The new Clé de Cartier watch comes in 40mm, for men, and in 31 and 35mm for women. We focus today on the two models for men.

A Cartier timepiece is always a work in three dimensions, a quasi-architectural exercise. Clé de Cartier is no exception. In one graceful swoop, it introduces a new element into the maison’s watchmaking vocabulary: the tightly-drawn curve. In profile, it is arched, streamlined and sleek, organic and ergonomic. Its sensual shape fits snugly to the wrist, providing ease and congeniality to the wearer. The element that gives the new model its name: its jewel-like, key-like crown.

For the conception of Clé de Cartier, the challenge was clear: to create a new form based on a perfect circle. A task that may at first appear effortless. But, what seems straightforward is often deceptively so. The result: shapes reduced to their essence, seamless flow, sharp edges eliminated, rounded bezel, smoothly tapered horns.

 

Cartier Clé 40mm

Clé de Cartier, 40mm, white gold and pink gold 18ct. © Cartier

Cartier has a rich history of creating innovative crowns and Clé de Cartier firmly upholds that heritage. This time, it is not only one of the watch’s most distinctive features, but also the inspiration for its name. ‘Clé’ in French means key, and the crown’s resemblance to one is unmistakable. The act of resetting the time and date introduces a new gesture to the world of watchmaking — one that recalls the traditional turning of a key to wind up a clock.

 

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The act of resetting the time and date introduces a new gesture to the world of watchmaking, one that recalls the traditional turning of a key to wind up a clock. © Cartier

Its sizeable dimensions make the crown easy to handle. But, functionality is not its sole asset. It is also an exquisite object in its ownright. Elongated and pure, it is adorned with a sapphire that is not set in a classical manner. Instead, it is ingeniously inserted to remain flush with the metal surrounding it.

 The new indexed winding mechanism combines both facility and conviviality. It incorporates a system that allows the time to be set with great ease. After making adjustments, it is possible to push the crown back in place and return it to its vertical position without the hands moving. The exercise is accompanied by a gentle clicking noise.

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‘Clé’ in French means key, and the crown’s resemblance to one is unmistakable. © Cartier

The new 1847 MC movement was developed, fabricated and assembled by the craftsmen of the Cartier manufacture in Switzerland. Its name was not chosen by chance. The numerals indicate the year of the maison’s creation. With a 25.6 diameter, it was imagined according to the same design principles as the case itself: a pared-down approach and a focus On efficiency. The incorporation of a particularly rapid barrel provides chronometric stability. Its automatic mechanism with a dual-direction winding mechanism is endowed with robustness and durability thanks to a specially conceived lever system. Decorated with “vagues de Genève”, it boasts a semi-instantaneous date indicator and a 42-hour power reserve too.