Beaded crown set with synthetic cabochon-shaped spinel
2 years (extendable to 8 years)
£2,600 - 8,700
Cartier is well-known for its square and rectangle timepieces. Any luxury watch collector could easily name a Cartier watch, and you will get a description such “that watch with the screws”. They symbolize the mutual understanding of the nature of Cartier, in the wonderful world of watches. It, therefore, had been three decades after the first Cartier men’s watch was produced, before a circular men’s dress watch was released on a larger scale.
The general design of the Ronde de Cartier Solo is vintage and distinct. Trademarks of the series include the conventional round shape of the dial, the big Roman numbers, the gold fitting, as well as the steel and alligator materials used in the production of the timepiece. In this article, we will look into two of the brand’s most iconic watches.
The black outer Roman numeral hours and the inner ‘rail-track’ minute circle work wonderfully on the silvered opaline dial. This dial style is consistent in both the available 36mm and 42mm cases for the Ronde Solo.
One variant, however, has a contrast with the hour and minute numbers in white against a blue dial. A sapphire blue that transits all through the day relying on the reflection of the light, with an incredible subtle sunburst texture and finish. The strong silver hands glow in any light and are legible. The white dial is elegant, but the blue dial provides a truly unique and premium vintage feel.
The first inner-ring of the dial is vintage “clock face” Cartier, giving more thorough minute readings if needed. The day integrates easily into this dial to see the three o’clock position. The date dial is painted in black and uses a little thinner white font for the date itself to make it legible but not making the rest of the dial clumsy.
The final inner-ring has the beautiful counterbalance of Arabic numerals exhibiting 24 hour time; a valuable memory aid as well as a special design feature. Cartier limits the multiple texts on the watch’s face—it has just “Cartier” and “Automatic”. Lastly, it has a gently domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. This slightly enhances the sunburst effect and also allows for great reflections.
The watch is available in 36mm and 42mm sizes, but due to the thin bezel, it shows a beautiful, large and crisp dial. It uses a set beaded which has a synthetic cabochon-shaped spinel. It has ridges around it for a relaxed grip and is very reliable with quality clicks on this movement. Once worn, you can feel the quality of the movement by a touch of the crown. This for us is one of the standout points of this timepiece. Additionally, the Cartier Ronde Solo features a quick date adjustment feature.
The watch cases in both sizes are available in either steel, rose gold or 18ct yellow gold variants. The material of the case back is dependant on the main case and all watch models have an identifying serial number on the back and is protected by eight screws. This is a lovely, innovative design, as instead of using a screw-down or circular back, the back is fully circular at both sides but flat on the top and bottom and solidified in an accurate angle to show the text horizontally.
The watch is driven by the 1847 MC “workhorse” movement which has a big wobbling crown wheel with strong detents. This is an unmistakable quality brand element. The other thing is a sensitive bi-directional winding pendulum; just pick it up, unwind and the hands start operating.
The bracelet for the Cartier Ronde Solo watches is made out of brilliantly made alligator leather. Scaled uniquely, it is normally available in both brown and black. A great feature with Cartier, however, is the ability to choose various colour straps to use. These are available in calfskin leather and allow for colours from pink, green, blue and even orange, allowing for a truly unique twist on a vintage piece.
It is 22mm from the watch down its entire length and is a wider length for a regular 42mm watch. It uses a butterfly clasp with the ardillon buckle, as often matched by most dress watch bracelets. There are also two half links usable for adjustment. The screws on the bracelet operate uniquely reversing each side’s end from the clasp. The watch provides an acceptable 30m water resistance, although we would certainly not want to see anyone going for a swim with this one anytime soon. A
The Cartier Ronde Solo is well priced considering the heritage and value of its watches. Depending on your style and fit, the 36mm and 42mm steel Ronde Solo are priced between £2,700 (€3,000 or $3,400) and £3,300 (€3,670 or $4,160).
An upgrade to the 18ct yellow gold variant will put you back around £5,500 – 6000. The premium Rose gold variant of the Cartier Ronde Solo is available between £5,600 (€6,230 or $7,060) and £8,500 (€9,460 or $10,700).
Review: Cartier Ronde Solo
Beautifully unique, but distinctly Cartier, the Cartier Ronde Solo exudes all the class that epitomises Cartier's timeless elegance. This timepiece has retained the classical look and feel associated with Cartier pieces, taking its inspiration from the Ronde Louis Cartier, we believe the Ronde Solo does an acceptable job of reflecting Cartier's premium heritage.