What We Know
Something weird happened in the world of vintage Cartier last year. Uber-rare Swiss made replica Cartier London Pebble watches sold at Phillips for CHF 403,000; then, a month later, another one sold at Bonham’s for slightly less. See, of all Cartier’s crazy creations, the Pebble made by Cartier London is one of the rarest: Many have estimated that only six large Pebbles were ever made (and perhaps another few in a smaller size). This obscure, vintage watch from Cartier London had a bit of a moment, and suddenly it was on every collector’s radar.
Well, today it’s having another moment: Cartier has announced it’s releasing a new limited-edition Pebble. This time 150 individually numbered examples of the new high quality fake Cartier Pebble watches will be made, all in an 18-carat yellow gold case.
Like the now-famous Crash, the Pebble is unusually shaped Cartier replica watches for sale that came from Cartier London during the Swinging Sixties, when London was at the forefront of fashion, music, and culture. Cartier London created all kinds of daring designs during this era, as the city around it shook off a post-war malaise in pursuit of something more playful and rebellious.
“It’s in London where people had in mind to play with existing values,” Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s director of image, style, and heritage, told me. It was a playful, creative atmosphere. These shapes from Cartier London were still “totally inscribed in a Cartier tradition born in Paris,” and the playfulness with those essential shapes from Paris is what gives perfect Cartier copy watches like the Pebble additional context. And extra desirability.
Jean-Jacques Cartier, who led the Cartier London branch from 1945 until 1974, was in line with this creative spirit pulsing through London at the time. In the mid-1960s, he decided that the branch should begin to produce its own best replica Cartier wristwatches (this was also when the Cartier business was being split into separate New York, Paris, and London branches). This decision is what led to an explosion of innovation: No longer was Cartier London making “just Tanks,” but also crazy shapes like the Baignore, Crash, and of course, the Pebble.
The new Pebble is a lot like the old Pebble: a boldly round 36mm case with a tilted square dial (that also gives it another nickname, the “Baseball”) in an off-white eggshell opaline that brings the brand-new Pebble a warm, vintage feel.
What We Think
We think it’s gorgeous. A collector’s dream. A true purist curmudgeon might argue that luxury Cartier fake watches should’ve left the Pebble alone and allowed the originals to represent the model until the end of time. But having 150 new examples floating around is hardly going to flood the market. And it’s hard to imagine that this launch – or anything else – will dent the value of those original half-dozen.
Besides, since Cartier relaunched its Privé Collection in 2015 as a way to showcase its classic designs, we’ve seen it present new versions of the Cloche, Tonneau, Cintrée, Crash, and others. All these 1:1 Cartier replica watches had something in common: Cartier had made limited runs of them before. For example, since the run of original London Crashes in the 1960s and 70s, Cartier has produced a number of limited editions, most notably a run of 400 Paris Crashes in 1991.
This is the first time we’ve seen Cartier revisit the Pebble since it produced those six(ish) original examples at its London workshop starting in 1972. It’s fitting, as this marks the 50th anniversary of the Pebble, but until those auction results of a year ago, it’s likely an anniversary that could’ve passed without much fanfare.
The new AAA Canada super clone Cartier Pebble watches is respectful of the original while making some updates to make sure it meets modern watchmaking standards. Cartier reps say they have three original London Pebbles in their own collection – one large example and two smaller ones – which were essential to create a new Pebble that replicates the original’s softness and balance. The new Pebble measures 36mm in diameter and 6.3mm in thickness, nearly identical to the original (which measured 35.4mm and 5.3mm).
The Privé Collection began back in 2015, before the resurgence in appreciation (and auction results) for some of top replica Cartier‘s vintage watches, led by the Crash. In fact, I’d wager that Cartier’s exemplary execution of the Privé Collection – pretty much every release in the collection seems to be an instant hit (and sell out) – has spurred some of this resurgence. Perhaps more than any other watch brand, the new and the old Cartier seem to be in constant communication with each other.
This is illustrated by the Pebble. Sure, Cartier London gets all the credit today, but Rainero, the director of image, style, and heritage, mentioned that the square-inside-a-circle motif was something Cartier Paris had done before (nowadays, think of the Pasha as another example of Cartier playing with squares and circles together). Cartier London tilting the square dial to make it a lozenge was its new, playful interpretation of the idea. In other words, Cartier fake watches online site has been asking “how do we turn square peg, round hole into a watch?” since time immemorial.
Here’s why I like the release of a new Pebble: It’s pretty likely we won’t see another vintage London Pebble for sale anytime soon. We can account for half of the large ones: Those two that sold last year, plus the examples in China Cartier replica watches’ collection. I mean sure, if you’re John Goldberger, you can casually post photos of them while dining al fresco, but for even the most hard-core Cartier collector, there was pretty much no chance of ever seeing, much less owning, a Pebble. That feels wrong. Now, there are another 150 of them, and sure they won’t be easy to get, but they won’t be impossible.
This is why the constant dialogue between old and new cheap fake Cartier watches is so exciting for collectors. Much the way Cartier London of the ’70s put its own spin on Paris’ classics, so too is modern Cartier showing a deep appreciation for its history. And kind of like London in the Swinging Sixties, it almost feels playful. Well, as playful as a $40,000 dress watch can be. And playtime will be over as soon as collectors start elbowing one another out of the way for a chance to own one.