About Time: Cartier’s Pasha Blends Opulence And Practicality

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About Time: Cartier’s Pasha Blends Opulence And Practicality

Words by Mr Timothy Barber

1 December 2021

Cartier is known for the variety of unlikely but elegant shapes it has introduced to wristwatches over the decades. The names are as evocative as their shapes are singular: the Tank, the Tortue (tortoise), the Baignore (bathtub), the Cloche (bell) and so on. The Pasha, recently relaunched by Cartier, is named differently. As far as shapes go, it’s just a round watch. But of course, it’s not just a round watch. It’s one of the more eccentric and fascinating designs in the Cartier catalogue, launched in 1985, but named after Mr Thami El Glaoui, Pasha of Marrakesh during the first half of the 20th century.

Mr El Glaoui was a glamorous international figure, a friend of Sir Winston Churchill, a keen sportsman and an important Cartier client. The Pasha watch has the opulent feel of something he’d have commissioned: lavish but sturdy, an exotic sporting watch for a grand pre-war eminence. The Pasha isn’t a shape – it’s a mood and it’s the subject of MR PORTER’s latest About Time film.

As the film rather beautifully demonstrates, the Pasha is a watch that rewards being studied close up so you see its shimmering surface expanses, rich contrasts and unexpected details. Those include the elegant, stud-style Vendome lugs, the square-in-a-circle minute track and the four large numerals in a graceful Art Deco typeface, a notable divergence from the Roman numerals featured on nearly all Cartier watches.

There are plenty of drainpipe-skinny legs, too, along with crystal-embellished leathers, logo tees and a range of seriously desirable accessories, including next summer’s must-have sunglasses shape, the Bug. And we’re thrilled to announce that certain items are exclusively available at MR PORTER, including one of our personal highlights, a leather varsity jacket embellished with a motif by Upstate New York artist Mr Scott Daniel Ellison – a part of the collection created in collaboration with 14 of the designer’s favourite artists. As ever, Slimane may be a dreamer – but he knows exactly what people want.

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