The Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier is not your typical round watch

Cartier’s definition of what constitutes a round shape is a design made manifest in the iconic Ballon Bleu. And the latest 33mm model gets a softer side, with a new face in blush pink.

“If the Ballon Bleu had to be a person, it’d be Angelina Jolie,” mused a friend who argued why he wouldn’t classify the watch as Cartier’s ‘most feminine timepiece’. “She’s not traditionally beautiful … but nonetheless a beautiful woman with strong features.”

 

Beauty is subjective. But likening the Ballon Bleu’s human equivalent to a beautiful and talented Hollywood megastar is … apt (even though she’s more of a Tank gal). The timepiece has, what the brand describes, an “accuracy of the shape”, where in this case, the watch’s astute roundness has been emphasized to a T.

 

Also, it’s worth noting that curvature and a grand cabochon spinel are not reserved for feminine audiences only.

The Ballon Bleu is a modern shape

Cartier debuts the Ballon Bleu de Cartier with a softer side, refreshing the 33mm canvas with a sunray-finished dial in blush pink. As with the other 33mm pairs in the collection, the new color is available in two models in steel, one diamond-set and one without.

However, that’s not to say that a pink diamond-set 33mm watch is immediately a ladies’ timepiece (Cartier never described the watch as so in its collaterals). At this year’s Golden Globes, diamond timepieces were seen on the wrists of Timothée Chalamet, Barry Koeghan, and Jonathan Bailey, in addition to brilliant sets of jewelry they had on.

When the Ballon Bleu de Cartier launched in 2007, it swiftly became a global sensation, marking it as one of the brand’s most recent and successful models. Cartier was ahead of its time, introducing the model as a unisex timepiece — featuring notably masculine variants such as the Chronograph and Tourbillon models — but ultimately the Ballon Bleu found particular favor among the female clientele of Cartier.

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, is known to be an avid wearer of the Cartier Ballon Bleu. (Image: Forbes)

Surprisingly, even the larger 42mm model, a size traditionally perceived as more masculine (as bigger was better), was frequently sported by fashionable women during its initial years. Remarkably, the Ballon Bleu stands out as one of the most triumphant and well-designed unisex models in recent memory, with its versatile appeal across a range of sizes, from 36mm to 47mm, making it equally appealing and stylish for both men and women.

Four elements that make up the Ballon Bleu de Cartier

A round watch makes sense on paper, but isn’t that what everyone else is doing? So Cartier took the round shape and ran a mile with it. In designing the Ballon Bleu de Cartier, the watch encapsulates four key creative focuses that define the brand’s commitment to excellence: the purity of the line, precision of proportions, precious details, and accuracy of shape.

 

The watch is, in essence, a circle within a circle. Its monobloc construction seamlessly integrates horns and crown cap into the middle case, creating a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing shape. This apparent simplicity belies a sophisticated combination of circular and spherical forms, showcasing Cartier’s dedication to intricate design.

The precision of proportions is a hallmark of Cartier’s craftsmanship, ensuring not only a visually appealing watch but also one that meets the highest standards of comfort, whether cradled in the hand or adorning the wrist.

 

The watchmaker’s stylistic intuition shines through in the precious details of the Ballon Bleu. The winding crown at three o’clock, adorned with a distinctive blue cabochon beneath a protective metal hoop, stands out as a recognizable feature, blending aesthetics with technical expertise.

In bringing it full circle, Cartier’s exploration of roundness is applied to the domed case on both the front and back, transforming the “rail-track” in an organic shape that introduces the iconic blue bubble. This innovative approach pays homage to watchmaking tradition while infusing a contemporary twist into the maison’s codes — and that’s why a round watch by Cartier is unlike any other.

Tech Specs: Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier with pink dial

Movement: Automatic-winding 1853 MC caliber; 37-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours and minutes; Central seconds
Case: 33mm; stainless steel; water-resistant up to 30m
Dial: Pink sunray-brushed dial
Strap: Interchangeable steel bracelet
Price: S$8,900 and S$17,200 (diamond pavé version)
Availability: Cartier boutiques in ION Orchard, Ngee Ann City, and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

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