Pasha de Cartier Moonphase: A Beginner’s Guide

by Barbara Wilson

Cartier, a name synonymous with luxury and sophistication, has a storied history of crafting timepieces that transcend trends. Among its esteemed offerings, the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase shines as a beacon of horological artistry and innovation. In this beginner’s guide, we embark on a journey to uncover the essence of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase, from its history and design to its movement and variations.


I. The History of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase

The Pasha de Cartier collection has a rich legacy dating back to the 1930s when it was first introduced. Rooted in the vision of a watch that captured the spirit of the Pasha of Marrakech’s opulent lifestyle, the collection has evolved while maintaining its essence. The inclusion of the moon phase complication further elevated the Pasha de Cartier’s allure, blending history with innovation.


1. Origins of the Pasha de Cartier Collection:

The Pasha de Cartier collection was originally introduced in 1985. It was designed to capture the essence of a luxurious and sporty lifestyle, blending elegance and functionality. The collection was named after Thami El Glaoui, the Pasha of Marrakech, who was known for his lavish and sophisticated tastes.


2. The Moonphase Version:

The Moonphase version of the Pasha de Cartier is a variation of the original collection, featuring a complication that displays the phases of the moon on the watch dial. Moonphase complications are a popular feature in high-end watches, adding both aesthetic appeal and a touch of celestial charm to the timepiece.


3. Design and Features:

The Pasha de Cartier Moonphase typically features a distinctive round case, bold Arabic numerals, and a screw-down crown cover attached to a chain. This crown cover is a distinctive design element that sets the Pasha de Cartier collection apart. The Moonphase complication is often displayed in a subdial on the watch face, showing the various phases of the moon as they wax and wane.

4. Evolution and Modern Versions:

Over the years, the Pasha de Cartier collection, including the Moonphase version, has undergone several updates and design iterations to keep up with contemporary tastes and advancements in watchmaking technology. Cartier has introduced various sizes, materials, and dial designs to cater to a wide range of preferences.

5. Relaunch in 2020:

In 2020, Cartier announced a relaunch of the Pasha de Cartier collection, introducing a new generation of timepieces that pay homage to the original design while incorporating modern elements. The relaunched collection features updated case sizes, materials, and movement technologies, including an in-house movement in some models.

6. Enduring Legacy:

The Pasha de Cartier Moonphase, like the entire Pasha collection, carries with it the legacy of Cartier’s design excellence and craftsmanship. Its blend of classic and contemporary elements continues to attract watch enthusiasts and collectors who appreciate Cartier’s unique approach to luxury timepieces.

II. Pasha de Cartier Moonphase Design and Aesthetics

The Pasha de Cartier Moonphase is known for its distinctive design and aesthetics that blend elegance with a touch of sportiness. Here are some key design elements and aesthetic features of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase:

1. Round Case with Bold Presence:

The watch typically features a round case, which is a departure from the more common square or rectangular cases that Cartier is often associated with. The round case design lends a sense of classic elegance and versatility to the watch.

2. Screw-Down Crown Cover:

One of the most distinctive design elements of the Pasha de Cartier collection is the screw-down crown cover attached to a chain. This feature adds a unique touch to the watch’s overall look and serves both as a design statement and a functional component.

3. Oversized Arabic Numerals:

The dial of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase often features oversized Arabic numerals at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. These numerals are bold and easy to read, contributing to the watch’s sporty aesthetic. The use of large numerals also adds a modern and dynamic element to the design.

4. Moonphase Subdial:

As the name suggests, the Moonphase version of the Pasha de Cartier features a moonphase complication. This complication is typically displayed in a subdial on the watch face. The moonphase subdial showcases the various phases of the moon, from new moon to full moon and back again, adding a touch of celestial beauty to the watch’s design.

5. Blue Cabochon Crown:

The crown of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase often features a blue cabochon-shaped stone. This design element is a hallmark of many Cartier watches and adds a pop of color and elegance to the overall look of the timepiece.

