Some examples: An (intentionally) imperfectly tied silk scarf signals that you are very put together but want to present as nonchalant. Sunglasses suggest you are observing, but maybe do not wish to be observed: a pretentious shield. Jewelry is pure decoration and serves absolutely no utilitarian purpose, and so suggests that you are (probably unintentionally) signaling some type of status. I know that last one is hard to stomach, but it’s true. It’s all psychological mind play.
So what does this Cartier Cintrée suggest? Despite its value, it’s far more low-key in its own way, than something like a Pepsi GMT. The Cintrée is recognized by far fewer people in the wild. It’s an IYKYK buy replica watches. Which makes me view it as an aspirational piece. But aspirational dressing doesn’t have to mean head-to-toe formal wear or full-look designer clothing. It’s fun, and a lot cooler, to use a piece from the first half of the 20th century and incorporate it into your 2023 everyday wardrobe.
I am sticking to my original MO (stated in the first article of this series), and including watches that aren’t as well known outside of the collector universe. Perhaps you are new to watches and curious about what’s out there beyond all the Daytonas and Speedmasters. Or, perhaps you are a seasoned watch enthusiast who will enjoy seeing a deep-cut Cartier watch being styled in a modern context.
First produced in 1919, the Tank Cintrée is one of the oldest wristwatch models in the Cartier pantheon, “The design is so iconic that it has basically persisted for over a hundred years now in relatively the same form,” explains Eric Ku – horological expert and cofounder of online auction platform Loupe This. The 1941 Cintrée featured in this shoot was leant to me by Ku. “It’s a really big watch, even by today’s standards. The fact that the original 1919 Cintrée – which is the exact same dimensions as this 1941 example – is 100 years old, is just crazy.”
The size of this luxury replica watches (44.7mm x 23mm to be exact) is born out of the design and fashion of that period of time in Paris. Lest we forget that Cartier is a jewelry house. They have always produced watches under the lens of jewelry and accessories which is why they were able to experiment so successfully with shape and proportion.
But the Cintrée has never been a large production watch for Cartier, “It’s definitely an aficionado’s watch. You don’t accidentally buy a Cintrée,” laughed Ku. From a design standpoint it’s relatively simple: It’s an elongated rectangle. But this watch is more nuanced than it appears. “There’s a slight curvature to it, so the proportions of the size of the case have to be right,” Ku says. “It’s still similar in spirit to the Tank Louis with the two parallel brancards.”
The signature on the dial of this particular example is in very small block lettering. Ku reminded me that this watch was made before the end of the Second World War: “Early Cartier has the block font, this dial was printed before the signatures were in cursive, and you’ll notice Cartier has brought that back in the last 10 years.” Ku went on to explain that the size of the signature is most likely due to the quality of dial printing at that time. “There are a lot of variants in early Cartier dials. They had multiple stamps that were all a little bit different.”
This yellow gold 1941 Cintrée is a stylish relic cheap replica rolex, evocative of old Hollywood glamor and men in perfect suits.The vibe is akin to Cary Grant in classic charcoal tailoring in North by Northwest, or Marlon Brando and his pioneering off-duty style comprised of white t-shirts and high waisted trousers. It’s Alain Delon in Purple Noon – not Hollywood, but so chic. Then there’s my personal favorite Lord Sebastian Flyte in the British television adaptation of Brideshead Revisited, which again, isn’t Hollywood (and was made in 1981), but deserves an honorable mention because it is pure glamor.