Best Cartier Watch: For Making a Big Day Last a Lifetime

(Last Updated On: January 1, 2021)

Cartier is a French jeweler company that has enjoyed worldwide popularity. Cartier is world-renowned for its ever luxurious collection of pieces of jewelry.

However, over the years, Cartier is also now a major player in the watch industry. In fact, it seems that the French company has been focusing more on making watches these days. While Cartier is a very popular women’s watch brand, today we’ll be focusing on gentlemen watches.

Below, we have made a list of the best Cartier watch for men. If you have been looking to check what Cartier has to offer, it’s hard to go wrong with the watches we’ve rounded up below.

Best Cartier Watch

Key Features

Our Rating

Ballon Bleu de Cartier36mm, Steel case, Silvered guilloché opaline dial, Fluted crown decorated with a synthetic spinel cabochon, Blued-steel sword-shaped hands, Mechanical movement with automatic winding★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Santos de CartierMechanical movement with automatic winding, 1847 MC, Case in steel, Silvered opaline dial, Steel bracelet with “SmartLink” resizing system, “QuickSwitch” interchangeability system★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Drive de CartierManufacture self-winding mechanical movement, Caliber 1904-PS MC, Octagonal steel crown set with a faceted synthetic spinel, Blued-steel sword-shaped hour and minute hands, Sapphire crystal★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Cartier Tank SoloQuartz movement, Steel case, Beaded crown set with a synthetic spinel cabochon, Clear silvered opaline dial, Sapphire crystal, Water-resistant to 30 meters/100 feet★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Ronde Louis CartierManufacture mechanical movement with manual winding caliber 430 MC, 18K pink gold case, Beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon, Matte silver-grained dial, Blued-steel apple-shaped hands★ ★ ★ ★
Clé de CartierManufacture mechanical movement with automatic winding, caliber 1847 MC, Steel case, Key set with a synthetic spinel, sapphire crystal and case back, Silvered flinqué dial with sunray effect★ ★ ★ ★

Best Cartier Watch

1. Ballon Bleu de Cartier

best cartier watch

I don’t know about you but when I think about Cartier, the Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch comes to mind. The Ballon Bleu is such a distinctive watch in terms of design that it has managed to elevate itself into iconic status. If you’re planning to get a single Cartier watch, make it the Ballon Bleu.

Highly Distinguished Timepiece

Many luxury watch companies pride themselves on tradition. This is why brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe are still as popular even after a century. They have watch collections that have existed for decades. Customers have high expectations when it comes to these watchmakers.

As a result, many classic designs have remained unchanged over the years.

What I’m saying is that it’s difficult to create a stunning and unique watch design but still adheres to the essence of the brand. However, Cartier has successfully done it with the Ballon Bleu de Cartier Watch.

The Ballon Bleu’s crown is possibly its most recognizable feature. The fluted crown looks as if it’s floating due to the recessed large blue cabochon. The arch that extends at the 3-o’clock position demonstrates a serious fluidity in design.

The guilloche dial forms this unique C-shape that creates a truly original aesthetic. Cartier really did a tremendous job of making the Ballon Bleu a modern unisex watch.

The Ballon Bleu is a truly unique timepiece yet it’s also strangely familiar.

2. Santos de Cartier

best cartier watch

I know I might be sounding repetitive but the Santos de Cartier Watch is yet another timepiece that deserves its iconic status – legendary even.

In case you don’t know, the Santos de Cartier Watch is generally accepted as the very first watch that’s designed to be worn on the wrist. This was when people were still carrying pocket watches.

Effervescent Icon of Watchmaking

Cartier has made over a hundred variations of the classic Santos de Cartier. In 2018, Cartier launched a new line of Cartier Santos watches. There are actually two size versions of the 2018 release: medium and large. Both versions are fitted with the in-house Cartier caliber 1847 MC movement which has a power reserve of 42 hours.

Now, it’s available for a decent men’s size.

Once you have the Santos on your wrist, you’ll be likely smitten by it. The 2018 version combines hallmark features with new ones. The iconic squared case with round edges are still present and looks great with the polished bezel that’s littered with 8 screws.

Whether it’s for casual or dressier events, the Santos will look amazing.

Overall, the new Santos looks great on the wrist with a thinner profile when compared to previous versions. The case is fairly large but it’s offset by shorter and curved lugs. Comfort is never an issue here.

The Santos looks and feels good, and comes with new ideas.

