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Cartier has an unusual pebble-shaped watch. Here’s the history behind it

The Pebble is one of Cartier’s rarest timepieces in history. Now, the watchmaker has reissued the model in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

From square to rectangular to round and bell-shaped, Cartier is known for its innovative watch shapes. But one of its rarest is none other than the Pebble, which features a diamond-shaped dial set against a rounded case.

The Pebble, or “Baseball” as it is sometimes called in the US, was created by the watchmaker’s London-based workshop in the early 1970s. The workshop worked quite independently from the Parisian jeweller and was known for creating some of Cartier’s most daring designs, ranging from the Crash to the Asymetrique. 

The Pebble first hit the market in 1972. Only six examples are known to have been produced – five in yellow gold with cream dials, and one in white gold with a black dial. Its rarity naturally fuelled desirability.

The Pebble was designed by Cartier's London-based workshop in the early 1970s. (Photo: Cartier)

Fast forward to modern day, when the timepiece caught the attention of collectors. In 2021, a Pebble sold at a Phillips auction for US$450,000 (S$637,905). A second Pebble made its appearance at a Bonhams auction that same year, going under the hammer for US$254,846.

In October, Cartier announced that it is reissuing the Pebble in celebration of the model’s 50th anniversary. The modern interpretation looks almost similar to the original. It features a 36mm 18-carat yellow gold case, eggshell-coloured dial, Roman numerals and blued sword-shaped hands, paired with a classic light brown leather strap.

(Photo: Cartier)

What’s different is the modern Pebble now houses one of Cartier’s flattest hand-wound movements – the Manufacture 430 MC movement. Cartier’s “secret signature” features at seven o’clock, along with the house’s modern logo at 12 o’clock.

Getting your hands on one, however, won’t be an easy task. The release is limited to only 150 individually numbered pieces. In Singapore, it is priced at S$63, 500.

Cartier has been reissuing some of its historic designs of late. Previous reissued watches include the 100th anniversary edition of the Tank Cintree and the Pasha Calendrier Complet, both of which were launched last year.

Source: CNA/st