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Cartier Santos Galbée 1567

Cartier prices: how much do they vary

Renowned for its decadent aesthetic and elegant design, Cartier is one of the world’s most sought-after jewelry brands. Founded in France in 1847, Cartier has been a pioneer in the industry for over a century. From being one of the first watchmakers to offer wristwatches to inventing the very first square dial, history and reputation have had a great effect on Cartier prices. Depending on the collection and special features, expect to pay between $2,300 and $233,000 for a timepiece.


Cartier prices by collection

One of the most unique features of a Cartier watch is that it is very design-focused, as opposed to technology-orientated. Since the very beginning, the Parisian brand has been a firm favorite of royals, with one of its earliest fans being Princess Mathilde, the niece of Napoleon, who made her first purchase in 1856. Cartier went on to secure a royal warrant from King Edward VII of England in 1904, and today it still has its cult following. Surprisingly, the price of a Cartier is a lot less than other watchmakers with the same excellent reputation. For example, the Santos collection, which is most famous for its iconic square dial, can be bought pre-owned from just $1,200. Of course, Cartier is renowned for embellishments and fine features, so models with diamond-set bezels or decadent gold casings can reach up to $233,000. Considering its price, a Santos watch is a great investment, as it has such a rich history: originally designed for pilots, it was worn by Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1906 on the first ever public engine-powered flight. From a collectors point of view, however, the Tank collection, one of Cartier’s oldest and most popular ranges, is where you should be spending your money. Made in 1919 during the First World War, its namesake and strong, square design are inspired by the tanks used by the British military. Submodels, including the Tank Francaise and the Tank Anglaise, can be bought from $1,800 for the stainless steel option. As mentioned above, Cartier costs begin to soar when jewels and more decadent metals are used. Take the Ballon Bleu, for example. Set with a unique sapphire cabochon, you can expect to pay a minimum of $3,500 for this model.

Justifying Cartier prices: are they a good investment?

A Cartier watch is a perfect accessory that you can wear every day. Due to their popularity, the prices of Cartier watches have risen over the years, especially the well-loved Tank collection. The stones used in the more extravagant models also help to hold their value. But collectors will agree that it's the vintage models that are the most lucrative — only recently did an original Tank sell at a Christie’s auction for $21,053!