For Cartier, the Privé collection is a chance to revisit classic 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.

An image of the Cartier Prive Cloche de Cartier watch

‘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. §

Cartier Prive Cloche de Cartier watch