Special Order Eastern Arabic Cartier Tank Cintrée
Everyone wants to feel special. But when Cartier agree to make you dial to your specification, you actually are, by definition. We all aspire to be VVIPs of Cartier, that’s the simple truth. But the kind of buying history that requires is enough to make an oil Sheikh gasp. So instead, why not shortcut the entire drawn-out process and pay over? Honestly, if you just want the one watch, it might be cheaper than going through the loops with Cartier. Granted, you don’t get to design it. But that’s the only drawback I can see. It’s the kind of opportunity that only presents its self a time or two per year, but this special order Cintrée with a salmon dial and burgundy Eastern Arabic numerals is the best dial I think I’ve ever seen a Cintrée wear. It’s so individual, different, and bold, yet still works. It works exceptionally well, and I have a hypothesis why.
In design, they teach you the rules in order for you to then break them. In the first year, you’ll learn the nuances of a color wheel and just why complimentary colors are directly opposed on it. The closer two colors get together, the greater the risk is that the colors will clash, unless executed very thoughtfully. When you do put adjacent hues together, you do so in details that draw the eye in anyway, so that the color isn’t the first read. That’s the genius in this purple-heavy burgundy against copper-salmon: the eye is already drawn to the distinct Eastern Arabics where you expect Romans in Cartier, and so the the color is a secondary read. And there is a splash of complimentary tone in its blued steel hands and minute track, if you balance burgundy and salmon together as an average, that’s the correct opposite. Cartier have always been a design-first watchmaker, this is proof that they haven’t lost that edge. It breaks the rules boldly and nails it.
But there is a problem. I get the feeling most watch brands aren’t creating special orders in order to encourage creativity and bold experimentation. If that were the case, they’d just release braver specs of existing models in very small numbers. Individual personalization here feels more like a strategy to establish loyalty and simply increase revenue . . .a damn clever one, as it does so by making clients feel important. That really does work. Except when, as it seems, many end up directly on the secondary market, questions must be asked. I can’t shake the feeling the whole process is a bit contrived. Am I just old and cynical? Definitely, but I think I’m also questioning something that really does need to be thought about deeply by all of us. That said, anyone have a spare 100K to lend?
This example was sold new in 2023, so it’s still a brand new watch to all intents and purposes, said to have been worn on only a handful of occasions. It looks it. It comes with a full set from a well-regarded London retailer.