Times change, and in 1929 the watch world looked completely different as it does now. While today Cartier is a fully integrated manufacture, in the 1920’s they just entered what would be a very successful partnership with Edmond Jaeger and also obtained high-end movements from other manufactures like the one in this watch, from Audemars Piguet.
A very subtle and discreet watch, it actually houses an impressive complication, especially for the 1920’s. The lever on the side already shows a hint of this, because it is, in fact, a minute repeater, of which even Audemars Piguet only made movements between 1906 and 1929.
It looks exquisite in the tonneau (dare we say Tortue) case of this Cartier. While the Arabic numerals are different from what we have come to expect from Cartier, it still looks very much like a watch from La Maison. This is interesting as Audemars Piguet has also made nearly the same watch with their own signature on the dial, so we should see Cartier as a retailer, not the manufacturer. This was quite common in those days, as also other prestigious brands such as Tiffany’s, sold watches from other Swiss brands in their boutiques. The case is crafted from platinum, which was also the material of choice for the stunning bracelet.
There is even quite a bit of pedigree to this watch as the original owner was Henry Haven Windsor Jr., who was the son of the founder of Popular Mechanics magazine, and who was able to grow its circulation to 2 million. It is also his name, as well as his Chicago address that can be found on the back of the watch.
No wonder that this watch is a coveted part of the history of both Cartier, as well as Audemars Piguet, and not to forget of watchmaking as a whole.