Perhaps no brand has a history with as varied and rich designs as Cartier. From the rigidly right-angled Tank to the crooked Crash, there are more shapes in the Cartier back catalog than there are types of pasta noodles. This steadfast focus on design is why we love Cartier.
Since 2017, Cartier has taken to reissuing some of its classic designs as part of the Cartier Privée collection: From the Cloche to the Tank Chinoise, well-known and, well, less-well-known AAA Cartier replica watches have been reissued as modern limited editions. It’s similar to what Cartier did from 1998 through 2008 with its CPCP (Collection Privée Cartier Paris), when it re-focused on its classics. Then, and now, these reissues have been hits. With that, we (Malaika and Tony, that is) thought we’d battle it out, each picking three historic Cartier models that the brand should bring back, right now.
So here are our six picks for UK 1:1 Cartier fake watches we’d love to see reissued sooner rather than later. Have other ideas? Let us (and Cartier) know in the comments.
Let the Crawford vs. Traina battle begin…
(1) Replica Cartier Tank Normale Watches
It’s always been weird to me that Cartier hasn’t really revisited the Tank Normale in the last few decades. After all, this is where the story of perhaps the most recognizable cheap Cartier replica watches of the 20th century began. Before there was the Tank Louis, there was the Normale. A bit more square, sharp, and rigid. Sure, it didn’t become the ubiquitous design that the Tank Louis did, but in a hobby that fetishizes firsts, doesn’t it feel like the “first Tank” should get a little more love, both from enthusiasts and from Cartier itself?
There’s no CPCP Tank Normale from the 90s or 2000s. And since introducing its Cartier Privée collection in 2017, Cartier’s begun revisiting pretty much all its classic Swiss made Cartier Tank copy watches – the Cintree, the Asymetrique, hell even the Chinoise in 2022. All the while, the original Normale sits in the archives, wondering what it did wrong.
Nothing, dear Normale, nothing! Sure, our Style Editor Malaika is about to show you some super stylish old Cartiers, but I’ll keep things simple, thank you very much.
And that’s why it’s time for the Normale to be restored to its former glory. Sure, I’d love a modern Tank Normale that looks like some of the originals, complete with Breguet hands and a beautiful brick or beads-of-rice bracelet. But for now, I’m getting ahead of myself – I’d settle for something more in line with Cartier’s Privee formula: limited editions in three metals (yellow and rose gold, and platinum), along with Cartier’s familiar Roman numerals and sword hands. Keep it the classic Tank size – 23mm by 30mm – and Cartier would have a modern classic on its hands. If the Normale was good enough for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, it’ll work for me.
(2) Fake Cartier Tank Basculante Watches
The high quality replica Cartier Tank Basculante watches is admittedly not my favorite Tank, but I’m glad that it exists. Or rather, existed. The Basculante is basically Cartier’s answer to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso: The face can be pulled out and flipped. The reversing mechanism of the Basculante is even a little fancier than the Reverso’s, though it was developed by the same company that developed the Reverso’s – pull the Basculante’s face out and a couple of arms extend, allowing you to flip the dial around. Or, leave the face propped up on the arms, and bam – desk clock! I’d love to see Malaika’s Obus Savonette do that.
While the Basculante can trace its origins to the 1930s, Cartier re-introduced it in the ’90s in a number of varieties, both quartz and mechanical, and then again briefly more recently. Most often, you’ll see the reference 2390 – a stainless steel Cartier Basculante fake watches for sale powered by the manual-wind caliber 060 MC (an F. Piguet base caliber). On most examples, the dial side flips over to reveal a simple stainless steel caseback. But on some of these Basculantes – thought to be sold through the Paris boutique – the caseback has a small cutout to reveal the movement, embossed with repeating Cartier Cs.
Enthusiasts have taken to these Basculantes in recent years. Perhaps the functionality just gives the anxiety-ridden among us something to fidget with, but I think the attraction’s a little deeper. In most cases, Cartier’s designs are simply design for its own sake. The Basculante is a rare instance where the design actually lends itself to something useful, in theory at least. If Cartier brought it back today, that’d continue to set the Basculante apart from the rest of its catalog.
(3) Replica Cartier Desk clocks, money clips, and other time-telling stuff
One of the things I love most about old Cartier is all the non-wristwatches: Desk clocks, purse watches, pendant watches. Back then, Cartier slapped watches in all kinds of other stuff, too: lighters, money clips, pens, and other random things that had no business being a watch except that Cartier (or its customers) thought it might be cool. China Cartier replica watches used to be some damn creative. It was the mid-century equivalent to today’s omnipresent digital clocks. While today, we can get the time on our phone, laptop, microwave, car dashboard, or smart dog leash (yes, a real thing); back then, a lighter with a clock might actually have some utility, telling you how long you’ve been on a smoke break.
