Cartier’s most striking and emblematic shaped watches over the maison’s history—the rectangular Tank, the oval Baignoire, the round Pebble, and more—are the stars of the ongoing “A Journey Through Time” exhibition, held at Le Salon Cartier, on the third level of Cartier’s ION Orchard boutique, through 2 February.
Born out of the Cartier Time Project, a 12-part short film series starring the actor Jake Gyllenhaal released last January that encouraged questioning one’s relationship with time, the exhibition spotlights the original, imaginative and distinctive forms of Cartier’s watches and the maison’s history of and expertise in design and aesthetics, as well as its philosophy surrounding time: “At Cartier, time is not only what we measure, but also what we treasure.”
The tour comprises a screening of chapters from the Cartier Time Project, cocktails that encourage introspection with their thought-provoking names (like “Escape”) and transportive sensorial qualities, an interactive session with the maison’s contemporary watch collections for men and women, and—the pièce de résistance—23 timepieces that hail from the 3,500-strong Cartier Collection of heritage items.
With Singapore being the first market to host the Cartier “A Journey Through Time” exhibition, here’s an introduction to five of the highlights on display to make a beeline for while you still can.
Tank L.C. wristwatch
This early Tank L.C. timepiece is a version of the Tank wristwatch that Cartier created in 1922, groundbreaking for defying the convention of round watches. The apocryphal story of how it earned its name connects its rectilinear silhouette with the top view of a WWI tank.
Taking reference from the emblem of the Paris–Dakar Rally (the international off-road endurance motorsport event now known as The Dakar Rally), this exceedingly rare watch was awarded to the winner of two consecutive rallies, nicknamed the Cartier challenge. Just four unique models were ever created.
This piece is a descendant of the Santos watch Cartier created in 1904 for Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, and features the same square shape with rounded corners and exposed screw detail.
One of a limited edition of 200 pieces. The Cloche wristwatch and its unusual bell-shaped case first appeared in the maison in 1921 and was inducted into the Privé Collection during its centenary year as a limited edition.
No list of archival Cartier watches is complete without mentioning the Crash. First appearing in 1967, the watch with the surrealist case is reportedly inspired by a banged-up Baignoire timepiece returned to the maison for repairs, but was actually created by Jean-Jacques Cartier of Cartier London and the designer Rupert Emmerson.
For more information and to register for “A Journey Through Time,” visit the exhibition microsite here.