Although the Cartier Panthere was first introduced in the early 1980's, the timepiece has its origins in the early 1900's. A woman named Jeanne Toussaint was a Parisian style icon in the twentieth century, and her nickname was “La Panthere.” She became acquainted with Cartier founder Louis Cartier, and the two began collaborating for the brand—Toussaint later became one of Cartier’s most famous creative directors. In 1914, the brand debuted the first wristwatch to bear the now iconic panther—a bracelet watch with onyx and diamonds used to create the fur of the panther. This was the first time Cartier had incorporated a panther motif as a trademark on their timepieces and jewelry. Since then, the panther has become a distinctive symbol for the Cartier brand.
When the first watch bearing the Cartier Panthere named debuted in 1983, it quickly became one of the brand’s most popular timepieces for both men and women. From Cartier enthusiasts to celebrities like Pierce Brosnan and Tina Turner, everyone was after the signature timepiece. It even made several appearances in film, including the 1987 classic Wall Street.
Part of the Panthere’s appeal is its timelessness. It’s characterized by a square case and bezel dotted with exposed screws, a white dial with Roman numerals, and blue accents, typically on the hands or crown. However, the most notable feature of the Panthere is its strap. The bracelet is made up of five interlocking links, which not only give the watch an elegant appearance but also make it incredibly comfortable to wear.
There are several different variations of the Panthere. Some models are solid 18-karat yellow gold, some are stainless steel, and others are a two-tone mix of both materials. The two-tone is the most popular style, particularly for ladies. The Ref. W25028B6/1100 is a great example. This two-tone ladies model is 26mm with a steel case, a gold bezel, and a bracelet accented with alternating gold and steel links. This particular edition also features a date window at the five-o’clock position. The solid yellow gold model is the second most popular for women, like the Ref. W25022B9/1070. This model is a daintier 17mm and includes a date window at the three-o’clock position.
The beloved Panthere was discontinued in 2004, and for the next thirteen years, it became one of the most highly sought after Cartier models in the resale market. However, in 2017, the brand revived the legendary collection in two different sizes—22mm and 27mm—and nine different finishes—yellow gold, stainless steel, and two-tone yellow gold and steel, just like the originals, as well as rose gold, rose gold and black lacquer, rose gold with diamond bezel, white gold with diamond bezel, white gold covered in diamonds, and a limited edition panther motif with diamonds and black lacquer.
Other than the addition of new sizes and finishes, the overall aesthetic of the relaunched Panthere remains true to the original, with a square case and bezel dotted with exposed screws, a white dial with Roman numerals, and blue accents on the hands or crown. The re-introduction of the Panthere is a highly anticipated and celebrated moment for both the Cartier brand and Cartier enthusiasts alike.
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