6 Most Expensive Cartier Watches of All Time

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Cartier is one of the most iconic luxury brands, known for its exquisite jewelry and watches. Since its founding in 1847, the French company has crafted intricate timepieces that are just as much works of art as they are feats of engineering. Over the decades, Cartier has produced many one-of-a-kind watches that fetch astronomical prices at auction.

In this article, we will explore the 6 most expensive Cartier watches ever sold. From bespoke creations for royalty to limited edition novelties, these exceptional timepieces give insight into Cartier’s rich heritage of expert craftsmanship and innovation in haute horlogerie.

6. Cartier Extra Large Tortue High Complication Platinum Watch

Price: USD$415,000
Dimensions: 48 mm x 38 mm
Case Back: Synthetic sapphire crystal
Case Thickness: 10.73 mm

Cartier Extra Large Tortue High Complication Platinum Watchphoto source: BQ Watches

This iconic Cartier timepiece truly embodies the essence of high horology with its meticulously finished platinum case and rare “tortoise” form. Beyond the elegant aesthetics, an impressive array of complications lie within—a perpetual calendar, chronograph, and power reserve indicator together create a functional work of mechanical art animated by the mesmerizing tourbillon at 9 o’clock.

The black and guilloche dial provides visual allure, while Roman numerals and blued steel hands make for perfect legibility. With only 15 ever produced, it exemplifies Cartier’s dedication to rarity and timeless design.

5. The Second Cartier Tortue Minute Repeater

Price: USD$640,500
Dimensions: 35.5 mm x 43 mm
Case Back: Cloisonné enamel motif
Case Thickness: 13.26 mm

The Second Cartier Tortue Minute Repeaterphoto source: Revolution Watch

This magnificent 1928 Cartier minute repeater demonstrates the evolution of horological scholarship, as it emerged just two years after Antiquorum auctioned another Tortue touted as the sole example from the era.

Within the refined tortoiseshell form, intricate rhodium-plating and 29 diamonds ornament the 12 1/2 ligne movement supplied by European Watch & Clock Co. The hypnotic chime signals each passing minute with an enchanting melody.

Though selling for over half a million less than its recently surfaced predecessor, one cannot deny this Second Tortue its status as an Art Deco survivor of extraordinary rarity and avant-garde beauty.

4. Cartier Extra Large Ballon Bleu Tourbillon Diamond Watch

Price: USD$888,247
Dimensions: 46.8 x 47.1 mm
Case Back: Round, doubly convex stainless steel case
Case Thickness: 14.8 mm

Cartier Extra Large Ballon Bleu Tourbillon Diamond Watchphoto source: Worldtempus

This oversized Ballon Bleu lives up to its name, commanding attention with its expansive case glittering with baguette-cut diamonds. Within the transparent case back, Geneva Seal certification reflects the movement’s impeccable finishing and precision.

Roman numerals encircle the captivating grid-patterned dial, granting a dynamic contrast to the icy shimmer of diamonds. The blades of the iconic Cartier “sword” hands revolve about the dial, directed by the graceful rotation of the tourbillon at 6 o’clock as it completes one revolution per minute.

Limited in quantity with a 50-hour power reserve, this Extra Large Ballon Bleu sparkles as a showcase of Cartier’s most exceptional and creative high watchmaking—mechanical artistry meeting a bold, contemporary twist on a classic design.

3. The First Cartier Tortue Minute Repeater

Price: USD$1,000,000
Dimensions: 23 mm x 28 mm
Case Back: Cloisonné enamel motif
Case Thickness: 12.73 mm

The First Cartier Tortue Minute Repeaterphoto source: Phillips

This storied 1931 Tortue stands out even among Cartier’s dazzling Art Deco era designs for its exceptional rarity as the first-minute repeater registered in the Maison’s archives. The left-side slide activates a European Watch & Clock Co. movement powering the enchanting chime, whose gongs ring out the passing minutes in a melodic fashion.

Within the elegantly curved case, the rhodium-plated caliber culminates years of refinement with Breguet balance and 18 jewels. Minimalist Roman numerals on the argenté dial contribute to the overall harmony and legibility.

Having graced catalogs since 1928, this First Tortue Minute Repeater represents the pinnacle of Cartier’s prowess in allying mechanical complexity with the graceful, ornamental aesthetic that defines its identity in high watchmaking.

2. Cartier Victory Clock For Franklin D. Roosevelt

Price: USD$1,600,000
Dimensions: 21.7 mm x 38.9 mm
Case Back: White enamel monogram
Case Thickness: 11.6 mm

Cartier Victory Clock For Franklin D. Rooseveltphoto source: Beyond Watches

This exceptional timepiece encapsulates a pivotal moment in history, gifted from Cartier to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 as a gesture of gratitude for America’s critical role in World War II. The onyx and silvered metal design incorporates five key strategic regions – New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, San Francisco, and Tokyo – with the hours adjustable independently to display each city’s local time.

This nuanced global perspective reflects FDR’s global leadership in uniting the Allies. With an 8-day power reserve, the clock continues ticking much like Roosevelt’s legacy and Cartier’s place in horology. As the most important clock Cartier has produced, it merges mechanical ingenuity with symbolic value that has rightfully commanded over $1 million at auction.

1. Cartier Phoenix Décor Secret Watch

Price: USD$2,755,000
Dimensions: 31 mm x 52 mm
Case Back: Transparent white gold
Case Thickness: 8.83 mm

Cartier Phoenix Décor Secret Watchphoto source: GMS

The Cartier Phoenix Décor Secret Watch is the most expensive Cartier watch ever sold, having fetched an astronomical $2,755,000 at auction. Encrusted with dazzling 80.13 carats of diamonds, this one-of-a-kind timepiece hardly reveals itself as a functioning watch at first glance.

Yet nested within the phoenix form, rendered in 18K white gold and accented by emerald eyes, lies a hidden dial and movement ticking away the hours and minutes. With its full splendor on display, this legendary Cartier creation more than earns its place as the crown jewel of the Merveilles du Nil collection.

With over 3000 brilliant-cut diamonds coating its frame, the sheer artistry and rarity involved make the Phoenix Décor Secret Watch a true pinnacle of luxury watchmaking and the ultimate expression of Cartier’s mastery of jewelry craft.



Head of Content at Rarest.org


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