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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, the Tortue stood out from the predominantly round watches of the time due to its tortoise-shell inspired design. Despite its long history, the Tortue has only been released in small numbers over the years and is quite a rare sight. This Tortue from the late 1990s and early 2000s is a lovely lady-sized execution, measuring 21 x 27 mm. The tonneau-shaped case with curved sides is executed in 18k yellow gold and features an exquisite curved link 18k yellow gold bracelet with a concealed butterfly clasp and diamond set endlinks. The diamond detailing continues on the lovely onion shaped crown, which is tipped with a diamond as well. The ivory dial is executed in classic Cartier fashion, with painted black Roman numerals and elegant blued sword hands. This Tortue runs on a handy quartz movement and comes as a full set with the original box and papers.
Cartier 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.
- SKU 6555
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