Cartier Tortue 2496Sold
Cartier Tortue 2496
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Slow but steady wins the race! The Tortue might not be as famous as the Tank or the Santos, yet it’s one of the most enduring and iconic Cartier designs.
At its inception in 1912, the Tortue was only the third wrist watch design made by Cartier, with the Santos-Dumont and Tonneau preceding it. Much like its older siblings, it stood out from the predominantly round watches of the time due to its tortoise-shell inspired design. Despite its long history, this model has only been released in small numbers over the years and is quite a rare sight.
This Tortue from 2002 is a lovely execution measuring 34 x 43 mm. The tonneau-shaped case with curved sides is executed in 18k yellow gold and features exquisite diamond detailing on the lugs and the front. This continues on the lovely crown, which is tipped with a diamond as well. The dial is executed in Cartier fashion; 18k gold covered with a layer of fine guilloché engraving. It features painted black Roman numerals, a closed minute track and elegant blued Breguet-style hands. This Cartier is powered by caliber 430 MC and a sapphire display case back gives a lovely view of this automatic movement, which has been expertly finished with Cartier’s interlocking ‘C’ monogram.
The watch comes with the original box and papers as well as a black alligator-leather Cartier strap with an 18k gold Cartier deployment clasp.
Louis-François Cartier took over his master’s jewellery workshop in 1847. Over the years, his sons and grandsons inherited the family business and expanded the brand by opening shops in New York and London. King Edward VII of the United Kingdom granted Cartier a prestigious royal warrant in 1904, calling the brand “the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers.” Such was the renown of Cartier, that royal warrants soon rolled in from all over the world (among which, Belgium, Egypt, Greece, Siam, Spain, Portugal, and Russia). While Cartier is known primarily for its jewellery, it also has a storied history in watchmaking. Cartier’s first foray in watchmaking came in 1888, offering exclusively ladies models. In 1904, Louis Cartier gave his friend and Brazilian aviation pioneer Santos Dumont a watch to wear during his flights. Until then, wrist watches were worn exclusively by women and men opted for the traditional pocket watch. The ‘Santos-Dumont’ was not only the first wristwatch geared towards men but also the first pilot’s watch.