Cartier Cloche Yellow gold
A straight edge matched with a smooth curve. Pure asymmetry, from a traditional point of view. A dial shifted 90 degrees to the right. Visual boundaries pushed, aesthetic rules bent. The Cloche certainly commands a fair few double takes: it is familiar yet unfamiliar, expected yet unexpected, it is absolute originality. It is Cartier.
Paris,1920 and the shackles of World War I have finally fallen. The air is electric with a need for the new, to create, for fun, joy, excitement, freedom in all and every possible sense. For Cartier, 1920 would be the year of La Cloche (The Bell). The inspiration for this creation: a call bell. Yes. One of those bells that would be found on a hotel counter, a shop counter and with a light tap would ring to signal a readiness to be served. An unobtrusive, unimposing, perhaps reassuringly inconsequential object - a far cry from a previous Cartier inspiration, the tank. A sign of the times. Simple, gentle and refined in its form, Cartier saw overlooked beauty and developed a diamond and onyx watch-brooch that reflected the shape of the call bell - the very first Cloche.
It would be a year later though when the real twist would come. The Cloche form made conventional sense for being able to tell the time for a watch-brooch. Yet this was the debut of Les Années Folles (the Roaring Twenties) and there was little appetite for convention. Quite the opposite. It was the time to be radical - and fabulous. Cartier switched perspective and made La Cloche into a platinum and diamond wristwatch, followed by a yellow gold version with leather strap in 1922. A sure-fire hit with the new, sharply-dressed personalities of the slightly eccentric and rather eclectic café society scene.
The Cloche is a relative rarity within the Cartier catalogue, making appearances throughout the years since its creation in the 1920s but always in limited numbers. A small number of models were fashioned between 1920 and 1970, while the 1980s saw a flurry of aesthetically creative quartz models as part of the Louis Cartier collection. A small but significant design change would take place with the next version launched in 1995. The two-hundred piece limited run in yellow gold would be produced with a brushed 6 ‘o’ clock side, adding a new dimension to the Cloche. No longer just a wristwatch but now also created with the option of being used as a desk clock. A Cartier model in continual evolution. 2007 would see the Cloche revisited as part of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris with the creation of just 100 pieces in yellow gold, after which the model would fall into comparative obscurity - until now.
This is the Cloche de Cartier, mark 2021. The most recent launch within Cartier’s Collection Privée. The collection, initiated in 2017, is the successor to Cartier’s prized Collection Privée Cartier Paris, which was brought to a conclusion in 2008. The Collection Privée provides the opportunity for iconic Cartier models to be brought to life once again, always of the most exquisite quality and in limited numbers. Cartier has already revisited four of its exemplary designs as part of the Collection Privée; the Crash, which marked the debut of the collection, followed by the Tank Cintrée, the Tonneau and the Asymétrique.
2021 is the year of the Cloche. Launched in September in three colour variations: platinum, yellow gold and rose gold, each variation was produced in just 100 numbered pieces. The original form of the Cloche has been kept, whilst incorporating small adjustments to accommodate the taste of a modern audience. One of these adjustments is the overall size of the watch. Measuring 37.15mm by 28.75mm, this is the largest Cloche ever made, yet still remains relatively modest when compared to its contemporaries. A nice touch to not drift too far from the charm of the original.
An inversion on the dial also alludes to greater space, the traditional Cartier railway minute marker track is unusually placed on the outer rim of the dial and the Roman numeral hour markers, to the inside. Both faithfully follow the form of the yellow gold case. The case is entirely mirror polished apart from the caseback and the 6 ‘o’ clock edge, allowing for this latest Cloche to follow in the footsteps of its 1995 and 2007 predecessors in its double functionality: wristwatch/desk clock. The polished yellow gold case is complemented by the champagne dial with a sunburst radial finish. The markings on the dial are in flat black and a secret signature features at the 7. The dial is completed with blue steel sword hands and the case is completed with traditional lugs and a sapphire cabochon crown. Gold is always gold. This yellow gold variation of the Cloche is the glistening epitome of pure luxury.
The 2021 Cloche is decided and strong in its unusual form. Sleek but simultaneously sturdy - the height of the case stands at 6.7mm - it has an aura of absolute confidence in its unconventional character. It is bold, very stylish and utterly unique.
The Privé Cloche de Cartier is powered by the in-house calibre 1917 MC. It is a rather small hand-wound movement developed at the Cartier Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds to accommodate the requisites that certain unique Cartier shapes require. It also powers the Privé Tank Asymétrique and the Privé Tonneau. Due to its intricate nature, it has a small mainspring leading to a shorter power reserve of 38 hours, which is however certainly compensated by the aesthetic feat of the piece. It beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour.
How it wears
Just a slight extension of the arm, perhaps a gentle incline toward the body, a barely-there glance to the wrist - and the time is yours. No major twisting or turning required. Refined simplicity and subtlety, there are distinct advantages to being a little different.
This Cloche has a solid presence on the wrist yet due to its not overbearing dimensions, novel shape and gleaming finish, it would be the ideal, eye-catching formal dress watch.
The set & condition
In pristine condition due to its very recent production, this watch is unworn and comes with its complete original set. The watch is fitted with a Mr Watchley grained navy blue strap to complement the watch’s blue steel hands.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment.
No stock kept on site
37.15mm x 28.75mm
Mr Watchley Grained Navy blue