My Pick for Best Watch of the Year: Cartier Promenade d’une Panthère

The Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (GPHG) is coming up, taking place in Grand Théâtre de Genève on Thursday, November 15, 2012. On this stage watches released in 2012 compete for best in class. Winning not only provides bragging rights but can also convert to dollars in the marketplace. People love to be associated with the victor. Though it isn’t nominated, I think the Cartier Promenade d’une Panthère stands out and not just in the ladies’ category but also against the candidates in other categories. Here’s why.

There’s sublime beauty in the simple. The Cartier Promenade d’une Panthère embodies mechanical and artistic elegance without going down the easily seductive path of the overly complex. A bejeweled panther, one of Cartier’s iconic creatures, prowls around the circumference of the purple mother-of-pearl dial in a lovely and creative display of kinetic art. But this majestic cat is more than just a party trick; he’s part of the inverted rotor that winds the watch.


Why is this so significant? The majority of women’s watches get little respect, running off an inexpensive quartz movement. It’s thought that women can’t be bothered to “figure out” how to wind and set a watch and all they are looking for is convenience. Additionally, unlike men, they don’t appreciate mechanics. If a woman’s watch happens to have a mechanical movement, it’s usually a hand-me-down from one designed for a men’s watch.

In this case, Cartier built the Calibre 9603 MC expressly for the ladies from the ground up. In a generous 18K rhodiumized white gold case aglitter with diamonds, the Promenade d’une Panthère showcases Cartier’s breathtaking design and expertise in high jewelry. The Promenade d’une Panthère gives a deep, well-deserved curtsy to women and also stands on its own as a sophisticated rendering of horological art.

Categories Cartier, Lady's Wristwatch, Mechanical, Self-Winding Tags Bookmark
  • GEO

    Great taste Meehna! It’s such a smart and fantastic looking watch! And as you mentioned already, só feminine.

  • Rami George Holland

    I have to be honest, I am one that easily gets led down the path of complications to go with the high-end material cases. Nevertheless I respect the stops Cartier pulled out with the movement, as you said.

    • Meehna Goldsmith

      Rami, I’m glad that, although you prefer the complications, you can appreciate the beautiful and creative simplicity Cartier achieved here with the Promenade d’une Panthere.

  • jagger

    great choice indeed. Also, unlike the other watches proposing a an inverted rotor (on the dial side) this one does not have a central axis of rotation. The panther lies on a ball-bearing system which is quite a technical achievement if not a true complication

    • Meehna Goldsmith

      I agree with you, jagger, and am glad you like my choice and see my reasoning for picking it.