Hands On with the impressive Drive de Cartier in 18K rose gold with slate dial.
Before I move on with the detailed review of “Drive de Cartier”, I thought it would be good to mention about the recent changes at La Maison, which practically made the brand to launch new product lines regarding luxury timepieces. Cartier is a brand that is well known for its great connection with its history. That remained pretty much the same until 2008, when Cartier changed its path from being a design house to a powerful movement designer and manufacturer.
About ten years ago, the brand invested significantly to its luxury timepieces division and built an impressive 30.000m2 manufacture in La-Chaux-de-Fonds. Led by the industry’s charismatic figure Carole-Forestier Kasapi, Cartier released several in-house movements in a relatively short period varying from the base level automatic Calibre Ref.1904MC to the impressive Calibre Ref. 9454MC which was used to power up the stunning Mysterious Double Tourbillon.
Drive de Cartier
Since its first debut at SIHH 2016, Drive de Cartier, stood as one of the best products of the new breath, became a highly appreciated novelty instantly. Distinguished by its contemporary design from the classic product lines of the brand with their obvious connection to the past, Drive de Cartier also marked the starting of a new era which clearly focuses on male customers more than ever.
We paid an enjoying visit to the beautiful Cartier Boutique located at Istinye Park AVAM which is one of the best spots for luxury shopping in Istanbul. We had a variety of different product lines with a selection of many variants however; I was impressed by the fascinating look of the 18K pink gold and slate dial version of Drive de Cartier (Ref. WGNM0004).
The 40mm diameter case sports a balanced combination of masculine and elegant lines. Formed in Cushion style, the case is made of 18K pink gold. Actually 40mm is the perfect men’s watch size considering the current trends therefore; the wrist presence is bold but far being absurd with the vintage inspired design. A true Cartier in every way. Let me add that 40mm wears slightly bigger than a round case equivalent due to the cushion form. The thickness is 11.25mm. I know that figure does not recall a thin watch however, this is valid on the paper only as the short lugs greatly reduces the thickness felt while wearing.
The version we have here sports an amazing dial. The “slate” colored dial features two layers which are designed in different tones of gray. The Cartier classics sword style hands set and stylized Roman Numeral indices are also designed in pink gold tone in order to match with the case ( and folding clasp ) material.
The only complication of the watch is the date function located at the 3 o’clock point. The date wheel has the slate background which makes it blend perfectly with the rest of the dial.
Octagonal shaped winding crown is another beauty. Made of 18K pink gold, the crown features the brand’s symbol blue sapphire on the top.
The 18K pink gold caseback is secured with 8 tiny screws. There is also a transparent display made of sapphire crystal.
Drive de Cartier is powered by the in-house movement Calibre 1904MC-PS. This three hand and a date displaying movement can be found in several timepieces from the brand’s current collection. The 27 jewelled and completely Cotes de Genève decorated movement offers 48h power reserve when fully wound. “PS” at the reference code stands for the “petite second” function. Let me add that Calibre 1904MC is the first in-house manufacture movement designed and produced at La Maison. The beautiful Calibre 1904MC-PS is visible through the sapphire crystal display at the caseback.
The watch is offered on a leather strap finished in a perfectly matching gray tone. The crocodile strap is secured with the brand’s classic folding clasp made of 18K pink gold as well. The clasp looks stunning however, it is not very user friendly when it comes to adjusting but the cool looks of the folding clasp make you forget that disadvantage instantly.
Cartier was always an important brand in luxury timepieces. The brand had my appreciation and respect for its un-matched product line especially with the Santos, Pasha de Cartier and Must de Cartier. I am more than happy to see the brand investing to its luxury timepieces side and I think Drive de Cartier is the best outcome of that revolutionary decade.
Drive de Cartier is an amazing timepiece which will surely attract the watch enthusiasts who remained distant from the brand till now along its loyal admirers.
We could not leave the place without shooting another recent novelty from the brand: Cle de Cartier. This retro looking timepiece instantly attracted attention upon its launch with its oval case form and unique winding crown design. Besides the leather strap variants, the metal bracelet Cle de Cartier is also fascinating.