Introducing Cartier’s New Tortue References – A Beautiful Addition To Their Privé Collection

by Mario C

Slow and steady wins the race, as they say. While Cartier’s Privé collection only adds a handful of watches every year, they are almost bound to be smash hits.

As part of this year’s Watches and Wonders comes the Cartier Privé, the collection to aspire to for any current, emerging or enterprising watch enthusiast. Each year, an unconventional and exclusive timepiece from Cartier’s vast heritage is inducted into the Privé collection – essentially the Cartier Hall of Fame – and is remade for the modern collector to love and enjoy. Cartier’s latest addition to the Privé lineup, the Tank Normale (click here to read the full article!), revived what is arguably one of the purest Tank designs the world had ever seen. For Watches and Wonders 2024, Cartier’s not out to disappoint the fans as the Tortue collection makes its long-awaited return to the roster.

All-new Cartier Privé Tortue collection.

Cartier’s contemporary interpretation of one of their earliest and most prestigious watches is bound to cause a stir in Geneva, in the same fashion that the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin would make a WWE fan do a backflip. Only the third case design in Monsieur Cartier’s original repertoire, the Tortue (French for ‘Tortoise,’ where it gets its shape) predates the Tank – arguably the most iconic Cartier model – by about five years. Despite this, you would hardly be able to tell. Tonneau (Barrel) shaped watches aren’t exactly a dime a dozen these days, so encountering one in the wild is worthy of a double take. However, encountering the Tortue in the wild might kill you with how good it looks.

As is to be expected from a household name in jewellery and timepieces, the design of the Tortue is heritage-inspired yet timeless. It remains true to its original design, yet has undergone subtle enhancements, such as the elongated lugs along the strap and the slimmer profile. The Tortue’s apple-shaped hands remain, as do the classic minute track and Roman numerals, allowing the design to be as elegant as it is readable.

Adding to the iconic Privé collection, Cartier has elected to release three Tortue models. These are time-only and come in either yellow gold with a matching dial finish or platinum with an opaline dial, the latter having the option of diamonds. However, If you know your Cartier history, you’ll know that an iconic Tortue reference is missing from the list of releases. But remember what I said: Cartier’s not out to disappoint the fans.

All-new Cartier Privé Tortue Monopoussoir collection.

Enter the Tortue Monopoussoir. Originally debuting in 1928, this mono-pusher chronograph was reimagined in 1998 as part of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris. This time, the details have become even more defined. The apple-shaped hands are now constructed of blue steel, the chronograph seconds’ counterbalance is now skeletonised, and triangular motifs have been added to the corners of the dial, maintaining an original yet contemporary aesthetic.

Similarly to their time-only siblings, these come encased in either platinum or yellow gold, with a ruby or sapphire cabochon depending on which you pick. As a watch history enthusiast, I find these two references to be the pick of the bunch. If I had to choose, I’m a sucker for elegant yet understated appeal, so I’m team platinum all the way.

Cartier Privé Tortue Monopoussoir Platinum (WHTO0008).

With designs as outstanding as these, there is a need for only the best craftsmanship to back it up. And, of course, there is – this is Cartier we’re talking about! The three time-only references come with the manual winding Cal. 430 MC, a reliable 36-hour power reserve Cartier calibre. For the Monopoussoir models, though, Cartier went all out. How could you not when you make something so special? The new in-house movement, the manual wind 1928 MC, is modern Cartier’s first mono-pusher chronograph. I already went over the functions of the mono-pusher chronograph when I talked about the Angelus Instrument de Vitesse (click here to read the article!).

Cartier Privé Tortue Monopoussoir Yellow Gold (Ref. WHTO0007).

Simply explained: The mono-pusher can do all the same things as a normal chronograph, but with all the controls centred around a button inside the crown – start, stop and reset. The only advantage a normal chronograph has is that it can pause and resume the timekeeping, but a mono-pusher is both more complicated and elegant. Unlike the Instrument de Vitesse, the Tortue Monopouissoir benefits from an additional 30-minute subdial, so you can graduate from timing steaks to baking cakes. The Tortue Monopoussoir also features a display case back for the movement so the user can see Cartier’s debutante in action.

Final Thoughts

In the world of haute horlogerie, Cartier has made it clear that they wish to remain at the top of the game by any means necessary. They consistently prove that their history is an intrinsic part of their existence and celebrate it annually, to our benefit. The Privé collection is the result, celebrating Cartier’s most unusual yet spectacular models in line with their heritage, only further enhanced by the induction of the Tortue. As much as I wish one would be made in stainless steel for us lighter-in-the-wallet plebs, no celebration is complete without precious metal.

The time-only Tortue references shine as a tribute to the expansive legacy that Cartier has carved out for themselves, and the new Monopoussoir, while similar, shows but a sign of the good things to come. But remember: Patience is a virtue, and only good things come to those who await the next addition to the Privé collection.

Reference: Cartier Privé Tortue Yellow Gold (Ref. WGTO0006), Platinum (Ref. WGTO0008), Platinum Diamond (Ref. WJTO0010)


  • Case Material: 18k yellow gold, Platinum, Platinum with Diamonds (2.01ct)
  • Dimensions 32.9 case diameter (longest point), 41.4mm lug to lug, 7.2mm thickness
  • Dial: Gold finish with gold hands and printed Roman numerals (Yellow Gold), Opaline finish with rhodium hands and applied Roman numerals (Platinum/Platinum Diamonds)
  • Movement: Manual wind 430 MC
  • Beat Rate: 3Hz/21,600bph
  • Power Reserve: 36
  • Water Resistance: 30m(3bar)
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Strap: Burgundy Red (Platinum, Platinum Diamonds), Blue (Yellow Gold) alligator straps with platinum or 18k yellow gold ardillon buckle

International Recommended Retail Price: $31,000 USD (Ref. WGTO0006), $35,600 USD (Ref. WGTO0008) and $59,000 USD (Ref. WGTO0006).

Availability: Platinum Diamond is limited to 50 pieces globally. Yellow gold/platinum is limited to 200 pieces globally. Head to for more information on sales

Reference: Cartier Privé Tortue Monopoussoir Yellow Gold (Ref. WHTO0007), Platinum (WHTO0008)


  • Case Material: 18k yellow gold, Platinum
  • Dimensions 34.8 case diameter (longest point), 43.7mm lug to lug, 10.2mm thickness
  • Dial: Gold finish and printed Roman numerals (Yellow Gold), Opaline finish and applied Roman numerals (Platinum/Platinum Diamonds), Blued steel hands (Both)
  • Movement: Manual wind 1928 MC mono-pusher chronograph with a 30-minute timer
  • Beat Rate: TBA
  • Power Reserve: TBA
  • Water Resistance: 30m(3bar)
  • Crystal: Sapphire, on front and case back
  • Strap: Interchangeable Burgundy Red & Shiny Grey (Platinum), Semi Matte & Dark Blue (Yellow Gold) alligator straps with platinum or 18k yellow gold ardillon buckle

International Recommended Retail Price: $59,000 USD (Ref. WHTO0008), $51,000 USD (Ref. WHTO0007)

Availability: Limited to 200 pieces for both 18k yellow gold and platinum models. Head to for more information on sales

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