I’d love to see Cartier revisit its history of non-wristwatch stuff. Sure, there are the elegant mystery clocks of the 1920s or Joan Didion’s Cartier desk clock (sold for $35,000), but I really love the quirky stuff. Throw a mechanical watch on a money clip or inside a roulette wheel, just because it looks cool.
Recently, things like the limited edition perpetual calendar pens (with a quartz clock in the cap and perpetual calendar along the body) have been fun, but the vintage – nearly antique at this point – pens with mechanical movements are even better. I get that it’s not really practical or useful today, but that’s what’d make it even more fun if Cartier brought some of these odd time-telling things back.
(4) Cartier Tank Obus Savonnette Fake Watches
The Savonnette is one of my all-time favorite “niche category” best quality Cartier super clone watches and oh how I long to see her rise from the Cartier grave of historical deep cuts. Frankly, it sort of feels as if I’m going head-to-head with Tony on his Basculante (which I obviously would have chosen had I gone first).
I’m not usually one for a square-shaped watch, and the Obus in and of itself doesn’t do much for me. But add a lid, with a little clasp that makes a delicious sound as it snaps shut. What I mean is, turn said watch into a concealed watch and you have my attention.
Top replica Cartier Cabriolet (or concealment) watches are a whole genre that I spend a lot of time thinking about. It all started a few years ago when I spotted a Patek Philippe ref. 5099 Gondolo Cabriolet at an auction preview. A pink and white gold square-shaped concealed wristwatch that wasn’t getting much attention. But I was fascinated. Was this a watch or a teeny tiny compact mirror?
I soon discovered the Savonnette, which was originally launched in 1929 and it was much easier for me to fixate on because the Savonnette is entirely yellow gold and features 5 (!) cabochon sapphires. Push the lower pair of sapphires to release the cover and splendor in your immaculately preserved dial.
(5) Cartier Santos Octagon Replica Watches
Here is a watch that ticks all of my boxes: Available in yellow gold, check. Smaller case size available with either quartz or automatic movement, check. Unusual, off-beat, and not super recognizable (aka discreet), check.
The Santos Octagon is high up on my ever-expanding hot Swiss movements Cartier fake watches from the 90s wishlist. Watch dealer Zoe Ableson also shares similar sentiments of endearment for the Octagon. But Zoe, unlike myself, actually owns one. She inherited the watch from her grandmother and I had a good giggle when reading her 4+1 for Hodinkee where she recounts the story of grandma replacing the automatic movement for quartz in the watch because “she wanted it for convenience”. Zoe and I texted one another countless versions of the Octagon this morning. Stainless steel with lapis dial, yellow gold with ferrite dial and gem-set bezel, full pavé!
While I long for the days of Santos ref. 2961 it would be so fun to see Cartier bring back this super distinctive octagonal variation. I love that this smaller size was available with an automatic movement. All of the mechanical versions have tiny bubble backs which feel super retro but I would happily take a bubble back case if it meant I could finally have small, design-driven Cartier replica watches wholesale with mechanical movements.
(6) Fake Cartier Ceinture and Cristallor Watches (because I’m greedy and I want both).
I like both of these replica Cartier watches shop, and they are kind of, sort of similar. And if Tony can have a whole category of “time-telling stuff”, I can have an extra watch!
I try on the Ceinture and Cristallor every time there is a watch auction preview – both of these models seem to come up quite frequently. It’s all part of my little auction preview Sunday routine: Buy a giant coffee, stroll over to 71st Street and York Avenue, talk to all the specialists at length about our general wrath towards stainless steel sports watches and then hit the “affordable” online auction booth. And every time I try on a Cartier Ceinture or Cristallor I do the usual, “OK, this time I will bid” spiel.
There’s something about the strong geometry on both of these Cartier fake watches site that is so quintessentially ’70s; like Ligne Roset Togo couches and Kartell magazine racks. But if I really did have to pick between these two I would wholeheartedly go Ceinture. It has a few little details that make it that little bit more special. Yes, I know I just told you I don’t like square watches but this one has had the corners cut off which technically makes it an octagon. The crown, also octagonal, sits perfectly framed in between the stepped bezel, adding another layer of perfect geometry to the watch.
The best replica Cartier Ceinture watches (ceinture means belt in French) was first launched in 1927 and then reproduced in 1973, as part of the Louis Cartier collection, in two different case sizes: 25 mm and 27 mm. The following year a 31 mm version came out. The shape is supposed to be reminiscent of a belt buckle and while I’m not entirely sure I see that, what I do see is the classic Cartier quest for balance and perfectly pure geometry.
I like to think of the Ceinture as a design person’s timepiece. In fact, Valentino Garavani, the Italian Fashion designer and founder of the Valentino brand, owned a Ceinture. He was captured wearing his yellow gold version in a polaroid taken by Andy Warhol in 1978. Need I say more?