This cute ladies watch from Cartier is called the Secret Panda. I don’t use the term “cute” all that often to describe timepieces, but this one certainly is. All in 18k white gold clad in diamonds, black sapphires and two emeralds for the eyes, this little panda is literally humping the watch. Slide the little humping panda down and you reveal the time. You can even move the panda back and forth quickly to make it appear as though it is humping quickly. I love stuff like this.
Cartier makes a lot of “secret” watches. That means that something is hiding the time display dial that the wearer must manually reveal. Why do these exist? They are really a vestige of sexism. It used to be very unladylike for a woman to wear a watch. Why should she know the time when her male escort was to keep track of such things? Secret watches were developed to give women access to the time in the form of some type of jewelry or other non-timepiece adornment.
By design, the Secret Panda watch doesn’t look all that much like a watch. The black satin strap forms more of a decorative bracelet than a timepiece. But, pull the little humping panda down and you see a lovely unorthodoxly designed Cartier dial – and even more diamonds. Humpy the panda is really the focal point of the watch. I don’t know why, but French luxury brands especially are adept at creating incredibly charming little animals with jewelry coats. That applies to brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Boucheron. The black and white with green eyes panda is no exception. Despite being covered in precious stones, the delightful expression of his happy humping face is not at all lost. It is then sometimes hard to stomach the “exclusive” price tag of these pieces meaning that they are strictly for the few to own.
The overall design of the Cartier Secret Panda mixes the childlike charm of a panda bear with an art deco style design of the strap and 18k white gold dial and deployant. Inside the watch is a simple Swiss quartz movement and the piece just tells the time. While not an item of haute horlogerie, it is a refreshingly light-hearted take on luxury timepieces. While not a limited edition, pieces such as this tend to experience rather limited production and are often produced only by request. Just ask for the humping panda watch and Cartier will be happy to assist you. Truly endearing… Price is over $75,000.