Perhaps France’s most prestigious watchmaker, Cartier has been crafting premium timepieces and jewellery since 1847. In fact they were the creators of one of the first wristwatches in history (the Santos wristwatch) which gave wristwatches a newfound masculinity that 20th century men found acceptable (they were previously considered “too dainty” for male wrists). I find it fascinating to learn that this combination of masculinity and stylish elegance is entrenched within the identity of Cartier watches.
Being an iconic brand that is synonymous with style, sophistication, and machismo, puts great pressure on Cartier’s current designers to stay consistently effective whilst continuing to innovate. However, I think they’ve succeeded, at least in part, with the “Calibre De Cartier” which emanates a feeling of robust elegance which neatly fuses Cartier’s timeless sophistication with the growing demand for athletic functionality. However my slight concern is that their intention to appeal to the athletic market has led to a slight cluttering of the face (something that they usually avoid), the second-hand mini-dial in bottom-centre cuts into the number indicators of 5, 6, & 7 and seems just a tad over-bearing. Despite this slight gripe however, the weight and shape of the body feels really good and overall watch feels typically masculine.
The Cartier boasts a 42mm stainless steel case with a glareproof sapphire crystal glass and Swiss-made parts. Powered by 1904-PS MC automatic movement, the Calibre ensures the exacting precision that you’d expect from the best Swiss watchmakers whilst presented in a luxuriant and classical façade.
For me, the most alluring aspect of the Calibre is its classical design. Not only does its elegant typeface remind me of the of the authoritative elegance of Grand Central Station but the use of black, white, and silver tones provide a wristwatch that can be the finishing touch to any outfit. I have, in my time, experimented with various fashion watches but nothing looks worse than a men’s designer jacket with a bright yellow Casio W-59 peaking out of the sleeve. The beauty of the Calibre de Cartier is simply the simplicity itself, from the clear yet classical typeface to the textured leather strap.
A feature that won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but really makes it for me, is the transparent panel on the back of the Calibre which allows you to view the inner mechanisms of Swiss workmanship in action. If you’re anything like me then you were one of those kids who took everything apart to see how it works, but whilst my desire for destruction has been tempered, my curiosity and interest in the “how” and the “what” still persist to this day and being able to glance through as time passes and literally ticks away is a wonderful simple pleasure.
- Swiss-made parts
- Stainless steel case
- 1904-PS MC Automatic Mechanical Movement
- Black alligator leather strap with adjustable deployment buckle
- Water resistance of 30m / 3 ATM
- 2 year Cartier warranty
- Costing approximately £4,900 ($7900)
Fraser Strand writes about technology, gadgets, and adventure sports. He often writes for publishers such as The Watch Gallery and spends most of his free time buying gadgets, sailing, camping, and falling out of planes.