6. Interchangeable Straps:

The Pasha de Cartier collection is known for its versatile design, and the Moonphase version often comes with interchangeable straps. This allows the wearer to switch between different materials and colors of straps, further personalizing the watch to match various occasions and styles.

7. Meticulous Craftsmanship:

Cartier is renowned for its attention to detail and craftsmanship, and the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase is no exception. From the polished case to the intricacies of the moonphase subdial, each component of the watch is carefully designed and executed to the highest standards.

The design language of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase is a symphony of elegance and functionality. The iconic Clous de Paris hobnail dial pays homage to Cartier’s rich heritage, while the moon phase complication adds a touch of enchantment. The elegant case, marked by bold Arabic numerals and distinctive crown protector, strikes a harmonious balance between classic and contemporary.

III. The Movement and Mechanics of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase

At the heart of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase lies a mechanical marvel. The automatic winding movement not only ensures precision timekeeping but also powers the captivating moon phase complication. This intricate dance of gears and discs creates a visual spectacle that mirrors the waxing and waning of the moon.

The movement and mechanics of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase are crucial to its functionality and performance. Here’s a general overview of what you might expect:

1. Mechanical Movement:

Luxury watches like the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase often feature mechanical movements, specifically automatic (self-winding) movements. These movements are known for their craftsmanship, precision, and intricate engineering.

2. Moonphase Complication:

The most distinctive feature of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase is its moonphase complication. This complication involves a mechanism that tracks the phases of the moon as they occur in real life. The moonphase is typically displayed through a subdial on the watch face and shows the progression from new moon to full moon and back. This complication adds both functional and aesthetic value to the watch.

3. In-House Caliber:

Cartier is known for its commitment to producing high-quality in-house movements. In recent years, Cartier has been transitioning toward creating its own movements for many of its watch collections. Depending on the model and the specific version of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase, it might feature an in-house caliber movement designed and manufactured by Cartier.

4. Automatic Winding:

Automatic movements are self-winding, meaning they are powered by the natural motion of the wearer’s wrist. As the wrist moves, a rotor inside the watch winds the mainspring, which stores energy to power the watch’s movement. This eliminates the need for manual winding and ensures the watch remains running as long as it’s worn regularly.

5. Finishing and Decorations:

Luxury watches often pay great attention to the finishing and decorations of their movements. Even though the movement might be hidden from view, the craftsmanship of the movement’s components, such as the bridges, screws, and rotor, contributes to the overall quality and value of the watch.

6. Water Resistance and Case Design:

Given the Pasha de Cartier’s sporty aesthetic and its history with water-resistant designs, it’s likely that the Moonphase version also offers a certain degree of water resistance. This allows the watch to be worn confidently in various environments, including around water.

IV. Pasha de Cartier Moonphase Variations

Variety is the hallmark of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase collection. Enthusiasts can choose from an array of options, including steel for a modern and versatile look, rose gold for warmth and opulence, and yellow gold for a timeless statement. Each variation encapsulates a distinct personality, allowing wearers to express their individuality.

1. Steel Pasha de Cartier Moonphase:

The steel version of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase offers a contemporary and versatile option. Stainless steel is a durable and popular choice for watch cases, providing a sleek and modern look. Steel watches are often favored for their everyday wearability and resistance to scratches and wear.

2. Rose Gold Pasha de Cartier Moonphase:

The rose gold variation adds an elegant and luxurious touch to the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase collection. Rose gold, known for its warm and rosy hue, exudes a sense of refinement and sophistication. Rose gold watches are often chosen by those who appreciate a combination of timeless beauty and modern design.

3. Yellow Gold Pasha de Cartier Moonphase:

Yellow gold is a classic and traditional choice for luxury watches. Watches with yellow gold cases have a rich and iconic appearance, evoking a sense of prestige and luxury. The yellow gold Pasha de Cartier Moonphase would likely appeal to individuals who appreciate the aesthetic of traditional luxury timepieces.

