The Art of Craft: Cartier Releases an Updated Version of Its Cult Pasha de Cartier Watch

The timepiece, which was first released in 1985, became known for its graphic “square within a circle” design.

Pasha de Cartier. Photo courtesy Cartier.
Pasha de Cartier. Photo courtesy Cartier.

In 1985, the famed Swiss watchmaker Gérald Genta—whose work Christie’s New York once called the “Fabergé of watches”—collaborated with Cartier to produce Pasha de Cartier, a wristwatch for the French luxury house that paved the way for bold, graphic design. 

Its face featured, for the first time, a square seconds track laid over a round dial surrounded by four oversized Arabic numerals, and together, the design elements collectively introduced a distinctly modern effect that turned out a cult following.

Ever since then, the model has continued to be one of Cartier’s most recognized and desired watches.  

The original Pasha design from 1985. Photo courtesy Cartier.

The original Pasha design from 1985. Photo courtesy Cartier.

The original design also featured a gold cage-style dial cover, which reminded watch lovers of the covers used to protect timepieces in the early 20th century during wartime.

Interestingly, the initial edition of the Pasha watch was one of the world’s first waterproof timepieces, its design specifications based on a custom piece that was reportedly specially requested in 1932 by El Glaoui, the Pasha of Marrakech.

On September 4, Cartier will introduce an updated version of the watch and its signature “square within a circle” design in several new styles—each of which is also unisex, with interchangeable straps, a sapphire crystal caseback, a new crown and personalized engraving. For the first time, its movement, the in-house crafted the 1847 MC automatic calibre, will be visible. 

Four new Pasha styles. Photo courtesy Cartier.

Four new Pasha styles. Photo courtesy Cartier.

The newest versions come in two sizes (36mm and 41mm) and are available in stainless steel or gold. (Both are more or less the same, their only main difference being the date window on the slightly larger version, lodged between the 4 and 5’o clock notches.)

The piece comes with both a leather strap and link bracelet, which are interchangeable. The most dazzling version of all, an 18 karat white gold piece, features 944 diamonds, which encrust the crown, dial set, case, and bracelet. 

Additionally, Cartier has received attention for its Pasha campaign in recent weeks, which features a roster of young ambassadors in the arts who are known for their forward-thinking work and creativity. They include Rami Malek, Willow Smith, Troye Sivan, Maisie Williams, and Jackson Wang.

A diamond-encrusted version of Pasha. Photo courtesy Cartier.

A diamond-encrusted version of Pasha. Photo courtesy Cartier.

“Since its creation in the 1980s, the Pasha watch has embodied a certain idea of success directly linked to its extroverted design, power and graphic nonconformism,” says Arnaud Carrez, Cartier’s international marketing and communications director.

“It is as edgy as ever and in tune with today’s new generation of creators. These new Pasha ambassadors owe their success to their differences, creativity, connection, multidisciplinary talents and generosity.”


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