3. Drive de Cartier

best cartier watch

Unlike many of the timepieces in this list of the best Cartier watch, the Drive de Cartier is a fairly new release. While the watch doesn’t have any heritage or tradition behind it, the Drive hits a home run from a design standpoint.

For the Most Driven Men

The Drive is most notable because the shape is actually a new design for Cartier. It looks like a cushion shape watch with a rather defined dial. The soft corners almost make the dial look circular. While this may seem like out of the norm for Cartier, I must say that it works wonderfully.

The design elements of the dial provide a much-needed depth to the watch. The overall look of the watch looks for be vintage-inspired. However, the watch gives a timeless look similar to an elegant men’s sports watch.

While most luxury watches only see ample wrist time during important events, the Drive is reliable enough to be used as a daily timekeeping tool. The design does a great job of standing up to daily use. However, that’s not saying that the Drive is a slouch as a dressier watch.

Fortunately, Cartier has put enough attention to detail to the Drive that it more than qualifies to be a dress watch. From the guilloché pattern on the dial to the arrangement of dial elements, the Drive is simply a design harmony in a case. The brushed and polished surfaces give the watch an unusual geometry which adds more points to its uniqueness.

The Drive is a fun watch that really embodies the pleasure of wearing a Cartier.

4. Cartier Tank Solo

best cartier watch


The Cartier Tank Solo has been called the most iconic timepiece on the planet. The Tank Solo is a sleek, pristine piece of machinery that has just recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. With that said, you can’t really make a list of the best Cartier watch without listing the Tank Solo in it.

Ultimate in Classic Watches

The Tank Solo is a modern redesign of Cartier’s iconic Tank model. With the 100th anniversary, the design of the Tank Solo is actually the nearest to the original iteration released more than a century ago. The message is clear, the Tank Solo is all about streamlined and clean elegance.

The Tank Solo comes with an in-house movement which adds more value in terms of collectability. The watch features the standard antireflective sapphire crystal which protects the dial. There’s also the synthetic spinel cabochon which is basically identical to the one found from the earliest versions of Tank.

The silvered opaline dial creates a satiny backdrop for the black Roman numerals which is excellent for legibility. However, it’s not exactly the most durable model despite its namesake. Plus, it’s only water-resistant to 30 meters.

If you are looking to get into Cartier but don’t have a sky-is-the-limit budget, the Cartier Tank Solo is an excellent watch for its affordable price.

5. Ronde Louis Cartier

best cartier watch

The best Cartier watch is all about the perfect amalgamation of both form and function. The Ronde Louis Cartier demonstrates the brand’s expertise in manufacturing elegant watches with innovative features.

Luxurious Elegance and Sophistication

The Ronde Louis Cartier was introduced back in 1937 and is created by the maestro himself. In a sea of square and rectangle Cartier watches, the Ronde Louis Cartier stands out as a round men’s dress watch.

Not to be confused with the ‘Rotonde de Cartier’ which was released in 2006, the Ronde Louis is undoubtedly the better watch when it comes to style, elegance, and sophistication. The watch features a very discrete look that oozes a lot of charm.

The Ronde Louis Cartier, when worn with a pair of cufflinks, will allow you to go anywhere you want. Although the watch certainly leans more on the dressier side, it’s versatile enough to be a reliable daily companion.

The Ronde Louis Cartier is a classic winner and presents a great luxurious option if budget is not an issue.

6. Clé de Cartier

best cartier watch

For a company like Cartier who prides itself for its heritage and an eye for innovation, it can be difficult to put out a new line of watch. The release of Clé de Cartier removes any doubt that the company is deadset on moving forward.

Evolution in Concept and Functional Design

At first glance, the Clé de Cartier is far from a unique timepiece. In fact, it looks like a watch straight from the 60s and 70s. However, a quick glance is certainly doing the watch a massive disservice.

One of the details that I really love about the Clé de Cartier is the elegant and fluid contours along the lugs and case back. The ovoid shape of the case allows the watch to sit comfortably against the wrist.

The dial itself features the familiar Cartier design with its guilloché center section with bold Roman numerals in blue. The dial’s design does a good job of taking the center stage with its perfect circle shape and rounded bezel.

Like most of Cartier’s best watches, the Clé de Cartier is an excellent unisex watch.

Wrapping Up

That concludes our list of the best Cartier watch that your money can buy. Do you have a favorite Cartier watch? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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