MB&F may have some of the wildest, most intrepid and rather complicated timepiece designs, but, when it comes to timeless, daring, game-changing collectible pieces, that award most likely belongs to Cartier. The luxury jewellery brand has, over the years, managed to give the world some of the most beautifully-shaped timepieces, from the asymmetrically-shaped Tank Asymétrique to the nearly-oval shaped Cheich – which incidentally, sold for $1.1million at Sotheby’s Paris in September. Now, another iconic design from the brand, the Cartier Pebble aka the Baseball, is making a much-needed comeback.
The history of the Cartier Pebble is as interesting as its design. In the mid-1960s, Jean-Jacques Cartier, the head of the Cartier London branch from 1945 to 1974 decided that it was time for the division to make its own timepieces. This decision led to truly innovative designs that were in line with the events on the London creative scene at the time and include groundbreaking shapes like the Baignore, the Crash and of course, the Pebble.
Of all these designs, however, it is the Pebble that remained one of the rarest creations: many estimate that only six large Pebbles were ever made, and another few in a smaller size. Cartier reps say they have three original Pebbles in their collection – one large and two smaller ones. Back in 2021, one measuring 35.5mm sold at Phillips for CHF403,200. A month after, another, the Pebble Turtle measuring 36mm sold at Bonhams for ₤225,250. These, so far, are the pieces from that era that are known to exist today, making them extremely difficult for collectors to acquire.
The new Cartier Pebble Baseball remains faithful to the original design, giving enthusiasts a rare opportunity to own a truly remarkable timepiece that would most likely never appear dated. Made from 18k gold, this modern iteration retains the combination of the round plus square shape of its predecessor. The dial is egg-shell-coloured so that the modern Pebble retains a vintage, warm look and the brand’s classic Roman numerals and blue sword-shape hands remain so that, at first glance, you do not notice the difference between the 1972 model and its more current 2022 counterpart.
The new iteration features light brown calfskin straps with a gold pin buckle and is powered by the ultra-thin and compact calibre 430 MC. At only 2.1mm, this small hand-wound movement runs at 3Hz and stores 40 hours of power reserve.
Like its predecessor, the 2022 Cartier Pebble ‘Baseball’ ref CRWGPB0003 is a limited-edition model restricted to only 150 pieces. Interested? You can buy this iconic design when it drops in November for £40,000. Good luck getting your hands on one though: this is one timepiece that would certainly sell out before it hits the stores.