Cartier has a very rich history of watchmaking, but most of the watches produced by the brand, especially in the early period of La Maison, have always been simple. On the contrary, the exquisite case shape and the classic and elegant dial that match it are the focus. There are exceptions, such as the 1929 Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir single-button chronograph.
This watch is powered by the European Watch & Clock Co. Inc., a joint venture between the Cartier family and Edmond Jaeger. Through this joint venture, Cartier has acquired an exclusive movement for assembling watches. This watch is unique in that it is equipped with a single-button chronograph movement, which means that the start, stop and reset of the chronograph function can be completed in turn with a single button. In this watch, the buttons and crown are integrated, in addition to operating the chronograph function, it can also wind the mainspring and adjust the time.
The name of the watch ‘Tortue’ is derived from the shape of its case-barrel shape, similar to the tortoise shell. This watch is one of the earliest Tortue Monopoussoir single-button chronographs produced by Cartier, dating back to 1929. Compared with the replica watches of the 1990s, the distinctive difference of the earlier models is the narrow bezel. The entire watch is very elegant, 25 mm wide and 35 mm high, and still small by modern standards. The dial is decorated with Roman numerals, and the track scale with a central chronograph second hand, typical Cartier style.
The subdial is subtle and restrained, combined with the narrow bezel, makes the entire watch larger than it really is. Breguet blue-steel hands have become the finishing touch of this antique gentleman’s chronograph. In recent years, Cartier antique watches, especially those produced in the first half of the 20th century, have become increasingly sought after by collectors. In November 2017, this Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir single-button chronograph represents Christie’s auction, with an estimated value of 40,000 to 60,000 Swiss francs before the auction. The watch eventually surpassed its highest estimate and was sold for 62,500 Swiss francs.