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Cartier is launching a digital watchmaking show

With the major expos canceled, the House of Cartier goes online instead.

The first few months of the year usually set the tone for the watchmaking world, since it’s the time when new releases are announced and pre-orders taken. This is also the time when Switzerland mounts the largest trade shows in the industry—Baselworld and Watches and Wonders (formerly SIHH).

But with both shows now canceled, the watchmaking houses don’t have any major events to look forward to. And even if there were, travel restrictions and the ongoing threat of the coronavirus would likely limit the turnout severely. Still, that hasn’t stopped the industry from coming up with new watches for the year. 

So what happens to the watchmaking novelties of 2020? Where and when do we get so see them?  

Some houses, such as Patek Philippe and Rolex, have taken to postponing their release for a later date. But when that is, we don’t exactly know yet. Other houses, including the exhibitors of Watches & Wonders, have chosen to take their displays online. 

The second one is what Cartier is doing, and it’s even launching its own online show called Cartier Watchmaking Encounters. Opening tomorrow, the show is meant to display the heritage of Cartier, its novelties for the year, and a few special pieces besides. 

The house of Cartier has quite a story when it comes to watches, having produced some of the most iconic pieces in timekeeping history. This includes the first modern wristwatch—the Santos de Cartier—which was created in the early 1900s as an instrument for a famous aviator.

The new Cartier Santos-Dumont is a descendant of the first modern wristwatch, which was created by the house in the early 1900s.

Over the years, the house has since delved deeper into the mechanical arts. And in the exhibit, we’ll get to see the latest of its creations. 

Of these, the new edition of the Pasha is going to be the highlight, and the house has taken inspiration from its design codes. Round and with a screw-down cap held on a chain, the watch has been a cult favorite among Cartier’s collections. 

The show is also revealing the new Santos XL, a new ladies watch called the Maillon, and an engraved set of limited-edition Santos-Dumonts. 

“In the current context, we believe it is important to preserve our interactions with all our clients around the world through various touchpoints, and thus be able to offer them an experience entirely dedicated to our Maison’s watchmaking creations. The launch of Cartier Watchmaking Encounters is fully integrated in this approach,”  says Arnaud Carrez, Marketing and Communication Director at Cartier International.

“By discovering this new platform, our clients will be invited to explore our creations, and our services, and on a broader level, the watchmaking spirit of Cartier.”

There may not be any shows to fly to this year, but if this show is the start of a new trend in the watchmaking world, then we’re not completely missing out.