Cartier’s new watch pays tribute to the original 1920s bell-shaped design

The Cartier Privé Cloche de Cartier has been unveiled as one of Cartier’s key watch launches of the year

Cartier Prive Cloche de Cartier watch
(Image credit: cartier)

For Cartier, the Privé collection is a chance to revisit classic watch design and unusual models from the past. Now, the Cartier Privé Cloche de Cartier joins the Tank Asymétrique, Crash, Cintrée and Tonneau as the latest collection to be given a contemporary rethink. Unveiled this month alongside the Tank Must, Pasha and Ballon Bleu as part of Cartier’s 2021 watch launches, it blends the classic and contemporary in one subversive design.

First appearing in 1920, it was originally designed as a watch to be worn on the lapel as a brooch, its unusual silhouette reminiscent of a service bell when placed horizontally.

Close up of the Platinum Cartier Prive Cloche de Cartier watch

(Image credit: cartier)

‘Like many other Cartier watch creations, such as the Baignoire, Tank or Tortue, the Cloche is named after its shape,’ explains director of image, style and heritage at Cartier International, Pierre Rainero. A lesson in design, it neatly combines both the rectangular and the round shape. ‘The Cloche de Cartier perfectly illustrates the Maison’s approach to shape, how it is considered for its aesthetic whilst exploring all possible evocations. It highlights the Maison’s talent at playing with simple shapes and revealing their aesthetic potential.’


Offbeat design ticks make for an elegant functionality - the watch, when placed flat and vertically, stands alone as a chic desk clock. ‘These six new models feature some of Cartier’s strong watchmaking codes,’ adds Rainero. ‘The ‘rail track’ and hour markings have been adapted to the dial’s asymmetrical shape, and the crown is beaded with a cabochon – a distinctive jewellery signature of the Maison.’

The new models come in two versions, with a classic version in pink gold, yellow gold or platinum staying faithful to the original, and a technically accomplished skeleton version, its openworked dial requiring an intricate reworking of the movement within.

Close up of the Yellow Gold Cartier Prive Cloche de Cartier watch

(Image credit: cartier)


Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.