Have you ever visited a modern art museum and been stunned by the simplicity of an exhibit? Not in the way you would be stunned by Duchamp’s Fountain, but in a manner that makes you think ‘I could’ve done that.’ That is the sort of flooring simplicity that the Asymetrique plays with. And yet, I know that I couldn’t have created this. Cartier’s Asymetrique is so much more than a simple tilt. As Steve Jobs said, ‘Simple can be harder than complex.’
Cartier’s Privé Collection has been lighting on fire the hearts of enthusiast in recent years, revisiting the heights of their past with a modern lens. The Asymetrique is one of its most whimsical-chic designs, released in 1936 and intended to make glancing the time on-wrist just that slight bit easier. This started as function, but became hallmark of French design esoterics. The Asymetrique was revisited 1999 as both left and right handed versions in 99 examples each, then 2006 with 250 yellow gold examples. This new Privé Asymetrique came in platinum, red, and yellow gold, in 100 examples each.
The Privé case is slightly larger and slightly thinner you might expect, 47.2x26mm and just 6mm tall here in rose gold. The details are significant also, I just love how Swiss Made is wedged at the acute angle under 6. Then the two dots under 12 and above 6, just to make certain you get the right corner of the watch as 12 on your quick glance. And with a case like this, good luck finding aftermarket straps. I don’t think the Asymetrique can be evaluated by any kind of logical or even objective lens, it is an object of desire. It has been divisive since release, but surely all worthwhile art is.
This example is in strong condition. The case bears only light surface wear. It comes with box and papers from its 2021 production, from a well-regarded Shanghai retailer.
Find this Privé Asymetrique here from Woohoo Time for 30000 USD.