What you need to know about Cartier watches

Why choose a Cartier watch?

Also known as a maker of jewelry, Cartier is sometimes treated as a fashion brand rather than a watch brand. Some watch enthusiasts let this affect how they regard Cartier, but those truly in the know are well aware of Cartier’s long history and dedication to exceptional watch movements.

In other words, Cartier knocks it out of the park with both the aesthetics and the mechanics of their watches. They set themselves apart in their choice of materials: 18-karat gold, diamonds, and sapphire crystals are common inclusions in their high-end watches. At the same time, they are dedicated to manufacturing precise, high efficiency calibres in-house.

This elegant fusion of exceptional horological engineering with the design mindset of a French luxury jeweller makes second-hand Cartier watches highly sought after by collectors and luxury seekers alike.


Which Cartier to buy?

The range of models can be confusing. Because a pre-owned Cartier watch can be a big investment, you want to feel confident in your decision. We always say that the best watch is the one that makes you excited to own it, and that could be any item in our collection, regardless of name or price.

However, if you’re still unsure, here is some information that might point you in the right direction:

  • The Cartier Tank is both the best-selling collection and the oldest collection, with the first Tank manufactured in 1918. You can’t go far wrong with this iconic square faced design.
  • For something more decorated and complicated, a steel or gold Cartier Pasha with a round face is an excellent choice.

With such a high standard of mechanical quality and aesthetics, we don’t think any Cartier will leave you disappointed.


Pre-owned Cartier price guide

Pre-owned Cartier watches come in various ages, models, conditions, and levels of popularity, which makes it hard to give brief rules of thumb.

However, based on previous sales at Luxe, we can share the following data about some of the Cartier collections that you may wish to use as a guideline.



Average Price



Cartier Tank




Cartier Santos




Cartier Roadster




Cartier Pasha




Cartier Must 21





Cartier as an investment?

The design, materials and craftsmanship associated with this luxury watch-making brand make it a collector’s item for many people.

Like any other luxury item, there is no guarantee that its price will increase in value over time — it depends on individual preferences and market conditions.

However, our analysis found that Luxury watches in general tend to be strong investments, and Cartier is a major name in this market, with a prestigious history. Those who make money on their Cartier watch purchases patiently wait for a surge in the market before selling.


Buying Cartier pre-owned – What should you know?

The first Cartier watch is over 100 years old. Therefore, the second-hand market for this product is well established. There are best practices that we follow at Luxe so that we never disappoint a customer. However, there are also a few things it is helpful for you to know as a buyer of a pre-owned or even vintage Cartier watch.

Cartier’s watches have a serial number, normally engraved on the back, which can help verify that the watch is authentic. There is not currently any online tool for checking Cartier serial numbers, so to check that your serial number is legitimate, Cartier must be contacted directly.

The serial number is also included on the watches’ paperwork/certificate. Watches that come with their original certificate and original box command higher prices in the pre-owned market. Not all second-hand Cartier watches for sale will include the box and/or certificate, so if they are important to you, please check the product description (or ask us) before you buy.

Finally, be confident that you are buying from a reputable dealer. As with any luxury product, some sellers will attempt to scam unsuspecting buyers with stolen or counterfeit goods. If you have any questions or concerns about your purchase, we’re very happy to talk them through with you. Luxe Watches has been in business since 2011 and has a reputation for excellent service in this industry.


Buying via Luxe Watches

Buying a Cartier from Luxe watches means buying from luxury watch professionals with decades of combined experience.

We aim to sell watches with their original box and paperwork where possible. If either is not available, this is stated in the product description and reflected in the price.

We send watches via secure delivery to be received within seven days of payment.

If you expect your watch to need strap length adjustment to fit your wrist, send us a message and we will make the adjustments.

We have a reputation for excellent customer service and are very happy to talk through any questions or issues you have. Just give us a call or visit us in our store in Epping, just outside of London.

Have any other questions? Check our FAQ here.

Inside Luxe Watches shop in Epping

Selling a Cartier

Remember that you can sell your Cartier for more if you have the original papers and box.

Next, your watch will need to be appraised to assess its condition. You can send it to us in the post or visit our store in person. A final valuation will be given, and an offer will be made for your watch. If you decide to go ahead with the sale, will send you the payment via bank transfer to be received in 3-5 days.

Choose a reputable fine watch expert to sell to, check their reviews online, and talk to them in person so that you can feel comfortable that the sale will go through smoothly and professionally.

For more information about selling your luxury Cartier watch, read the guide on our Sell Your Cartier page.


Caring for a Cartier

Whether a self-winding or manual watch, a Cartier that you have newly purchased and unpacked will need to be wound. After winding, a typical without automatic winding will run for about 40 hours, so daily winding is recommended. An automatic Cartier won’t need additional winding unless you leave it unworn for some time.

Many Cartier watches have a transparent back that displays the watch mechanism inside. Being able to see the rotations of the cogs can make it more enjoyable to wind your watch.

Caring for your Cartier watch is important to maintain its highest value and ensure it lasts as long as possible. To do so, you should clean the case regularly using a dry cloth or brush – avoid using any household cleaning agents. The straps and bracelets of your Cartier watch should also be checked regularly for signs of wear and tear and cleaned on a regular basis with mild soap and warm water.

We also advise storing the watch in its original box away from sunlight and humidity.

Finally, you should take it for a professional service and checkup every three to five years to ensure that all parts are working correctly, and be repaired if the watch ever suffers damage. Find out more about Cartier watch servicing, repairs and refurbishment. Luxe can get your Cartier back to top working order.


About Cartier Complications

Cartier are often held above their competition on account of their cases and dials rather than as a result of their complications. However, in recent decades the quality of Cartier complications has exceeded expectations. Cartier tourbillons (which compensates for gravity-related errors) calendar indicators, and chronograph timers, stand up to the quality of the rest of the market.

Though watches from many of Cartier’s collections can include unique movements, the main place to look when looking for a complicated watch in their line-up are the larger, round-faced watches such as Pasha de Cartier and Ronde de Cartier.

The most complex Cartier watch out there is the Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication Skeleton, with all of the above mentioned complications and more. It is quite a beauty to behold.


Cartier’s history

The history of Cartier dates back to 1847 when Louis-Francois Cartier established the company in Paris, France. Prior to that, he had been working with his mentor, the watchmaker Adolphe Picard. The first shop was opened in Paris and quickly began producing fine jewellery and watches.

One of Cartier’s claims to fame is the creation of the first purpose-built men’s wristwatch in 1904. Earlier wristwatches were only worn by women, and though men had certainly strapped pocket watches on their wrist before this, the Cartier wristwatch was designed for the wrist first, not the pocket. The watch was named after the famous aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who requested the creation of the watch from Cartier directly. Hence, the “Cartier Santos” collection was born.

For over 150 years, Cartier has been setting the standards for luxurious wristwatches and is well known for incorporating innovative technology into their watches while maintaining the classic design aesthetics that made them famous in the first place.


More information

Cartier Tank: Why it remains a timeless classic

A guide to buying and selling Cartier watches

A guide to buying and selling Cartier watches


Buy online or visit our showroom

Whether you are looking to buy a Cartier of your own, sell a pre-loved Cartier, or are looking for Cartier refurbishment and repair, Luxe Watches are the friendly luxury watches experts that can help with your Cartier query. We’re happy to talk on the phone, over email, or in-person at our UK luxury watch showroom in Epping, near London.

Browse our range or contact us today.


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