The Saga of the Pasha de Cartier

Join us in retracing the Pasha collection’s journey through the ages

A new Pasha de Cartier model in yellow gold

Maison Cartier is, if anything, a non-conformist creative tour de force. Through the years, many of its most iconic creations have become defining moments in watchmaking history: From the legendary Santos de Cartier wristwatch, to the intricate Tank watches and more.

But this year, the spotlight shines on a rather new family of watches, the Pasha de Cartier. With a poetic origin story and an emblematic design, the Pasha has gained a cult following of its own ever since it debuted in the middle of the 1980s. Famously named after the last and greatest Pasha of Marrakech, who was renowned as a lover of fine watchmaking and lifelong customer of Louis Cartier, the Pasha collection has grown, matured and expanded to become the powerhouse that it is today.

The redesigned crown of the latest Pasha de Cartier

This story, as mentioned earlier, started back in the 1980s, and continues well into 2020. Below are highlights from the Pasha’s saga…

Debut: 1985

The Pasha 38 (1985)

The design of the Pasha de Cartier can be traced back to an archival design from 1943. It features powerful lines, a grid, Arabic numerals, a crown cover and clous carré motif. This design became the base for the Pasha when it debuted in 1985. With its round case, the Pasha stood out among Cartier’s oval and rectangle designs. Moving inwards, the dial then displayed a square filigree rail-track. This “square-inside-a-circle” design would become one of the most recognizable hallmarks of the Pasha collection, along with the chained crown and the four bold Arabic numeral indexes at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock.


Growth: The 1990s

The Pasha C (1995)

Following a successful debut, the Pasha collection started to incorporate new features and introduce new models. To reinforce its sporty appeal, steel was introduced as a case material. Then, to appeal to a younger crowd, Cartier introduced the Pasha C, which came in a smaller case—35mm—and a sporty H-link bracelet in 1995.

Several models were then introduced in 1997 in conjunction with Cartier’s 150th anniversary, including the limited-edition Cartier Pasha 150th Anniversary in steel. And speaking of limited releases, the end of the 1990s also saw numerous editions of the Pasha released under the CPCP—Collection Privée, Cartier Paris—umbrella. Of particular note was the Cartier Pasha CPCP Tourbillon powered by the caliber 490 MC movement and featuring a prominent double-C logo on the dial. On the other end of the spectrum was the Cartier Day & Night, inspired by Cartier’s iconic Mystery Clock.


Going on 20: The 2000s

The Pasha Seatimer (2006)

From the year 2000 and onwards, Cartier’s watchmaking journey took a huge leap forward. For the Pasha, in particular, this was also a period of progress, especially with 2005 marking the 20th anniversary of the original Pasha.

A hallmark of this milestone was the release of the Pasha 42. The next year saw the release of the Pasha Seatimer, the sportiest iteration of the model at the time, which built upon the dive watch elements of the original design and added a rubber strap.


The Pasha today: 2020 and onward

At the beginning of 2020, while the world was reeling from the biggest health crisis in living memory, Cartier was among the brands showcasing its new novelties at the online Watches & Wonders Geneva 2020 fair. And, of course, there were plenty of Pasha watches on display: There were steel cases, models in various hues of gold, variants incorporating fine jewelry and even skeletonized Pasha watches. Interchangeable straps were added, along with sapphire crystal case-backs, personalized engraving and innovative straps adapted from Cartier’s QuickSwitch system.

At the same time, the Pasha de Cartier stayed true to its roots. With their square filigree rail-track in the circle of the dial, four bold Arabic numerals and the new chained crown, these new watches were unmistakably Pasha.

The QuickSwitch bracelet

This year also saw one of the most special campaigns for the Pasha de Cartier, featuring five well-known personalities that embody the Pasha’s spirit. There’s Academy Award-winner Rami Malek, singer-songwriter and actor Troye Sivan, singer and activist Willow Smith, English-actress Maisie Williams and Chinese rapper-singer-dancer Jackson Wang.

And now, as 2020 comes to a close, Cartier continues to celebrate the extroverted designs, non-conformist aesthetics and the edgy vibes that defined the Pasha.

The crystal case-back
of the new Pasha watches