Have been any watchmakers having a greater time than these working at Cartier’s London wing throughout the late ‘60s and early ‘70s? Channeling the free-wheeling and fun-loving Swinging Sixties, Cartier London took its most off-the-wall concepts and by no means bothered to easy the perimeters. Actually: the watch that has develop into each a brand new superstar favourite and public sale famous person, the freakishly curvy Cartier Crash, got here out of Cartier London in 1967. And some years later, in 1973, the identical department designed and launched the “Pebble” (or “Baseball”). One small downside: solely six Pebbles have been ever launched.
That stinks. Like many Cartier timepieces, the Pebble is the kind of watch we desperately want extra of. It seems to be like no different piece in existence, actually. The case itself isn’t oddly formed, however sticking a baseball-diamond-shaped dial in its middle is a reasonably iconoclastic design transfer. It’s the type of watch that might match proper in at a black-tie gala, have been it truly in manufacturing. Fortunately Cartier introduced on Monday that it’s bringing again the Pebble. The watch will nonetheless be loads exhausting to seek out—Cartier solely plans to provide 150 of them—but it surely’s higher than the half dozen presently in existence.
Cartier is re-releasing the Pebble on the precise proper second. The jeweler’s watch division is flourishing proper now, largely on the power of its historic fashions. And in case you begin in search of markers of Cartier’s current resurgence, you’ll shortly discover the Pebble. Final 12 months, two Pebbles offered at public sale: one for $254,343 and the opposite for roughly $405,000(truly 403,200 Swiss francs), setting a document for the mannequin.
Cartier’s technique seems to be working: this 12 months, the model overtook Omega to develop into the second-largest watchmaker on the planet, behind solely Rolex when it comes to gross sales. (To be truthful, it’s nonetheless a fairly hole to the highest, with Rolex $8.1 billion in comparison with Cartier’s $2.4.) In 2015, the model created what it calls its Privé Assortment, which is the place as soon as out-of-production items are introduced again to life. Over time, Cartier’s resurrected fan favorites just like the Asymétrique, the Cloche, and the Tonneau. These watches are successful totally on bizarre. The Asymétrique seems to be continuously jumbled, sliding off a slope. The Cloche sits like an upturned bell on the wrist. Every one among these watches has been an prompt hit amongst collectors. Whereas the Pebble isn’t formally a part of the Privé line, it represents one other distinctive watch from the archives that definitely received’t sit lengthy at retailers.