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Relive the story of how the Pasha rose to a cult classic status among nonconformists

The Pasha de Cartier stands as a living legacy, handed from generation to generation of nonconformists. Its history is as unique as its silhouette, with a surprising turn at every corner of its fabrication. This is the story of how the revolutionary Pasha came to be, and its retelling 35 years after its conception.

What’s in a name?

Cartier is a name that is akin to opulence and elegance. It’s prominent for statement-making watches that bear appellations as sophisticated as the maison. For this timepiece, a man whose grandeur and social grace match the creation was the inspiration behind the sobriquet. Cartier took Thami El Glaoui, the Pasha of Marrakesh, as its own muse. The Pasha of Marrakesh was one of the most prestigious clients of Cartier, and this watch was the luxury house’s ode to him.

The face of a genius

Pasha de Cartier watch, 41mm, automatic, yellow gold, sapphire, interchangeable leather straps WGPA0007_1 ($22,900)

With the goal to create a bolder, significantly larger, masculine, sporty, and watertight watch in mind, Cartier reached out to the legendary Gerald Genta to make this vision come to life. Genta was a famed Swiss watch designer and artist whose craft was renowned all over the world. The market was teeming with sporty watches in the 1980s, but Cartier changed the game with the Pasha’s audacious silhouette and daring square-in-circle face design.

Unorthodox approach

Deviating from the traditional dainty ovals, squares, and rectangles of Cartier, the Pasha was a breakthrough for the brand. Its embossed bezel made the new watch stand out. The addition of a crown cap made the watch water-resistant, hiding the winding crown safely underneath. The crown itself and the cap were set with a sapphire stone, which is still being done today with the latest Pasha model along with a blue spinel option. But what really sets the Pasha apart is its bold square design in the center of the circular dial. This filigree rail-track has become a beloved identifying mark of the watch, and was passed down to the succeeding models. 

The rise of the Pasha

Pasha de Cartier skeleton watch, 41mm, tourbillon, manual, pink gold, sapphire, interchangeable leather straps WHPA0006_2 POA

Despite its masculine appeal, women were also attracted to the Pasha for the power it exudes and its delightfully anomalous approach to watchmaking. This popularity among people instantly built the watch’s cult classic status, amassing enthusiasts from far and wide and across all demographics. 

A step up

Pasha de Cartier watch, 35mm, automatic, white gold, diamonds CRWJPA0014 POA

35 years after its first public appearance, the Pasha de Cartier remains a luminary among long-established watch collectors and new admirers alike. The new model remains faithful to the original’s emblematic features, but it’s enhanced with technological advancements to suit modern tastes. The Cartier-developed QuickSwitch and SmartLink systems are cutting-edge innovations to the Pasha—the former allowing a smooth changing of straps with a push of a button, and the latter an effortless adjustment of the metal bracelet length without the use of tools. The new Pasha de Cartier watch is also endowed with the 1847 MC automatic calibre. This in-house movement goes further still in the quest for performance and reassurance thanks to its resistance to both magnetism and water.

Tailored for you

Pasha de Cartier watch, 35mm, automatic, pink gold, diamonds, sapphire, interchangeable metal bracelet leather strap WJPA0013_1 ($53,000)

A watch is one of the most intimate accessories we own. Cartier takes this feeling of belonging up a notch with features that allow you to personalize your Pasha, and make it as unique as you. Unscrewing the crown cap reveals a hidden space beneath the link where initials can be engraved. Straps are also interchangeable to suit your mood and look, with leather and metal of different colors available. The Pasha de Cartier itself comes in steel, white gold, yellow gold, and now in an elegant pink gold to match your contemporary taste. Diamonds of all sizes can also be added to the timepiece, adding a special shine that complements the distinctive persona of the wearer. 

The Pasha de Cartier is an emblem that appeals to the artists and nonconformists who are hungry for success, and use their ingenious creativity to pave offbeat paths to reach their goals. With its primo silhouette, top-notch functions, and technological advancements, it’s no wonder the timepiece has retained its cult following to this day. 

For more information on the Pasha de Cartier and its new ambassadors, visit Cartier’s website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Cartier is located at Greenbelt 4, Solaire Resorts and Casino, and Rustan’s Shangri-La.

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