Editor’s Note: Few brands can match the scope and scale of Cartier. The Parisian jewellery house offers everything from the popular and modern Juste un Clou collection through to some of the finest bespoke jewellery made. The same is true for their watch collections. Tanks and Ballon Bleus might be the order of the day, but Cartier is also capable of creating some truly exceptional technical and artistic pieces. It’s the latter category we’re going to explore today – the watches made in Cartier’s Maison des Métiers d’Arts. It is impossible to overstate the importance of tradition to the Swiss watch industry. It’s a business, after all, built on skills and techniques that by all rights have no place in the 21st century. Watchmakers in general are a rare and special breed. Fewer still are experts in the more specialised artistic crafts such as marquetry and enamelling, which places these talents in high demand. Collectively these artisanal disciplines are referred to as Métiers d’Arts, and Cartier is leading the way in preserving and fostering these nearly forgotten skills through the Maison des Métiers d’Arts. Based in an 18th century Bernese-style farmhouse a short walk away from their main fine watchmaking facility, the… Read More
In our recently published interview, Arnaud Carrez, Cartier’s Head of Marketing and Communications, said that the Drive represents a different kind of masculinity, one that isn’t defined by “muscles, sport, achievement, performance”, but by “elegance, and style, and refinement.” Looking at the Drive de Cartier Moon Phases, you can see what he means. It’s a confident watch that takes the dressy Drive design and, by adding the eternally romantic moon phase at six, elevates it to the next level of elegance. Introduced at SIHH in stainless steel and pink gold, the Drive Moon Phases took a bit of a back seat to the critically acclaimed Extra Flat, but for me the Moon Phases is the perfect embodiment of what Drive is all about. In gold, it’s a very warm, dressy watch, with a dial full of detail that is pure Cartier. On the technical side, the watch is the same size as the regular Drive at 41mm across and a wearable 12.15mm high. It’s powered by the newly developed in-house 1904-LU. This complication is highly accurate, and only needs to be adjusted every 125 years, which is nice. Power reserve is decent but not outstanding at 48 hours. The moon phase complication… Read More
The Cartier ‘Drive de Cartier’ was about as close to a number one hit as you can get in the watch industry. From the minute it was released, it was popular with journalists the world over – us wholeheartedly included. It appealed to round and small watch markets like Asia as well as tastemakers in other markets, and it was smartly priced. In a refreshingly frank interview, Cartier’s International Marketing and Communication Director, Arnaud Carrez, details how, after a wayward period where brands “tried to be everything and everywhere”, the Drive is powering Cartier to new heights. 1 – The Drive refocused Cartier on what it does best – “masculine elegance” “The Drive came at the right time, because it was years after the birth of fine watchmaking at Cartier, after the Calibre and Calibre Diver watches. I think these stories were very nice, but we probably stretched into fields where we are not necessarily legitimate. “Our masculinity is not muscles, sport, achievement, performance. It’s a different masculinity. It’s more elegance, and style, and refinement, and we are fine about it.” “I’m not saying we shouldn’t do that kind of watchmaking. We created an impressive momentum in fine watchmaking. We were really… Read More
On some matters you can trust us unreservedly. Like on the topic of watches, for example. But when things get tricky, and we verge into how to wear them, and what to wear them with, we tend to consult the experts. We were lucky enough to have the ex-Editor of GQ on staff for some time, which neatly covered the area off. And, on a trip to Florence in May last year, we had someone whose life revolves around sartorial choices: Chris Edwards, co-founder of Australian tailors, Oscar Hunt with us. Because you need backup at a gig like Pitti Uomo. We are mere watch geeks after all. We asked him how he’d go about wearing a gold watch. This is what he said. If you’re in the mood, see below for Chris’ review of a watch he now owns – the Cartier Drive. Warning: This watch review with a difference may contain traces of mancrush. So let’s address the chiselled jaw on the elephant in the room. We envy the hero of this shoot, Mr Chris Edwards, more than just a little bit. Let us count the ways. He surfs and still dresses as sharply as anyone in the… Read More
Between you and me, we were pretty happy with Cartier’s SIHH 2017 collection. And no, not just because the re-release of the Panthère gives us carte blanche to post this picture of Pierce Brosnan in his ’80s prime: No, it’s because we’re all big fans of the Drive, and the powers that be in Cartier’s product development team saw fit to bless us with two very handsome new versions – one with a moon phase, and an extra-flat version that is, in our not-so-humble opinion, stripped-back perfection. Our only problem with it? The lack of a steel version. Let’s just say our fingers are crossed for next year.
No one was quite sure what to expect at SIHH this year, so it was a thrill to see Cartier getting on the front foot with a female-focused re-release of the Panthère de Cartier. First launched in the 1980s, it sat well with the cultural cues of the time: big hair, shoulder pads, Dynasty. Charlie Sheen’s character, Bud Fox, wore one in Wall Street. And one of our favourite photographs shows the Panthère on the wrist of a fresh-faced, blow-dried Pierce Brosnan, accessorised with a pinky ring and a luxuriant pectoral thatch, his top four buttons left undone, as was standard in the era. That, friends, was how you rocked a Panthère. The theme goes back way further than that, though. The big cat first slunk into the picture in 1914, when Louis Cartier – who was running the company at the time with his brothers Jacques and Pierre – commissioned a painting by French artist George Barbier, featuring a woman with a panther lounging at her feet. Just a few months later, the creature appeared on its first piece of Cartier jewellery, and ever since then it’s been an ongoing motif across both the brand’s male and female collections, with everything from watches and… Read More
One of the standout watches of last year was the Drive de Cartier. The collection impressed with its assured case shape – a pleasing blend of robustness and classicism that, for many, epitomised what Cartier is all about. Well, the Extra Flat takes things a few steps further, removing any and all extraneous elements from the Drive and making it even more sublime. What do we mean? For starters the watch is, well, flat. At 6.6mm thick it’s some 40 per cent more slender than the regular automatic Drive – a feat achieved largely thanks to the manually wound caliber 430MC (based on the Piaget 430P). Cartier has also made the case a touch smaller (39mm), removed the small seconds and foregone their usual guilloche on the dial. The resulting watch is far more dressy, and absolutely stunning. Offered in pink and white gold, our pick is the more reserved white gold option, which is paired perfectly with a subtle grey alligator strap. Cartier Drive de Cartier Extra Flat in white gold Australian pricing and availability Cartier Drive de Cartier Extra Flat, white gold, limited to 200 pieces, with an indicative price of $24,000 Note: the crown is set with… Read More