What Is The Most Expensive Cartier Watch

by Barbara Wilson

Cartier is synonymous with luxury and sophistication, renowned for its exquisite jewelry and watches. Since its inception in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, the French maison has been a trailblazer in the world of haute horlogerie, blending artistic innovation with technical prowess. Cartier’s timepieces are not merely instruments for telling time; they are masterpieces that embody the brand’s commitment to elegance, craftsmanship, and exclusivity. Over the years, Cartier watches have fetched astronomical prices at auctions, reflecting their enduring allure and prestige. Here, we delve into the six most expensive Cartier watches ever sold, showcasing the pinnacle of luxury watchmaking.


The Legacy of Cartier Watches

Cartier’s legacy in watchmaking dates back to the early 20th century when the brand began producing wristwatches. One of the most significant milestones was the creation of the Santos watch in 1904, designed for aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. This was one of the first wristwatches created specifically for men, marking a departure from the prevalent use of pocket watches. The Santos watch not only exemplified Cartier’s innovative spirit but also set a new trend in watchmaking.


Over the decades, Cartier has introduced numerous iconic models such as the Tank, Pasha, and Ballon Bleu, each with its unique design and technical features. Cartier’s watches are celebrated for their distinctive aesthetics, often characterized by clean lines, elegant shapes, and luxurious materials. The brand’s commitment to excellence is evident in every timepiece, making Cartier a symbol of timeless elegance and luxury.


Cartier Extra Large Tortue High Complication White Gold

Price: $415,000

Dimensions: 48mm x 38mm

Complications: Perpetual calendar, chronograph, power reserve indicator, and tourbillon

Production: Limited to 15 pieces

The Cartier Extra Large Tortue High Complication White Gold watch is a testament to the brand’s dedication to rarity and timeless design. This exquisite timepiece measures 48mm by 38mm, making a bold statement on the wrist. It features a perpetual calendar, chronograph, power reserve indicator, and a captivating tourbillon, showcasing Cartier’s mastery in crafting complicated watches.


Only 15 pieces of this model were produced, emphasizing its exclusivity and desirability among collectors. The watch’s white gold case and sophisticated complications make it a true masterpiece, embodying the perfect blend of artistry and engineering. The Extra Large Tortue High Complication is not just a watch; it is a work of art that reflects Cartier’s rich heritage and commitment to horological excellence.

Cartier Second Tortue Minute Repeater

Price: $640,500

Dimensions: 35.5mm x 43mm

Features: Sapphire enamel pattern, 29 diamonds

Year: 1928

The Cartier Second Tortue Minute Repeater is a rare and remarkable timepiece from the Art Deco era. Created in 1928, this watch is decorated with an exquisite sapphire enamel pattern and adorned with 29 diamonds inside, making it a stunning example of Cartier’s craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Measuring 35.5mm by 43mm, the watch’s design is elegant and timeless, capturing the essence of the Art Deco period. The minute repeater complication is a testament to Cartier’s technical prowess, allowing the watch to chime the time on demand. The rarity and historical significance of the Second Tortue Minute Repeater make it one of the most sought-after Cartier watches, fetching a price of $640,500 at auction.

Cartier Extra Large Ballon Bleu Tourbillon Diamond Watch

Price: $888,247

Dimensions: 46.8mm x 47.1mm

Features: Parisian pie-cut diamonds, tourbillon

The Cartier Extra Large Ballon Bleu Tourbillon Diamond Watch is a dazzling masterpiece that combines exquisite craftsmanship with the brilliance of diamonds. This large blue balloon-shaped watch measures 46.8mm by 47.1mm and is inlaid with Parisian pie-cut diamonds, creating a stunning visual effect.

The watch features a tourbillon, a complex mechanism that improves accuracy by counteracting the effects of gravity. The combination of the tourbillon and the dazzling diamonds makes this timepiece a true marvel of horology. The Extra Large Ballon Bleu Tourbillon Diamond Watch is a testament to Cartier’s ability to create watches that are both technically sophisticated and visually captivating, commanding a price of $888,247.

Cartier Phoenix Décor Secret Watch

Price: $2,755,000

Dimensions: 31mm x 52mm

Features: Shaped like a phoenix, 3,010 diamonds, part of Merveilles du Nil series

The Cartier Phoenix Décor Secret Watch is one of the most extravagant and unique timepieces ever created by Cartier. Shaped like a phoenix, this watch is part of the Merveilles du Nil series and is inlaid with 3,010 perfectly cut diamonds, creating a breathtakingly beautiful piece of jewelry.

Measuring 31mm by 52mm, the watch’s design is inspired by the mythical phoenix, symbolizing rebirth and immortality. The intricate craftsmanship and the sheer number of diamonds make this watch a true work of art. The Phoenix Décor Secret Watch is not just a timepiece; it is a statement of luxury and opulence, with a price of $2,755,000.

The Unique Nature of Cartier Watches

Cartier’s commitment to creating unique and limited-edition watches is one of the reasons why its timepieces command such high prices at auction. Each watch is meticulously crafted using the finest materials and the most advanced techniques, ensuring that every detail is perfect. The rarity of these watches adds to their value, making them highly coveted by collectors and enthusiasts.

In addition to their technical excellence, Cartier watches are also renowned for their distinctive designs. The brand’s ability to blend traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics has resulted in some of the most iconic and recognizable watches in the world. Whether it is the clean lines of the Tank, the bold shapes of the Ballon Bleu, or the intricate details of the Tortue, Cartier watches are always a testament to the brand’s artistic vision and dedication to excellence.



Cartier’s reputation as a leading luxury watchmaker is well-deserved, with a legacy that spans over 175 years. The brand’s ability to create timepieces that are both works of art and feats of engineering has cemented its place in the world of haute horlogerie. The six watches highlighted here represent the pinnacle of Cartier’s watchmaking prowess, showcasing the brand’s commitment to excellence, exclusivity, and timeless design.

From the intricate complications of the Extra Large Tortue High Complication to the dazzling brilliance of the Phoenix Décor Secret Watch, each timepiece is a testament to Cartier’s dedication to creating the finest watches in the world. These watches are not only valuable for their materials and craftsmanship but also for their historical significance and rarity. As Cartier continues to innovate and push the boundaries of watchmaking, its timepieces will undoubtedly remain highly coveted by collectors and enthusiasts for generations to come.


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