Cartier is no stranger to the art of fine watchmaking, and in the last few years the French maison has been bringing the haute …err… heat to the world of high horology, with watches bearing the Geneva Seal – like the Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon. In 2014 Cartier first introduced us to the Rotonde De Cartier Earth and Moon in platinum, and this year with a case and dial change it has reunited the Earth with the moon and added an 18-carat pink-gold-cased version, which is limited to 15 pieces. Where the first version was a stylised tribute to the Earth, this is an ode to the moon. The original’s earthly blue lapis lazuli discs have been replaced with meteorite and the dial is now “open-worked” – further exposing the tourbillon at six o’clock. The 18-carat white-gold hour markers also surround the off-centre meteorite disc, which forms a subdial and houses the classically Cartier blued-steel hands used to display the time. But that’s not all. Between the meteorite disc and the railroad minute track sits a 24-hour ring, allowing for a second time-zone display, which is adjusted independently, simply by using the pusher at 2 o’clock. And we still haven’t got to the… Read More
Last year, Cartier launched a brand-new collection: the automotive-inspired Drive de Cartier. However, unlike much of the brand’s other offerings which have cross-gender appeal, the Drive de Cartier is intended solely for men. It has proven to be a hit the world over, with a case that is neither round nor square. Instead, its elegant curves form a rounded cushion shape, which is unmistakably masculine – but not in a macho kind of way. To use an automotive analogy, it’s less brute Mustang muscle and more the sophistication of an Aston Martin. The crowning achievement of the collection is the Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon with its in-house, mechanical tourbillon, caliber 9452 MC movement that’s been hand finished to a high degree to meet the standards of the Geneva Seal certification. However, it’s not just the movement that is impeccable. The dial is a richly contrasting display of satin-brushed surfaces and intricate guilloche finishing. Cartier has created a sense of depth by open-working the outer dial that displays the markings for the hours, minutes and seconds, and exposing the white galvanised guilloche below. Despite the elaborate interplaying layers, the dial layout manages to come across as simple and elegant. The… Read More
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