Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Auction Hammer – Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir 13

| By Martin Green | 2 min read |

In the last couple of years it has become a trend; watches that the high-end brands make especially for one or more of their boutiques. Often this results in unique color combinations and very limited production. Today we found such a watch, but this one is so much more rare….  

It’s a Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir Boutique Edition, but not just  a Boutique Edition; Cartier issued this watch in 1999 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of it’s boutique in Paris! The word ‘Boutique’ is actually kind of an understatement for the Cartier Boutique, because you could better call it flagship store. The store is situated at 13 Rue de la Paix, in a building that was purchased in 1899 by Alfred Cartier. In this very building many incredible events took place; from the remounting of the famous Hope diamond to the conception of many of Cartier’s now legendary watch models.

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One of those models was the Tortue Monopoussoir that was introduced in 1928. This one button chronograph, or Chronographe Monopoussour in French, was housed in a case that was shaped much like a tortoise, hence its name. During the course of last century the Tortue Monopoussoir was discontinued, but in 1999 it became available again, as part of the “Collection Privée Cartier Paris” or in short CPCP. This model had a silver dial and a yellow gold case. What makes the Tortue in this auction so special is the fact that it has a salmon colored dial. And what makes it even more unique is the Arabic number 13, indicating not only the address of Cartier’s historic landmark, but also the number of watches made for this limited edition. Nearly all other Cartier watches feature the Roman numeral at 12 o’clock, like the Tortue Monopoussoir from the Collection Privee, pictured below.

The Tortue-case has a very wearable size of 35 x 43 mm, making the watch contemporary sized without being too big of a statement. 1999 was before Cartier produced its own complicated movements, so this hand wound chronograph movement comes from an outside source, in this case THA. This company was founded by three Master watchmakers that now are among the most admired independent watchmaker; Denis Flageolet (De Bethune), Vianney Halter and Francois-Paul Journe. So even die hard movement fetishists can admire the beautiful movement through the glass back and still have with a clean conscience.

This very special Cartier Tortue Mono Poussoir, pictured in the first photo of this article, is lot 124 in Tajan’s Monaco auction, which will be held on August 3rd.

Make sure that before you bid you read our earlier report on Cartier’s Mono Poussoirs and a link to an excellent article by Cartier expert Geo regarding the subject.

1 response

  1. Love the looks. Must say, it looks more vintage than a watch which was issued in 99. To small for me to wear, but great ladies watch.

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