Thirty-five years after its debut, the Pasha de Cartier has been reborn as a unisex, design-forward timepiece for the 2020s, available in steel, gold, diamonds or all of the above.
Designed by the legendary Gérald Genta, the Pasha, with its memorable square-inside-a-circle dial design, earned cult status among men when it was introduced in 1985, but women soon embraced it as a stylish, powerful status symbol. According to an apocryphal tale, it was named for a bespoke timepiece Louis Cartier created in the early 1930s for the Sultan of Marrakech (“pasha” is a title formerly held by high officials in the Ottoman empire). Over the years, however, the Pasha ceded the spotlight to more popular Cartier wristwatches, such as the Tank or Santos; the name Pasha de Cartier was mostly used to tout fragrances.
The brand is using its new Cartier Watchmaking Encounters digital platform to give the collection a proper rebirth, with models featuring design elements that are faithful to the original, including its pared-down Arabic numerals; bold, oversized aesthetic; and its signature circular case framing a square motif on the dial.
In addition to the design details noted above, the Pasha is known for its chained crown guard: Unscrew the blue-sapphire-topped fluted crown cover of the 2020 edition to find a winding crown set with a blue sapphire or blue spinel underneath. (Buyers are encouraged to use the spot beneath the crown cover to engrave their initials.)
The watch comes on steel, gold or leather straps that can easily be changed with its QuickSwitch system, which is activated by a single push. The brand’s SmartLink system enables wearers to change the sizing of bracelets without the use of a tool.
The heartbeat of the Pasha, visible through its sapphire crystal caseback, comes courtesy of the 1847 MC automatic caliber, which offers resistance to both water and magnetism.
The watch is available in one of two sizes, 35 mm or 41 mm, and ranges from $5,700 for a 35 mm stainless steel model to $16,600 for a 41 mm yellow gold. A 41 mm skeletonized version will be available later this year for $25,300. (The collection’s most eye-catching piece is a 35 mm white gold style smothered in 13.47 carats of diamonds—price upon request, naturally.)
Pasha de Cartier isn’t the watchmaker’s only new offering. There’s also the brand new Maillon de Cartier collection of feminine timepieces that double as jewelry thanks to their alluring twisted chain link bracelets. Starting at $25,100, the quartz models come in all the colors of gold, some with diamonds.
Cartier rounds out its 2020 novelties with an XL addition to the 2019 Santos collection in steel ($5,850), two-tone ($8,100) and pink gold ($15,600), and a Tank Asymétrique watch in the Cartier Privé range, which comes in yellow gold ($26,400), pink gold ($26,400) and platinum ($30,000). A skeletonized version is also available in yellow gold ($61,000), pink gold (TBC), and platinum ($70,000). All Tank Asymétrique pieces are limited to 100 in each material.