2 minutes

Watch Market: The Rise of Cartier

By Thomas Hendricks
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Cartier have been on the rise in recent years, capturing more global market share, along with rising prices at auction and on the online secondary market. We’re looking at which models have climbed the highest.

Watch Market: The Rise of Cartier

Much has been said about the meteoric rise and recent descent of secondary watch prices for Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. One brand that has also seen success, although more quietly, is Cartier. The jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers has been gaining ground on the primary market, and seeing increased attention on the secondary market – both online and at auction.

Morgan Stanley published their annual analysis of watch sales and exports earlier this year. While Rolex remains number one by a wide margin, Cartier watches have dethroned Omega for the first time in years. The Parisian brand saw a 40% year-over-year increase from 2020 to 2021, with the report crediting Cartier’s ascension to its ability to connect with younger buyers.

Looking at the secondary market, there’s been a heightened focus in collector and non-collector circles on vintage Cartier, with premium pricing for Paris dials, the CPCP series, and of course the Cartier Crash. Friend of Chrono24 and gentleman dealer Eric Wind of Wind Vintage has been stocking more Cartier than at any other point in his business’ history. And speaking of the Crash, you might remember the website Loupe This setting the auction record for Cartier in May 2022, selling a 1967 Cartier Crash for more than $1.5 million.

A couple of years ago, Cartier Crashes from the 80s and 90s typically fetched $100,000 or $200,000 at auction.

The Cartier Tank Française is one of the most popular Tank models on Chrono24.

For those of us that don’t have $1.5 million lying around, let’s look at what other Cartier watches are selling well. Three Cartier Tank sub-models make up the majority of Tank sales on Chrono24, and in this order: the Cartier Tank Française, the Cartier Tank Solo, and the Cartier Tank Américaine. As for the Cartier Santos, we see a similar spread with the Cartier Santos Galbée, the current Cartier Santos WSSA0029, and the Cartier Santos 100 making up the majority of Santos sales on the platform. Fun fact: Each watch I just mentioned costs about as much as one Cartier Love bracelet.

Financial performance of the Cartier Tank Française ref. 2302.
Financial performance of the Cartier Santos WSSA0029.

Let’s wrap this up by discussing the Cartier Tank Basculante. The hinged model has boomed in popularity on Instagram, which has translated into higher secondary market prices. Prices on Chrono24 for the manually wound ref. 2390 were stable from 2014 to 2020, and then shot up in late 2020, rising by more than 250% over an 18-month period. Prices peaked at around $10,000 in February of this year and now sit closer to $9,000.

About the Author

Thomas Hendricks

I didn’t grow up a watch guy, but a few years after graduating from university, I landed a job at the online publication Watchonista as a writer and marketer. “Welcome to the watch world,” my colleagues told me half-jokingly, “no one ever leaves!” Now at Chrono24, I work as a private client advisor, helping people find the perfect watch for major life moments.

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