Each of these variations can come with different dial colors, strap options, and additional design elements that contribute to the overall aesthetics of the watch. Additionally, variations in materials can affect the price of the watch, with precious metals like rose gold and yellow gold often commanding a higher price due to their intrinsic value.

V. How to Set the Moonphase on Pasha de Cartier Moonphase Watch

Setting the moonphase complication on a Pasha de Cartier Moonphase watch involves a few steps to ensure accurate alignment with the actual phases of the moon. Keep in mind that the exact procedure might vary slightly based on the specific model and movement of your watch. Here’s a general guide on how to set the moonphase on a Pasha de Cartier Moonphase watch:

1. Understand the Moonphase Display: First, familiarize yourself with the moonphase display on your watch’s dial. The moonphase subdial typically displays the various phases of the moon in a circular or semicircular pattern.

2. Locate the Correct Crown Position: Your watch’s crown likely has multiple positions for different functions. To set the moonphase, you’ll need to locate the crown position dedicated to adjusting the complication. Refer to your watch’s manual to identify the correct crown position for setting the moonphase.

3. Set the Date and Time: Before adjusting the moonphase, ensure that the date and time on your watch are correctly set. This will prevent any interference with the moonphase mechanism.

4. Advance the Moonphase Display: To set the moonphase, gently pull out the crown to the designated position. The moonphase display should now be adjustable.

5. Use the Correct Adjustment Direction: Most moonphase complications rotate in a counter-clockwise direction. To align the moonphase display correctly, rotate the crown in the appropriate direction until the moonphase indicator corresponds to the current phase of the moon. You might need to reference a moonphase calendar to determine the accurate moon phase for your location and date.

6. Fine-Tune the Alignment: Once you’ve aligned the moonphase indicator to the correct phase, you might need to fine-tune the alignment. This can involve slight adjustments to ensure that the moonphase display accurately reflects the actual lunar cycle.

7. Push the Crown In: After setting the moonphase, gently push the crown back to its original position. Ensure that it’s securely pushed in to maintain the watch’s water resistance and proper function.

8. Verify Accuracy: Over time, the moonphase display might deviate slightly from the actual lunar cycle due to the complexity of lunar orbits. It’s normal for minor adjustments to be needed periodically to keep the display accurate.

9. Consult the Manual: For precise instructions tailored to your specific Pasha de Cartier Moonphase model, refer to the watch’s user manual. The manual will provide detailed information on setting and adjusting the moonphase complication for your particular watch.

If you’re unsure about any step in the process, I recommend contacting an authorized Cartier service center or a professional watchmaker. They can provide guidance and assistance to ensure that your Pasha de Cartier Moonphase watch is set accurately and properly.

VI. Pasha de Cartier Moonphase vs. Calatrava 5119: Which is Better

Comparing the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase and the Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119 involves considering their respective features, designs, brand reputation, and personal preferences. Both watches come from prestigious brands known for their craftsmanship and heritage. However, they cater to different styles and preferences. Here’s a comparison to help you make an informed choice:

Pasha de Cartier Moonphase:


  1. Distinctive Design: The Pasha de Cartier Moonphase stands out with its bold and sporty design, including the signature screw-down crown cover. The moonphase complication adds a unique touch.
  2. Versatility: The Pasha collection often offers various material options and strap choices, catering to a range of styles from casual to formal.
  3. Modern Aesthetic: The Pasha de Cartier collection is known for its modern and contemporary design elements.
  4. Brand Appeal: Cartier is a renowned luxury brand with a strong heritage in both jewelry and watchmaking.


  1. Personal Style: The bold and modern design might not appeal to those who prefer a more traditional or understated look.
  2. Moonphase Accuracy: Moonphase complications require occasional adjustments to stay accurate, as they might not precisely reflect the lunar cycle.

Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119:


  1. Timeless Elegance: The Calatrava 5119 is known for its classic and timeless design, often considered a symbol of understated elegance.
  2. Prestige: Patek Philippe is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and revered watchmakers, with a rich history of creating exceptional timepieces.
  3. Horological Heritage: Patek Philippe is known for its watchmaking excellence, intricate movements, and commitment to craftsmanship.
  4. Investment Value: Patek Philippe watches are often considered valuable investments due to their rarity, craftsmanship, and brand reputation.


  1. Limited Variations: The Calatrava collection generally focuses on classic designs, which might limit the variety of styles available compared to the Pasha de Cartier.
  2. Formal Focus: The Calatrava’s design is more traditionally formal, which might not suit those looking for a sportier or contemporary style.

Ultimately, the choice between the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase and the Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119 depends on your personal preferences, style, and values. If you prefer a bold and modern design with versatility, the Pasha de Cartier might be a better fit. On the other hand, if you lean toward timeless elegance, craftsmanship, and the prestige associated with Patek Philippe, the Calatrava 5119 could be more appealing.

Both watches are iconic in their own right and have their own distinct appeal. If possible, I recommend trying on both watches to see how they look and feel on your wrist. It’s also a good idea to explore other watches within each brand’s lineup to find the model that resonates most with your taste and lifestyle.

VII. Pasha de Cartier Moonphase: Benefits and Reviews

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, I don’t have access to real-time data, including recent reviews. However, I can provide you with a comprehensive guide to the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase, outlining its benefits and highlighting some aspects that are commonly appreciated by watch enthusiasts. Please note that watch preferences are subjective, so what might be a benefit for one person might not be the same for another. Here’s a general overview:

Benefits of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase:

Distinctive Design: The Pasha de Cartier Moonphase features a unique and bold design with a round case, oversized Arabic numerals, and the iconic screw-down crown cover. This design sets it apart from other luxury watches and adds a sense of character.

Moonphase Complication: The moonphase complication adds both aesthetic charm and functional value. It’s a complex feature that showcases the different phases of the moon, appealing to those who appreciate horological intricacies.

Materials and Variations: The Pasha de Cartier collection offers a variety of material options, including steel, rose gold, and yellow gold. This allows you to choose a version that aligns with your personal style and preference for precious metals.

Interchangeable Straps: The watch often comes with interchangeable straps, giving you the flexibility to change the look of the watch to match different occasions or outfits.

Versatility: The Pasha de Cartier Moonphase strikes a balance between sporty and elegant, making it suitable for a wide range of settings, from casual to formal.

Cartier Heritage: Cartier is a prestigious and well-respected brand known for its history in both jewelry and watchmaking. Owning a Cartier watch carries a sense of luxury and heritage.

Reviews and Considerations:

Design Appeal: Many reviewers and wearers appreciate the distinctive design of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase, especially the screw-down crown cover that adds a unique touch.

Versatility: The watch’s versatile design is often praised, as it can be worn casually or dressed up for formal occasions.

Moonphase Attraction: Those who appreciate intricate watch complications often find the moonphase feature captivating and aesthetically pleasing.

Craftsmanship: Cartier is known for its attention to detail and quality craftsmanship. The Pasha de Cartier Moonphase is expected to reflect this level of workmanship.

Personal Taste: Some individuals might find the bold design of the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase appealing, while others might prefer more understated options.

Maintenance: Moonphase complications require occasional adjustments to ensure accuracy. Some wearers might find this to be a minor inconvenience.

To get the most accurate and up-to-date reviews, I recommend checking watch enthusiast forums, watch review websites, and professional horological publications. Additionally, visiting an authorized Cartier boutique or dealer can provide you with a hands-on experience and the opportunity to learn more about the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase from experts.


The Pasha de Cartier Moonphase is a testament to Cartier’s legacy of excellence. Its history, design, mechanics, and variations weave a narrative of artistry and innovation. For those stepping into the world of luxury watches or seeking to add a touch of sophistication to their collection, the Pasha de Cartier Moonphase offers an entrancing journey through the realms of timekeeping and elegance.


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