The Panthère, available at Maison Birks, is the perfect nouveau-vintage piece because it is ageless and classic; it can be worn day or night, to the office or a black-tie event, and it’s unisex. The movements are quartz, keeping the watch elegantly thin and true to the original model, which arrived at the height of the quartz era. There is even a yellow-gold version that adds to the ’80s throwback feel, before the bright metal was supplanted by the rise of white gold in the ’90s and rose gold in the naughts. Cartier has also created a steel version, a rarity for the brand, which has only sparingly used the lower-price-point material in watchmaking. Even better is a steel version set with diamonds, meaning there is room to splurge.
These advancements on re-issued archival pieces bring together the best of technology and design. After all, there is an undercurrent of vintage already inherent to luxury brands that pride themselves on tradition and company DNA. The Panthère de Cartier and the Lady Datejust will still be around 50 years from now, as will the Chanel suit and the Burberry trench. They will simply evolve into next-generation versions of themselves, as true to what came before, only better.