Louis Cartier, the famous watchmaker, had a personal vision. As he put it, the never-ending quest for "perfect balance between aesthetics, structure, and function".

The contemporary line of ladies' Cartier watches exemplify this vision, as the owner of any of these fine timepieces will attest. They offer the woman of today many choices as to style and design.

The Tank design is perhaps the most famous of Cartier watches for women, debuting in 1917 and continuing to today. Identifiable by the rectangular face, the Tank has many individual styles, ranging from an almost square face to a long and narrow rectangle.

The Tankissime is a relative of the Tank's overall shape and design, with an additional emphasis on elegance. The bracelet comes in choice of gold or silver and has the option of being lined with diamonds. One of the most distinctive and sought-after designs for women, it is also one of the most expensive.

The Tortue for ladies was introduced in 1913, many years before a Tortue for men was available. This classic design has an emphasis on round curves, differing greatly from the popular Tank styles in appearance. It has a beauty and functionality all it's own, and is one of the most sought-after designs by collectors.

The Roadster designs are modern and are have a throwback, racy appeal. For many, any of these watches are a modern, less expensive choice to the Tortue designs they most closely resemble.

The Santos model was introduced in 1904, and has a geometric feel and design. The "square within a rectangle" is instantly recognizable, and it remains one of the most desirable and distinctive designs for women.

The Pasha line is one of the oldest and most celebrated. It features a circular shape and Arabic as opposed to Roman numerals on the face. It was designed to be worn in the water and is extremely durable and distinctive.

Shopping for a Cartier watch presents many options. Whether you're looking for new or used, always do your homework and shop from an authenticated seller. The Cartier brand is extremely desirable, and high-quality fakes and replicas abound in the marketplace. A genuine ladies' Cartier watch, purchased new, comes with a lifetime guarantee and certificate of authenticity.

Many prospective owners prefer to shop offline, either directly from Cartier or from a reputable jeweler. They take comfort in the fact that they can hold the watch in their hand and communicate in person with a seller's representative.

Shopping online can be more intimidating, but can lead to substantial savings over traditional retail. Again, due diligence is the key. A simple Google search will provide information on the seller's business practices, history, and the like.

Ladies' watches by Cartier are as distinctive as they are diverse. Owning and wearing one of these luxury timepieces is a combination of status and elegance without equal.

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