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Special Dial

Cartier Cristallor 18k Yellow Gold, later Paris Dial & case, SM size

Cartier Cristallor 18k Yellow Gold, later Paris Dial & case, SM size

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Maker: Cartier
Model: Cristallor
Year: late 1970’s
Dial: White Lacquer Paris dial (mark II)
Case Material: 18K Yellow Gold
Dimensions: 24.5mm by 30mm diameter; 6mm thickness
Case serial: 980951XXX
Caliber: Manual caliber 78-1
Service history: December 2023, +2.2 seconds per day
Bracelet/Strap: Green calf strap from Jones in Tokyo and Cartier gold plated buckle.
Lug Width: 14mm
Box/Papers: Only Cartier box

Based on old Japanese Cartier brochures that we have in possession, the Cristallor was introduced to Cartier's offerings in the early to mid 1970s as one of 12 special "shaped" watches that formed part of the “Louis Cartier Collection”. This 12 shape Tank collection included such familiar models such as the Ellipse, Ceinture, Gondollo, and Stepped Tank. The Cristallor is thought to be one of the rarest of them all due to the relatively low production numbers. The serial numbers for the Cristallor is in a very tight range (78095 for LM and 78096 for SM) and it is understood that fewer than 1000 were produced, or at least not too many more than that. In the early years of the collection, the Cristallor had a hidden lug case construction with the SM size serial number all starting with 780950 while in the latter years the case had normal lugs. For these, the case serial started with 780951.

Featuring an octagonal case with a thick triple-stepped bezel that frames its white lacquer Paris-signed dial, the Cristallor stands as a beautiful example of Cartier’s uncanny ability to create some refreshingly unique designs that broke from the traditional norms of the time in which they were born. With hidden lugs and an attractively sized 24.5 x 30mm case, the Cristallor SM has a great wrist presence and can be worn both by men's and women's. This is the latter variant of the Cristallor which a case construction with normal luges (the early case variant had a hidden lug construction). The Paris dial is also different between the early and later variant with the Cartier logo and Roman numeral tracks being slightly different between the two.

This Cartier Cristallor SM size is in overall excellent condition. The case is strong and its unique triple stepped bezel is in fantastic condition. The case may have been lightly polished in the past but has no major scratches and is looking very sharp for a watch of this age. The original Paris dial is in overall great condition with no major blemishes. The black painted numerals are in beautiful condition. The white lacquer dial has some minor cracks only visible under a loupe at an angle. The caliber 78-1 movement has been serviced in December 2023 and is currently running well at +2.2 seconds per day. The watch comes with a green calf strap from Jones in Tokyo and also comes with a Cartier gold plated buckled. 

The wrist short on the photos were taken on a man with a wrist size of 16.5cm. Due to the presence of the large case size, this Cristallor SM size can easily be worn by men.

Ships from Japan

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