Do Cartier Watches Hold Their Value? A Complete Breakdown

Cartier watches are some of the most respected in the world. A newly made Cartier watch holds a lot of value, but will it hold this value into the future?

Most Cartier watches hold their value, particularly the classic designs such as the Tank and Santos watches. Some watches may even appreciate in value throughout the years due to the high-quality materials used, such as sapphire crystal, diamonds, and gold.

The rest of this article will discuss if Cartier watches hold their value in more detail. It will also discuss which Cartier watches are most likely to retain or even appreciate over time.

Table of Contents

Which Cartier Watches Hold Their Value?

The most common Cartier watches that hold their value include classics such as the Cartier Tank and the Santos De Cartier watches. These watches come in different models, but the ones made of gold tend to hold their value the most. Once the price of gold goes up, so does the value of these watches.

Cartier Tank

The tank watches are classic Cartier and popular amongst wristwatch lovers. Take the Tank Francaise, for example. This watch is made of yellow gold and a sapphire crystal as the watch face, so already upon buying it, it has a high value.

With the value of gold expected to increase in the coming year, the Tank Francaise would be likely to increase or at least retain its value. 

Santos De Cartier

Alberto Santos-Dumont created the first Santos De Cartier watch in 1904, and it is still one of the most popular styles of Cartier watches to this day. 

Gold models of the Santos De Cartier are likely to retain their value, but they come at a high price. Since the Santos watches are classics and still popular now, they’re more likely to maintain their value in the future.

What Makes a Watch Hold Its Value?

There are a few things that make a watch hold its value. The main things are:

  • Rarity
  • A distinctive style
  • The history behind the watch
  • The brand name
  • The materials used to make the watch

The above list doesn’t just apply to watches; it applies to many things that hold value. I’ll talk about the list in more detail below.


Rarity is a massive driver for value. When something is rare, most people can’t access it even though they want it; this means people are more willing to pay a higher price, increasing the value.

The Cartier Secret Phoenix Décor Watch is one of the most expensive Cartier watches ever to exist and is valued at over $2.7 million. 

Why is it so expensive? 

One of the main reasons it’s so costly is that it’s a unique, one-of-a-kind watch. Nothing else exists like it, making it a scarce watch.

It’s also made of 18-carat white gold and diamonds, which is another reason it has such a high price!

So, the more difficult it is for people to get their hands on a specific Cartier watch, the higher the value will be.

Cartier makes approximately 490,000 pieces per year, and that includes jewelry; the number of watches Cartier makes would be even less than this.

In comparison, Rolex makes an average of up to 1,000,000 watches each year, so you could say that Cartier watches, in general, are rarer than many of the other luxury watch brands.

A Distinctive Style 

People can get bored when every watch begins to look the same, so a watch that looks unusual and unlike any other watch is more likely to hold its value (or increase in value later on).

The Panthére watch from Cartier has a quirky style, for example. While much of its value is driven by the fact that it’s made of diamonds and white gold, its unusual style is another reason it will hold value in the future. 

The History Behind the Watch

Cartier has a long and rich history, which is why many people have an interest in the watches. Founded in 1847, Cartier has been creating high-quality wristwatches since the early 1900s. Since Cartier has been making high-quality watches for over a century, people trust it and continue to buy the watches. 

Additionally, the previous owner of a Cartier watch can also have an impact on its value. Jackie Kennedy’s gold Cartier Tank watch sold in 2017 for approximately $300,000 at an auction. Why was the price so high? Well, it was mostly because it belonged to Jackie Kennedy!

The Brand Name

People are more willing to pay a higher price for a Cartier watch because of the name and familiarity; this can also be said for things like clothes, shoes, and other jewelry.

However, Cartier is also known for its high-quality, long-lasting watches, which is another big reason people pay a lot of money. Since the name ‘Cartier’ equates to ‘quality’ for many, the price remains high.

The Materials Used to Make the Watch

There is no doubt that Cartier uses high-quality exotic materials in its watches, which is one of the main reasons they hold their value.

Cartier uses mostly colorless diamonds in the watches, which are rarer and more valuable than tinted diamonds. Rose gold and yellow gold are also common materials used, particularly in the cases of their watches. 

Every watch also comes with a sapphire crystal, which is by far the best material there is for the watch face. Sapphire crystal is the most scratch-resistant option there is, as it’s only able to be scratched by diamonds.

However, it’s not just the materials that make Cartier watches hold their value; each watch is carefully engineered to have the most efficient movement.

Cartier creates an in-house movement, which is a prerequisite for a watch to be a luxury watch.

Should I Buy a Cartier Watch?

You should buy a Cartier watch if you can afford it and have a genuine interest in the brand. Most watches will retain their value, while some will even appreciate over time. Their quality and longevity makes them an attractive purchase to many people.

It is important to keep in mind that a Cartier watch is expensive, and even though you may want it really badly, a watch is never worth going into debt. We wrote a detailed article that covers just how much you should spend on a watch, which you can find here.

With that said, if you have the money for a Cartier watch, it could be a fantastic purchase!


Cartier watches generally hold value, especially the classic Tank and Santos watches. 

Here are the most important things to remember:

  • The gold Tank and Santos watches are most likely to retain value.
  • Rarity, history, style, brand name, and materials used are all things that drive the value of a watch.
  • Cartier watches are classics and have stood the test of time for over a century.


Jasper has always been a fan of watches. But when he took on a project of restoring a nearly 30-year-old timepiece, he was hooked. Throughout the years, he has learned a lot about horology and shared his passion on Watches of Today!

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