A long time ago, Cartier Pasha has reintroduced family products into its watch collection, and the interesting vintage diver-themed dress watch is as authentic today as ever. I’m on the “pasha” side, with a soft spot for how Cartier adapted the canteen bottle-style divers watch case look to a high-end luxury product. This particular reference CRWGPA0019 version of the Cartier Pasha is more interesting and eccentric in many ways, but it is also rich with personality and character. In my opinion, it’s really hard not to like these kind of exotic advertisement watches because they are boring. Don’t miss the detachable grill…
Actually looking at the watch, I asked Cartier, “How much is the replacement grill for the Pasha grill?” You see, one of the gimmicks of this timepiece is the detachable 18k yellow gold tic-tac-toe-style grill matrix on the dial. You twist it and then it unlocks and pulls out. I realize that the ease of losing such a part is high. Cartier didn’t immediately have information on the replacement price, but if you like such a timepiece for personal ownership purposes you can see why this might be an interesting question.
The most notable innovation is the removable grill on this new watch, which has a non-removable grill, hearkening back to the original Cartier Pasha grill from the 1980s. Cartier prefers to make jewelry from ordinary objects or military/industrial equipment. Watch face grills originated in the pocket watch era as a means of protecting delicate crystals from shattering or shattering shock. Even some early diving watches had such grills to protect their crystals from the inevitable hard and heavy objects that could smash into your wrist while using the equipment underwater. By the 1980s, when Cartier first introduced Pasha, these items were already old and antique, making them beautiful and nostalgic in jewelry form.
Although some older styles and looks are still waiting for a comeback, today’s Cartier Pasha watches are probably the best the brand has ever made. The Cartier Pasha has a range of sizes, as well as complication options, including a new moonface version that I will discuss in a separate article. The Pasha Grill is a three-hand Pasha featuring Cartier’s caliber 1847 MC automatic movement, which operates at 4Hz with a two-day power reserve. You can view the movement through the sapphire crystal exhibition window on the back of the watch.
How do you feel about the Pasha Grill without the grill? The idea here is that the watch can be worn as a more traditional 18k gold dress watch or “played up” by adding a matching gold grill, giving the whole composition a very different and dangerous character. In that sense, the Cartier reference CRWGPA0019 is very much a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde typepiece.
On the wrist, the watch is 41mm wide and 9.5mm thick in 18k yellow gold, making it very comfortable. The case is water resistant to 100 meters with a screw-down crown cap (into which is set a blue sapphire crystal cabochon) that opens to reveal the actual crown, which is tiny in comparison. The case is equipped with Cartier’s QuickSwitch system to release the strap and the watch comes with two strap options (I’m sure you can buy more) – a gray and a blue alligator strap. The dial is a classic Pasha with a gently textured dial in silver tone and in my estimation one of the most elegant dials Cartier produces. (I’m a sucker for the combination of hands and hour marker fonts.) I also don’t mind how the brand has integrated the date into the dial, though the window throws off some symmetry.
Cartier does the dials very well and the Pasha face is really part of the overall design. It starts with the “square in circle” concept of the overall watch that marries the square shape inside the round shape (case). The detail on the dial is unusual for most Cartier watches and here we have great colors and textures (note the custom date dial for example). Even a small number of applied elements, such as the four gold hour markers, help create visual interest and more depth, helping to prevent this otherwise vast dial from looking too flat.
Cartier is actually quite expensive when it comes to its gold watches when you compare them to many other similar brands. That still doesn’t mean gold watches are affordable, but if you shop around, you can find great items like these for reasonable (and attainable) retail prices. I should note that at the moment, Cartier does not produce a steel version of the Pasha grill or other gold colors. They may come, but Cartier is often wary of releasing too many versions of new watches at the same time. I hope the Pasha Grill will be a fun, exotic watch that, if successful, can be produced in other gold tones, but I’m not sure steel will last forever (although, from a technical perspective, there’s no stopping it from happening). Cartier, however, produces steel-cased versions of the 41mm-wide Pasha in steel on a matching steel bracelet for around $7,000 USD.
Cartier honestly makes it a challenge to choose an “exotic” Pasha because there are more than a few, some costing more than $100,00 (which include diamonds or a tourbillon or both). For those more interested in the playfulness of the design and the versatility inherent in the strap and dial combinations, this Cartier Pasha Grill Reference CRWGPA0019 is probably a good choice. It’s definitely a fun high-end watch, easy to understand for almost any audience. There is a price $18,900 USD. Learn more on the Cartier website here.