As plain as the nose on your face, Cartier’s standing as one of this century’s most coveted watchmakers can be pinned to a series of faces at the beginning of the last.
First came the plump-faced women’s Tonneau of 1906; followed in 1911 by the first wristwatch for men, the square-faced Santos, made for what’s-his-face, Alberto Santos-Dumont. The rectangular Tank – why the long face? – arrived in 1917; proceeded by the horse-faced Cintrée of 1921.
In 1936, Cartier dropped the screw-faced Asymétrique, before three decades later unveiling what, let’s face it, must be the most idiosyncratic watch face of all time – the distorted, Dalí-esque Crash of 1967. All were defined by their boundary-pushing boat races. All in more recent years have been reissued after receiving a nip and a tuck.
Fittingly, then, the Parisian jeweller has curated a community of ‘unique personalities’ to front another of its highly-individualised timepieces – the relaunched, round-faced Pasha of 1985.
Alongside Bohemian Rhapsody’s Rami Malek and Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, New York fashion photographer Craig McDean was asked to shoot teenage superstar Willow Smith, singing-rapping-dancing hyphenate Jackson Wang and Australian singer-songwriter Troye Sivan.
The quintet of creatives, reads a Cartier press release, were selected because of their nonconformist spirit and unique brand of creativity. “By embracing rather than fighting the idea of being a square peg in a round hole, these guys resonate with the Pasha,” said aforementioned press release, referencing the fact that the original Pasha was defined by a square minute track inside a polished round case.
First revealed at Watches & Wonders in April, the reissued Pasha is a faithful throwback to its 1980’s forebear, retaining the same oversized Arabic numerals at three, six, nine and 12 o’clock, and the same chained, fluted crown protector. The crown itself is now tipped with either a blue spinel or sapphire, depending on whether you plump for the 41mm or 35mm option.
Both sizes are equipped with automatic movements, visible through sapphire-crystal case-backs, and a quick-change strap system, allowing you to switch-up bracelets – as well as change their lengths – without the need of tools.
The collection launches in China today and will be available throughout the rest of the world from 4 September. The family spans a variety of models – some set with diamonds, some with skeletonised dials – and three material options: steel, yellow gold or pink gold.
There is, in short, something to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Cartier’s Pasha collection starts at £5,100, cartier.co.uk