One of the most important releases this year at the SIHH 2016 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève, was the brand new watch from Cartier, called Drive de Cartier. Inspired by automobilism, at a glance, the new SIHH 2016 Cartier Drive de Cartier is undeniably easily recognizable as a Cartier watch all the way from the guilloché pattern on its dial to the blue sapphire winding crown. A closer inspection will reveal distinct design elements, such as the cushion-shaped case, the domed crystal, the 6 o’clock counter and textured-satin finish, that ultimately distinguish Drive de Cartier from its watchmaking predecessors. Without a doubt, Drive will stand the test of time and carve its own deserved spot within the legacy of Cartier shaped watches.
Unveiled for the first time at SIHH 2016 in Geneva, each design within the launching collection emphasizes a different watchmaking mechanic. The case, available in pink gold or steel, is fitted with a black, grey, or white guilloché dial marked by Roman numerals punctuated with sword-shaped hands. The transparent case-back reveals the Manufacture Movement 1904 MC, which is available in two versions: the 1904-PS MC which tells the hours, minutes, and small seconds and date; and the 1904-FU MC which features a second time zone, a day/night indicator, a large date and small seconds. Not escaping the creativity and innovation of the Maison's watch legacy, a fine watchmaking version of Drive de Cartier was also designed within the Cartier Manufacture boasting a flying tourbillon calibre 9452 MC and of course bearing the "Poinçon de Genève" certification.
The dials, with the pattern of their guilloché resembling the design of a radiator grill, the domed crystal, counter at 6 o’clock and the winding crown shaped like an octagonal bolt nut, the motor car is an indisputable presence in this new watch. Of course, in good old Cartier fashion, the crown is adorned with the unmistakable touch of the blue sapphire. The finishes of the case seem designed to meet the exacting standards of the connoisseur: textured satin at the sides with polished surfaces for the top and bottom. The former is intended to magnify the volume, the latter to hone it.
Three new models compose the Drive de Cartier collection: Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon watch, Drive de Cartier Time Only —in 18K rose gold and in stainless steel with two dial variations— and the Drive de Cartier Second Time Zone with a large date, retrograde second time zone and day/night indicator —available in stainless steel or 18K rose gold.
The three calibres that power the Drive de Cartier watch are all produced at the Cartier Manufacture. The calibre 1904 MC, created in 2010, was among the first movements conceived, developed and assembled by the Cartier Manufacture. The care lavished on calibre 1904 MC, with refined finishes such as the Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges and the oscillating weight, or the polished screw-heads, attests to the high standards of quality to which Cartier holds its movements.
On the wrist, the new Drive de Cartier wears true to its size and with remarkable elegance. The watches should be available at Cartier boutiques and authorized dealers next April.
Sticker Price $6,250 USD for time only stainless steel model, $19,300 USD for time only in 18K rose gold, $8,750 USD for Second Time Zone in stainless steel and $89,500 USD for Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon. For more info on Cartier click here.