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Cartier Must 21

With the 21 Must de Cartier, the Paris-based company brought back one of its most interesting collections. The series is aimed at women who are looking for their first ladies' watch and are also attracted to sporty designs.  More

Cartier Must 21
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Buy affordable 21 Must de Cartier watches online

French jewellery and watch company Cartier breathes new life into one of its most interesting collections with the 21 Must de Cartier. With a new decorative gold technique and their trust placed in quartz, this series is aimed primarily at women who are looking for their first ladies' watch and appreciate sporty designs.

How much does a pre-owned 21 Must de Cartier watch cost?

  • The 38 mm wide Must 21 Chronograph (Ref. W10172T2 2424) is the most famous model in the 21 Must de Cartier series. The hour scale has been converted into Roman numerals here and marked on a shimmering stainless-steel bezel. The white totalisers of the chronograph stand out nicely against the decorated dial. Inside you will find a quartz movement developed by Cartier. Originally designed as a sporty ladies' watch, the Cartier Must 21 Chronograph also looks great on men with slimmer wrists. Pre-owned, you can buy this timepiece for just €1,500.

  • The Ref. W10072R6 model is a fine example of an elegant version for ladies of the Must de Cartier 21. Gilded Roman numerals are marked on the satin finish bezel. An extra touch of colour is added to this Cartier model by blued hands and the crown with blue cabochon. This model is considered a large version and has a case diameter of 31 mm. Pre-owned this model is available for €1,795.

  • The standard model, the 21 Must de Cartier (Ref. 1330), has a 30 mm diameter and retains the satin finish bezel, but also features gilded indices and an internal bezel. The models are available in yellow gold and in limited edition versions with red coloured indices as well. Certified pre-owned models are available from €1,000.

  • Experience just how sporty luxury can be with the 21 Must de Cartier Autoscaph (Ref. 2427). The liberal use of luminous material on the hands and indices makes the watch easy to read at all times. The minute and hour displays are arranged in a ring around the dial, while the bracelet experiments with a mixture of rubber and stainless-steel components. Pre-owned, you can buy this Must de Cartier 21 from €1,200.

The 21 Must de Cartier: Affordable luxury

While Cartier was mainly known for high-quality luxury, in the 1970s the company started to rethink its approach and make its models more affordable. In 1972, Robert Hocq took over the company and, together with Alain-Dominique Perrin, developed the idea of a new, more affordable luxury watch. Consequently, the Must de Cartier series was launched in 1976 to serve the entry-level category in the watch market.

This decision was quite controversial. In the 1970s, Cartier was quite simply the luxury brand and was appreciated by its wearers for its exclusivity and well-defined brand identity. They worked on mystery watches and exclusive accessories, but also realised that the quartz crisis made the market even more competitive and a rethink of the pricing structure was necessary. The Must de Cartier collection initially focused on ladies' watches, but soon attracted men as its wearers. The 21 Must de Cartier is a new edition in the series and brings the spirit and style of the Must de Cartier collection into modern times. The attractive price of the 21 Must de Cartier collection is indeed reflected in the workmanship of the watches. For example, the models are made of gold-plated sterling silver instead of being covered with real gold. Generally, the models have a diameter of 28 mm, but 33 and 38 mm are also available. The watches exclusively use quartz movements.

Worn by stars: the 21 Must de Cartier

A subtle, unpretentious series, the 21 Must de Cartier has been worn by numerous celebrities. Actress Anna Paquin (True Blood) was seen wearing Ref. 10109T2. Michael Chiklis also wore a 21 Must de Cartier chronograph in his famous role as detective Vic Mackey. In its marketing, Cartier didn’t use celebrities to advertise it until 2018, preferring instead to let the quality speak for itself. Cartier worked with actresses such as Monica Bellucci and Sofia Coppola, but the reputation of the models was enough in itself.

Other Cartier series

  • Even after the discontinuation of the 21 Must de Cartier collection, Cartier continued to make accessible watches and reissued many of its signature series with quartz movements. Thus, the Tank Française is now also available as a quartz watch with prices starting at €2,500. The Tank Francaise is one of Cartier's classics and, as the name suggests, a piece that stands against the atrocities of the First World War. In distinctive Art Deco style, the design of the tank is reflected by two thick vertical side bars, also known as “brancards”.

  • Launched in 2004, the Cartier Santos 100 celebrates a century of being one of Cartier's most famous series. Originally developed as an aviator's watch for Alberto Santos-Dumont, it is now known mainly as a dress watch. Historically it was also the first ever wristwatch with a leather strap. However, it is available with a stainless-steel bracelet nowadays.

  • The Cartier Panthère has also enjoyed a great revival in 2019. Launched in 1983 off the back of the success of the Must de Cartier, it was initially marketed as a ladies' watch, but also attracted the attention of the men. For example, Pierce Brosnan and Keith Richard were among the wearers of the Panthère. It was well-priced and functional yet beautiful in its design, which focused on the bracelet with its brick link pattern. The new Panthère continues this legacy using a quartz movement.

  • Cartier is also known for its diverse shapes and extravagant case designs. The Cartier Pasha was originally designed as a gift for the Sultan of Marrakech and is yet another example of how the brand combines form with function. Designed by Gérald Genta, the case still attracts attention today with its sleek curves, the oversized crown and the shortened lugs.

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