This fall Cartier goes large on pink gold, offering special-edition watches in three of its popular lines: Santos, Ballon Bleu and Roadster. The tinted gold alloy continues to be the most popular precious metal in watchmaking in 2008, giving an opulent warmth and elegance to men's timepieces. Pink gold, also called rose and red gold, is produced through increasing the copper content of yellow gold.
The graceful 18-carat pink-gold Ballon Bleu de Cartier (shown at right) has a softly rounded 42-millimeter case with a distinctive fluted crown. The winding mechanism is decorated with a sapphire cabochon. Cartier's own caliber 049 automatic mechanical movement runs the time functions, which include hours, minutes and seconds, and stores a 42-hour power reserve. The watch is water-resistant to about 100 feet. It's completed with an elegant dark brown alligator skin strap and pink-gold clasp. Suggested price is $17,300.
By comparison, the 18-carat pink-gold Santos de Cartier (left) is something that one could wear with a wet suit or a tuxedo —à la James Bond. Its bold square dial with pink gold and rubber dial reinforces Santos' sportiness, and the watch is good to more than 300 feet in open water. It may share the same automatic movement, functions and power reserve as the Ballon Bleu, but it makes a thoroughly bolder, more masculine statement. Suggested price is $21,000.
The style of the special-edition burr walnut and 18-carat pink-gold Roadster (center) is reminiscent of such classic British motorcars as the Jaguars and Bentleys of the 1950s and 1960s. The popular tonneau-shaped sports watch has been enlarged, and the dial has been plated with burr walnut. The polished wood is also included in the center link of the pink-gold bracelet. The watch uses a slightly different Cartier caliber for its automatic mechanical movement, but it includes the same features as the other watches above. Only 250 pieces are available worldwide, with a suggested price of $39,100. Another 150 pieces were also made in white gold and sell at a slight premium, $41,800.
During Geneva's April SIHH watch show, Cartier U.S. president Frédéric de Narp said that the three watches were a sign of the continued development of jewelry and of timepieces for men. "I hope you enjoy our toys," he added. In other words, there are never enough toys for boys, even pink ones.