In 1847, Cartier was founded by Louis-François Cartier in Paris. It quickly developed a reputation for its exquisitely crafted jewelry and watches. Almost 175 years later, its reputation remains intact. Now a global company operating in more than 200 stores in 125 countries, it is known as one of the most prestigious brands in the world. Worn by royalty, celebrities, dignitaries, and anyone else with an eye for the finer things in life, its fine jewelry and watches are the ultimate status symbols. Of all his creations, the Pasha de Cartier collection is possibly the best. Born in the 1980s, the collection has spawned numerous versions over the years, Cartier Pasha Seatimer being one of them. Launched in 2006 with great success, the Seatimer quickly became one of the brand’s most popular and sought-after models. But what exactly is its story?
The Legend of Pasha
It is impossible to understand the history of Cartier Pasha Seatimer without first understanding the history (and meaning) of the Pasha de Cartier collection. As GQ magazine writes, the origins of the Pasha date back to 1931 when the Pasha of Marrakech, Thami El Glaoui, commissioned Louis Cartier to create a unique and very special watch. The Pasha was an active man and wanted a watch that was robust enough to keep up. Cartier responded with a gold watch that featured water resistance that was almost unheard of at the time. Tough, durable, and crafted with Cartier’s legendary attention to detail, the gold watch featured a large dial, a crown cover, and a metal grill to protect the dial. If the pasha had received such a watch, no doubt he would have been delighted. The problem is that no one can say for sure if it really was. Although Cartier has traded in the legend of that unique watch for years, there is little evidence of its existence. These days, Cartier uses the official line that the Pasha de Cartier collection “pays tribute to the Pasha of Marrakech, lover of haute horlogerie and lifelong customer of Louis Cartier.” But it does not matter. Whether the watch existed or not, he created a legend, a legend that Cartier would revisit in 1985 with the first commercially available Pasha de Cartier watch.
The birth of the Pasha de Cartier
In the 1980s, Cartier revised the Pasha legend with the first official Pasha de Cartier watch. It came towards the end of a particularly tumultuous period for the watch industry. The quartz crisis of the mid-1970s had caused ripples across Europe, forcing traditional analog watchmakers to up their game against the popular Japanese quartz watches that were flooding the market. Patek Philippe’s answer, the Nautilus, had already been launched with great success, as had the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. If Cartier wanted to maintain his place among the heavyweights of the industry, he needed to think outside the box and find something really special. In 1985, he did exactly that.
A new watch for a new era
By the 1980s, models like the Ebel 1911 Classic Wave and the Rolex Submariner had shown that there was a market for water-resistant luxury watches. To capitalize on the trend, Cartier enlisted the help of iconic designer Gerald Genta to create a rugged and waterproof watch in the spirit of the legendary Pasha. The result was a big, eye-catching piece with a sporty angle and a bold (but still exquisitely elegant) aesthetic. Its circular case stood out in a sea of square, rectangular or oval designs, while its geometric design and swirling Art Deco font were equally eye-catching. A bolt-on crown cap attached to a sleek chain provided excellent water resistance (not to mention a ton of flair), while the face-shielding metal grille added even more flair. Over the next several decades, the Pasha de Cartier would be used as the basis for numerous models, all of which remained true to the fundamental fundamentals of that first Pasha. In 2006, we would meet the Seatimer, a design that would prove to be one of the most popular versions of the Pasha to date.
The Pasha Seatimer
As Revolution writes, in the mid-2000s, the world was obsessed with men’s designs. So what better time than for Carter to revisit possibly one of his most masculine designs, the Pasha de Cartier? After several decades of playing with the Pasha in various ways, Carter decided that 2006 was the year to bring the attributes of the series’ diver’s watches and their legendary toughness to completion …