Cartier Watches – Quality and Beauty
If you know anything about timepieces, you’ll be familiar with Cartier watches. You may not have seen one, and you probably don’t own one, but if you’re a fan of quality craftsmanship, you simply must have one on your short list.
Not only are they well built, but they offer extraordinary beauty and classic designs. Their iconic Tank watch has been in production for nearly a century and their products are among the few that consistently appreciate in value over time.
Read on for the full Cartier watches review.
This brand isn’t new to the scene; the company has been building fine timepieces, often by hand, since the middle of the nineteenth century. Originally using all mechanical parts, their product line now includes highly accurate quartz movements, as well. Their case materials include gold, white gold, pink gold, yellow gold, titanium, platinum and a gold and steel alloy. Water resistance to 100 meters is fairly common in their product line, and their warranty is among the best in the industry. If you purchase one, you’re going to get a good, well built product that the company will stand behind forever.
While the company originally built only mechanical timepieces, their product line today includes mechanical movements, automatic (self-winding) movements, and high-quality quartz movements. Displays in the current line are analog, though they do offer a few sports models with chronometer features and multiple dials. There are also a few models in the company’s product line that are best described as complications, featuring beautiful and unbelievably elaborate (and visible) mechanical movements.
The appeal isn’t innovation; they leave that to other companies, such as Rado. That’s not a knock against Cartier; they do what they do very well. What they do is build solid, reliable timepieces with long-tested, tried and true technology. It’s going to work, it’s going to keep time and it’s going to run for decades. For them, and you, that should be good enough, and they’ll leave the cutting-edge features to everyone else.
The styling is legendary. The company focuses on traditional styling, but with an elegance that few other companies can match. Many of their models use gold, platinum and diamonds in their design, so these are not modest, unassuming watches that are going to go without notice when you wear them. True, they’re not going to be boldly colored or feature edgy, in-your-face styling, but Cartier watches are distinctive and unforgettable.
Most designs in the line feature basic two hands and Arabic numerals, but they also have many watches with a more formal appearance with Roman numerals. A few models have unusual dials or chronograph features. Their legendary Tank watch has been in production for nearly 100 years, featuring the now-iconic “square within a rectangle” styling. With several hundred models to choose from, you won’t have to look at too many to find one that you’re sure you cannot live without.
These are fine pieces of jewelry and need to be treated accordingly. They should be stored so that they don’t come in contact with extremes of temperature, caustic chemicals or anything that might scratch or dent them. You’re probably not going to store it in a drawer full of tools, but keeping it in a dark, dry environment and stored on a soft surface will probably keep your watches safe from physical damage.
Battery operated models will need to have the battery replaced every couple of years; this should be done by an authorized dealer or a qualified jeweler. Sports models, while rated to 100 meters for water resistance, should be examined by a jeweler every three years or so to ensure that they are maintaining their water resistance.
We’ll be blunt – the warranty that comes with watches sold in the United States and Canada is the best in the business. Your purchase is warranted for life against defects in materials and craftsmanship. That’s right; the warranty is unlimited. You likely won’t need that; most defects become apparent rather soon after purchase, but even if it doesn’t become obvious to you for half a century, you’ll be covered. You’re not going to find a timepiece anywhere with a warranty as good as the one that accompanies your purchase of this particular brand.
OK, given all you have read up until now, this part won’t surprise you. These watches are expensive, and at the high end of luxury watches in general. How much so? They start at about $2500 or so and currently run up to $150,000. For the latter price, you’re going to receive a gold watch that’s covered in diamonds. For the lesser price, you’re going to get a beautiful rock-solid timepiece with a lifetime warranty. Their several hundred models are mostly in the $5000-$20,000 range, though they do offer quite a few in the $2500-$5000 range.
For those who simply need the top of the line models, there are plenty of models available with prices that are north of $40,000. Of course, you get what you pay for, and when someone looks at your wrist and asks, “Is that a Cartier?” you know you’ve made an impression. Cartier watches aren’t for people looking for entry level designer watches; these are timepieces for experienced watch owners who want, and feel that they deserve, luxury. You’ll get it.
With their 150 year history, Cartier watches are also quite collectible, and older models can sell for astonishing amounts of money on the secondary market. That makes them a good buy, as your purchase is likely to appreciate in value over time.
You can’t buy just anywhere; the company prefers to sell them through a handful of company-owned boutiques that are located in major cities around the world. There are a handful in the United States, mostly located in the bigger cities. You will occasionally find them for sale at online retailers as well, though the company prefers to handle the sales themselves, as their exceptional service is part of the price of purchase.
These timepieces won’t be for everyone; they’re fancy, fairly formal looking and expensive. That said, they have 150 years of experience behind them, and Cartier watches are rightly regarded as fine pieces of jewelry as well as legitimate works of art. They offer a dazzling array of styles and materials, and if you want a watch with gold, platinum or diamonds, they can certainly accommodate you.
Their unlimited warranty for purchases within the United States and Canada is simply the best warranty you’re ever going to see on a luxury watch. So, they’ve got style, substance, great build quality, a legendary reputation and a product that will almost certainly appreciate in value over time. If you can afford it, you definitely need to consider Cartier watches when shopping for a luxury timepiece.