caliber Cartier 
Dial White "Paris" lacquered dial 
Size (Case) 28,5 mm x 36 mm
Material (Case) Yellow gold
Bracelet Mr Watchley Smooth Calf strap
Buckle Cartier yellow gold folding buckle
Condition Very good, unpolished
Year 1970's
Papers   -
Box  Yes
Warranty 2 years


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