A triumphant return for the Pasha de Cartier

The Pasha de Cartier Family continues to grow in 2022 with an impressive array of new dials, complications and—most excitingly—the return of the collection’s historical grid

For the past couple years or so, the Pasha de Cartier has been at the forefront of Maison Cartier’s horological offerings. While the collection has always had a loyal following, the famous Pasha is certainly getting more attention these days … and 2022 is no different as a slew of exciting variants of the famed watch has been rolled out since this year’s edition of Watches and Wonders Geneva.
Like so many of Cartier’s creations, the Pasha de Cartier has a rich in history, where the brand’s ever-evolving craftsmanship continues to push the collection ever forward in keeping with the advances in watchmaking, all while paying tribute to its origins and its transformation through the decades. The Pasha’s history, as many fans of Cartier undoubtedly know by heart, officially began in 1985 when its first iteration was launched. But its origins go even further back, as the watch was famously named after Pasha El Glaoui of Marrakesh—a notable collector of watches and one of Cartier’s most loyal customers from the 1920s up to the 1950s.
The hallmarks of the Pasha de Cartier have also been well-established since its debut: the “square-inside-a-circle” design, the chained crown and the four bold Arabic numeral indexes at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. New features have been introduced ever since—from the smaller Pasha C from the 1990s to the sporty Pasha Seatimer from the early 2000s—but the basic elements that has made the Pasha de Cartier instantly recognizable have always remained. Fast forward to this year, and Maison Cartier solidifies the Pasha’s status as an “extrovert” watch. A small yet intriguing addition to the collection is the charms: small pendants with a double C, heart or eye motif that can be clipped on to the crown cover.

For the more mechanically-inclined watch connoisseur, the Cartier Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds proudly presents the Moonphase, Skeleton and Flying Tourbillon Pasha de Cartier watches, each of them powered by an iconic mechanical movement.
The original and chronograph variants of the Pasha de Cartier, meanwhile, are now offered with an anthracite dial. This new aesthetic certainly enhances the strong design codes of the former and reinforces the play on contrasts that defines the visual flair of the latter. And finally, there’s this year’s pièce de résistance: The Pasha de Cartier Grille…
The lineage of the Pasha de Cartier Grille goes beyond the aforementioned “square-inside-a- circle,” chained crown and numerals, as it is a nod to yet another part of the Pasha saga that precedes its 1985 debut. To be exact, in Maison Cartier’s archives, there is a watertight watch design dating back to 1943 that notably features a protective grid placed over the dial. Today, the grid makes a triumphant return once again in 2022’s Pasha de Cartier Grille. As the name implies, the design features a removable grille that encases the dial. While the concept sounds simple, the visual effect is actually quite sublime, as the grid reinforces the watch’s strong graphic signature. But when the mood calls for a cleaner look, the grid can be detached—and later reattached— with ease thanks to a new system supported by four tiny clasps with a very complex spring to scale. Of course, there’s definitely a strong argument to leave the grille on. The yellow gold 41mm version certainly gives off a strong classical vibe—on top of the aforementioned highlighting of the Pasha’s signature aesthetic— while the two jewelry versions in 30mm and 35mm with diamonds on both the bezel and the grid make for the perfect statement pieces.

Maison Cartier has released an intriguing array of novelties across various collections this year, and in what has become a rather expected outcome, the Pasha de Cartier continues to make a strong showing for itself with its daring designs as well as its blend of heritage and modernity. From the polished classics to models with marvelous complications and the ones bearing the revamped grid, the Pasha de Cartier once again shines as one of the most exciting expressions of haute horlogerie in 2022.