In case it hasn’t been clear, the gender distinctions in the watch world are quickly disappearing.
This, combined with the waning days of Big Watch—i.e. the 46mm Panerais and Breitlings of the 1990s and early 2000s—has resulted in a sea of celebs donning teensy Cartiers, dainty Piagets, and vintage Rolexes. (Panerai and Breitling, for their part, are now offering much smaller fare for ladies that works perfectly well for men, too.)
Exhibit A: Timothée Chalamet. Our favorite Atreides, a Cartier brand ambassador, has been spotted wearing all manner of attractive timepieces from the house’s ladies’ collections. Yesterday, in fact, he was seen at a photocall for Dune: Part II in a Panthère de Cartier in its Mini iteration, a watch he’s worn in public before. Measuring 25mm in steel and powered by a quartz movement, it’s one of the maison’s more affordable timepieces, but it’s also a classic model that’s largely been the purview of female clients…
…with a few key exceptions. Following the collection’s 1983 launch, Princess Diana, Madonna, Gwenyth Paltrow and others were spotted wearing the Panthère, but so were male stars such as Keith Richards, Charlie Sheen, and Pierce Brosnan. It’s taken a few decades, but it seems like we’re finally coming around to another horological-stylistic inflection point—one in which men don’t feel threatened by rocking a sub-40mm wristwatch.
What’s more, Cartier certainly seems to be having a moment…if one of the biggest jewelers in the world can have “a moment.” Cartier’s 2022 watch revenue was second only to that of Rolex, eclipsing Omega’s for the second time since 2021. This—combined with sizes and tastes trending downward, wild prices realized at auction for rare pieces such as the Crash, and the unavailability at retail of desirable pieces from competing marques—has driven the Parisian maison’s market share sky high.
But back to Mr. Chalamet: Regardless of whether he’s rocking a rare, diamond-studded piece or a more down-to-Earth choice in plain ole’ steel, Chalamet’s horological choices are sure to have a knock-on effect in the greater watch world. Being given the green light from one of the world’s most visible young actors to branch out from the hulking, 40mm+ tool watch world and into a world of svelte—dare we say “dainty”—pieces feels like a welcome sartorial weight off our collective shoulders. (Actually, make that a physical weight.)
Wear it with a dinner jacket; rock it with a T-shirt; throw it on to promote your latest Denis Villeneuve sci-fi flick. However you wear it, it’ll shine—the Panthère is an icon for a reason.