Cartier Brand

The Tortue Watch: A Perpetually Reinvented Timepiece

Luxferity, 11.04.2024

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Cartier Privé is the annual event for watchmaking enthusiasts.

Now in its eighth edition, this exclusive opus offers a contemporary interpretation of one of the most prestigious watches in the Cartier repertoire: the Tortue watch, created in 1912. It is one of Cartier’s major creations as the watchmaker of shapes.

The Tortue Watch: A Perpetually Reinvented Timepiece

It follows on from the rare watches unveiled in previous years, such as the Crash, the Tank Cintrée and the Tonneau, all of which have been redesigned with a single ambition in mind: dedicating technique to aesthetics.

This year, Cartier has chosen to introduce the single-button chronograph complication as well as the simple “hours/minutes” versions.


The Tortue watch was born in 1912 from a powerful creative vision, namely to create a dialogue between curves and taut lines. The new Tortue is faithful to the original design, but has been subtly reworked.

The Tortue Watch: A Perpetually Reinvented Timepiece

With horns stretched along the strap and a slimmer profile, the watch has flourished and been made lighter. Paying tribute to the very first model, it features apple-shaped hands and a rail-track that follows the iconic shape of the watch around the hour markers, making the dial even easier to read.


This new edition of Cartier Privé reveals an hours/minutes version of the Tortue watch in platinum or yellow gold. For the first time in t he Cartier Privé collection, there is also a platinum hours/minutes version set with brilliant-cut diamonds available in a limited edition of 50 numbered pieces. On the gold model, the dial has a finely grained golden finish and the winding crown is set with a sapphire cabochon. The strap is made of blue alligator leather and fastens with an ardillon buckle.

The Tortue Watch: A Perpetually Reinvented Timepiece

The Roman numerals on the platinum watches are rhodium-plated. The attention to detail creates a play of contrasts and nuances. The silvered opaline dial and winding crown are enhanced by a brilliant diamond set on the watch, a true jewellery signature, and by a ruby cabochon on the platinum version that creates a chromatic harmony dear to the Maison. Both these models feature a red alligator leather strap that fastens with an ardillon buckle, set with 25 pavé-set diamonds.

All these models beat to the rhythm of the Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding calibre 430 MC, whose dimensions have been adapted to fit the Tortue. The manual-winding 430 MC movement is one of the thinnest movements by Cartier.

Two versions in yellow gold and platinum in a limited edition of 200 numbered pieces, and one diamond set platinum version in a limited edition of 50 numbered pieces.


This new Cartier Privé launch is an opportunity to discover a new complication making its debut in the collection: the single-button chronograph and its Manufacture 1928 MC calibre. First introduced on a Tortue watch in 1928, this complication was notably reinterpreted in 1998 as part of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris with the sophisticated details we see today: blued-steel apple-shaped hands, a hollowed-out central seconds hand and triangular motifs on the four corners of the dial. With this version, Cartier dedicates technique to a rare and original aesthetic.

The Tortue Watch: A Perpetually Reinvented Timepiece


To enhance the legibility of the dial and make chronographic precision even more accessible, the rail-track has been placed on the outside of the Roman numerals. Free of any additional detail, the entire dial space is devoted to the two counters. Start, stop and reset: the three functions are concentrated in a single push-button integrated into the crown and is activated in a single motion. The movement is 4.3 mm thick, making it the Maison’s thinnest chronograph.

The Tortue Watch: A Perpetually Reinvented Timepiece

A complex watchmaking feat that can be appreciated by turning the watch over: the case back reveals the fascinating spectacle of gears moving in a high-precision choreography. The column wheel in particular is an essential component that regulates the functions of the various levers and presents a real challenge in terms of production and adjustment.


The combination of expertise and master craftsmanship is the hallmark of this calibre, with its exceptional finish and the curves of its Côte de Genève decoration highlighting the shape of the bridges. The levers, springs and bridges are bevelled, the metal is brushed and the wheels and barrels are rimmed. The platinum watch is characterised by its play of nuances: the blued effect of the counters, the silvered opaline dial and the rhodium-plated Roman numerals. It embodies the chromatic harmony of platinum and ruby cabochon so dear to Cartier. The yellow gold version features gold-finish apple-shaped hands, a grained golden-finish dial and a winding mechanism adorned with a sapphire cabochon.

The Tortue Watch: A Perpetually Reinvented Timepiece

The meticulous work of an elegant complication that is activated with a single motion, this watch symbolises the Maison’s constantly renewed ambition of dedicating technique to design with even greater clarity.

Two limited editions of 200 numbered pieces.