Cartier is a brand in a hurry. It’s hard to think of a make that’s produced more new complications, more jewellery confections and more new models in the past few years than the venerable brand that’s the jewel in Richemont’s stable of thoroughbreds.
If further proof were needed, this year sees the release of the Drive de Cartier, a watch that introduces yet another new shape and follows the Ballon Bleu, the Calibre de Cartier and the Cle de Cartier, all new ranges that introduced a distinctive new shape and have exceeded expectations.
The Drive is distinguished by a rounded cushion-shaped case that defies time-stamping or the usual pidgeon-holing; it’s at once sophisticated yet everyday, a factor Cartier have made the most of by stuffing it with various fillings, a variety of movements from simple time-teller to complications including a tourbillon.
Why it’s called Drive has not been explained, but that aside in any guise you’d call it a handsome thing, smart without being stuffy, that shape a happy vehicle for Cartier’s usual blued-hands and Roman numerals codes on dial of black, grey or white, all finished with guilloche decoration.
The cases come not just in gold or precious metals, but refreshingly in steel too, giving the model the chance of being more accessible to the street-smart young man. All the more so given it’s priced accordingly, from about $8750 for the simple time-teller – probably our favourite.
As for the movements, there are three, all in-house, two being versions of the 1904 MC caliber, one offering just small seconds and date in addition to hours and minutes, the other featuring a second time zone with a day/night indicator and large date display. The tourbillon movement, known as 9452 MC, is hand-wound and certified with the Seal of Geneva. All the workings can be viewed through a crystal caseback.
That said it’s the face of the Drive de Cartier that will be getting the attention, leading – Cartier hopes – to happily accelerating success.
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