Cartier's Latest Is Driven By Time

The latest addition to Cartierís repertoire draws its inspiration from cars of the classic era.

BY Leong Wong | Jun 7, 2016 | News

Drive de Cartier is inspired by the modern gentleman and his classic car. The aesthetics of the watch, though new to the house, are distinctively Cartier, and speak of the Art Deco references that are strongly embedded in their DNA. The case shape is a rather unusual squoval, that is a combination of a square and a round. It has four clearly defined angles at its corners, but with curved sides. The case is highly polished, not unlike the chrome seen on the fixtures and the gauges of cars from the ’50s, and projects a sense of masculinity imbued with elegance.

The large dial, which also reflects the new shape and helps with readability, has three concentric rings. The outer ring has a matte finish with bold, black transferred Roman numerals; the middle ring is decorated with black transferred minute indexes; and the centre ring is guilloché with a flinqué design. Another unique Drive de Cartier feature is the crown that is in the shape of a hexagonal rivet and topped with a blue sapphire. That said, the entire look of the main guilloché dial is unmistakably Cartier, with its historic roots dating back all the way to the house’s very first wristwatch. The blue steel hour, minute and small seconds hands complete the Cartier signature.

Here’s a closer look at the newest members of Cartier’s watch family:

Drive de Cartier Automatic Petit Seconds
This basic model comes with a small seconds in two different shades of dial. The silver dial comes with black transferred Roman numeral hour markers with blue hands and a stainless steel case. The other option is an anthracite dial with pink-gold transferred Roman numeral hour markers and pink-gold hands, all in a pink-gold case. The movement beneath is the automatic Calibre 1904-PS MC. This is a perfect watch for a purist or an aspiring collector who is purchasing his first watch.

Drive de Cartier Second Time Zone
The second time zone complication is one of the most useful for today’s well-heeled globetrotter. The watch is a step up from the petit seconds with two extra features on the dial: a day and night indicator between three o’clock and four o’clock; and a retrograde 12-hour second time-zone indicator between 10 o’clock and 11 o’clock. The latter has a classic touch that mimics the gauge of a classic car. The watch comes in two versions: stainless steel or pink gold. It is powered by an automatic movement that shares the same calibre as the automatic, Calibre 1904-FU MC.

Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon
Unlike other complications, which are added functions and have nothing to do with timing directly, a tourbillon has a bearing on the accuracy of a watch’s timing. The flying tourbillon is, without a doubt, the grandest of all grand complications, and for this reason, this particular model belongs to the fine watchmaking category. The dial is also a little unusual, in that it has a grid-like effect. The 60-second flying tourbillon, meanwhile, is attached to the “C” bridge at six o’clock with a second indicator. The Calibre 9452 that is used here is from Cartier’s fine watchmaking division. It has a Geneva Seal for excellent finishing. A grand classic complication in a classic watch is simply a match that you just can’t complain about.