There is a perfect Cartier watch for every occasion, and purchasing a PreOwned Cartier is an investment, financially and personally. A Cartier timepiece is a piece of jewellery engineered for perfect timekeeping.

Cartier for over a century has been the true purveyor of high-end jewellery and luxury goods to the aristocracy and royalty. Diana, Princess of Wales, owned a Cartier Tank, and the Duchess of Cambridge owns a Cartier Ballon Bleu. Cartier watches are favoured by designer Tom Ford, actress Angelina Jolie, and musician Mick Jagger. Cartier classics were also worn by Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Sammy Davis Junior, and Yves Saint Laurent.




Cartier has been making timepieces for more than one hundred and fifty years. They designed the first-ever wristwatch for the aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1904, which he dubbed the Santos! Thus a legend was born.

There are some characteristics, or watchmaking codes, unique to Cartier watches. These watchmaking codes have been present in all Cartier watch designs since the inception of the company.

Roman numerals. They radiate out from the central access and are black, graphic, and sloping.

Rail-track. The dials feature a design that resembles minute railway track lines.

Blue sword-shaped watch hands. The blue colour is iconic to Cartier. Each second, minute, and hour hand are paired to ensure the watch hands are the same blue colour.

Winding crown. Depending on the model, Cartier winding crowns are set with either a blue spinel or sapphire cabochon.

Winding mechanism. The winding mechanism is adorned with a seven-or eight-sided beaded crown, depending on the timepiece style.         

Guilloché Dial. The Cartier guilloché is engraved on each dial and has a sunray or wave motif. The decorative technique first appeared on Cartier jewellery at the start of the 20th century.    

Secret signature. A Cartier signature is placed at an angle in one of the dial’s Roman numerals.


The Cartier Santos 


The Santos de Cartier was designed in 1904 by the jeweller Louis Cartier for his friend, the aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who needed a wristwatch to tell time mid-flight, as pocket watches were not practical to use. The first production models appeared in 1911, and one of the first Santos-Dumont wristwatches, made by Cartier in 1912, is currently part of the historic Cartier Jewellery Collection. It is made of yellow gold and has one sapphire cabochon and a leather strap.

The Cartier Santos has an iconic square case with rounded edges, symmetrical bevels, and curving horns converging towards the bracelet. Uniquely, for a dress watch of its time,  the watch screws are visible on the bezel – although this feature is common now on many brands. The model evolved through the years with different styles, colours, and materials.


The Cartier Tank – the classic  


The classic Cartier Tank Must is one of the most popular models for women. Designed by Louis Cartier in 1917, the Cartier Tank takes its shape from the Renault FT17 tank used in WW1 and somehow manages to be rectangular and square at the same time.

The two parallel brancards are a signature feature inspired by the WWI combat tank viewed from above. The brancards were the treads, and the case the turret. Aligning the strap with the case attachments was a new design principle for Cartier watches. Other models within the Cartier Tank range include the Tank Louis Cartier, Tank Française, Tank Américaine, Tank Cintrée, and Tank SolarBeat.

Famous fans included Jackie Kennedy (whose Tank was bought at auction by Kim Kardashian for $375,000), Princess Diana, Michelle Obama and Andy Warhol, who famously said  “I don’t wear a Tank to tell the time, in fact, I never wind it. I wear a Tank because it’s the watch to wear.”


Cartier Ballon Bleu 


The Cartier Ballon Bleu was first released in 2007 and has the more conventional round case. Worn by men and women, it is available in various styles, including Roman numerals or diamond markers, automatic quartz movement, stainless steel, or gold. The Duchess of Cambridge is known to wear a stainless-steel Cartier Ballon Bleu.

The round Ballon Bleu case is domed at the front and back. An optical illusion of a domed sapphire crystal is created, by integrating the sapphire crystal winding crown into the case where it lies under a metal hoop at three o’clock.

Time-to-Find only connects with long-established, trusted dealers. Every preowned Swiss-branded watch comes with the dealers’ guarantee, validating its authenticity and provenance. Are you looking for a second hand Cartier watch for a special occasion? Contact Time-to-Find online today.