1990s was a defining decade for the mechanical watch industry. It had recovered from the quartz crisis and was gaining momentum again. These were the times when the watch forums, blogs and social media were non-existent. Just true connoisseurs sharing their passion for mechanical watches. Although within the small community, the interest in high-end mechanical movements could be reeked in the air.

And Cartier could smell it. In 1998, Cartier dedicated a separate division for mechanical watches, as a special collection called Collection Privée Cartier Paris (CPCP).

It comprised of some iconic models such as the Santos, Tank and Tortue, with movements manufactured by other big names within the watch industry such as JLC, Piaget, Frederique Piguet and THA Èbauche among the others. The calibers were then finished in-house by Cartier before housing them into some of its historic designs. Some pieces were made as a limited edition of 100pcs and others were a limited production of 200 – 250 timepieces.

CPCP was operational between 1998 and 2008, after which Cartier decided to dive deep into high-end in-house watchmaking dedicating a new manufacturer in 2008 called the Fine Watchmaking (FWM). It did not generate expected results and was shut down in 2018.

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