The Pasha de Cartier Day & Night is an equally refined, yet altogether different, offering. Presented in 1999 as
a limited edition of 20 pieces, the Day & night model took the by now familiar form of the Pasha case (in yellow
gold) and added to it a design is inspired by another iconic Cartier creation — the Mystery Clock. The Day &
Night evokes the floating arcs of the Maison's historic clocks by utilising a reworked Fréderique Piguet calibre,
which showed time in 24-hour time, allowing for a single central hand, one end marked with a sun, and matching the 6
AM to 6 PM arc, while the other, moon-tipped hand was read against the track displaying the night time hours of 6 PM
to 6 AM. There's a running seconds at the bottom of the dial, and the dial design is kept visually engaging thanks
to a beautifully executed clous de Paris pattern. The designer behind this striking, and contemporary concept was
none over than the acclaimed Svend Anderson.
2005: 20 years of Pasha
The 2000s onwards makes the time of a significant shift for Cartier's watchmaking, as the brand consolidated its
watchmaking facilities' in-house' and the Maison developed its own 'Fine Watchmaking' collection, under the
management of Carole Forestier-Kasapi, leading to an explosion in Cartier's high-end complications. And of course,
2005 marked the 20th anniversary of the original Pasha, so a celebratory update was in order.
That watch was the Pasha 42, which, in addition to adding 4mm to the case diameter, in keeping with that decade's
taste in larger watch sizes. In addition to the upgrade in size, the Pasha 42 also received a movement upgrade, the
Caliber 8000MC, made exclusively for Cartier by Richemont stablemate Jaeger-LeCoultre (who had, by then, been
supplying Cartier with movements since 1900). Aside from these two changes, not too much had changed when it came to
the visuals — there was a little guilloche on the dial, but that circle-around-a-square, intersected with Arabic
numerals was still very much front and centre. The Pasha 42 again saw that, with incremental upgrades, the core of
Genta's design remained unchanged and as relevant as it ever was.
2006: The Pasha Seatimer
The mid-aughts preoccupation with masculine designs continued to be felt at Cartier, and the catalogue reflected
this. Naturally, the sporty design of the Pasha was a fertile field for this sort of experimentation, so 2006 saw
the release of the Pasha Seatimer. It's a watch that took many of the dive watch attributes of the Pasha (the
water-resistant crown cap, the rotating bezel etc.), and took it to the natural conclusion. A 40.5mm case, with
black luminous dial (a white version was also available). The most striking feature, however, was the addition of a
rubber strap, or rather a rubber bracelet with a steel core. Two years later, Cartier doubled down on the sporty
style with a chronograph version.
2020: The Pasha of Today
The Pasha is now 35 years old, and with this generation of Pasha, Cartier has managed to, once again, balance the
impetus of the original with the tastes of the now. There are two main sizes on offer; a 35mm case (in stainless
steel or pink gold) with no date, or a larger 41mm model with date (in yellow gold). All the dial details of the
original are still there but realised in a much more textural, subtle and sophisticated manner this time around. The
movement is the Caliber 1847 MC. The lugs and bracelet appear the same as ever, though now wearers have the added
benefit of Cartier's excellent "QuickSwitch" system, to allow on-the-fly strap changes, and the "SmartLink" system
to enable pain (and tool) free bracelet link adjustments. Also present is that most Pasha of details, the screw-down
crown cap, which helps with the 100 metres of water resistance (unchanged from the 1985 original funnily enough). A
nice touch is the fact that, hidden on the case profile, only visible when the cap is removed is just enough space
for a small engraving. Very classy, very Cartier.
Three special models of the new Pasha de Cartier were also introduced: a skeleton tourbillon with diamond-set
movement, case and buckle; a skeleton tourbillon model in pink gold, and finally a skeleton Pasha de Cartier that
reminds us why Cartier is the true master at skeleton movements.
The skeleton Pasha de Cartier, bearing the 9624MC manually-wound caliber, integrates the minute track, hour markers
and Arabic numerals into the bridges of the movement, under which the gear train sits invisibly.
The Pasha de Cartier Skeleton Tourbillons are the kings of this collection, powered with the 9466MC caliber with a
tourbillon at 6 o’clock. The tourbillon bridge bears Cartier’s ‘C’ logo and bears a seconds track around it. On the
gem-set model, brilliant-cut diamonds cover the bezel, minute track, seconds counter and the buckle and crown. The
Skeleton Tourbillon model is a refresh of the Pasha Skeleton Tourbillon from the Fine Watchmaking Collection, though
in a far more compact size now than before.
The Pasha of Marrakesh, Thami El Glaoui, may never have ordered or worn the prototypical waterproof Cartier. At the
end of the day, that doesn't matter. What does is that Gerald Genta's iconic 1985 Pasha de Cartier is a sporty
design that has given birth to its own distinguished dynasty.