For a long time Cartier has been over looked as a serious watchmaker. Although they are a top tier jewelery design house (my personal favorite at that), and have been making fantastic watches since the wristwatch was created, for many years their name was far from the lips of those discussing haute horology. That is certainly changing as of late, Carole Forestier-Kaspi is leading the Cartier’s watchmaking department into a new era. Every year they have been coming up with new and innovative complications and creating modern, wearable watches with fine in-house calibres. The latest masterpiece is the Calibre de Cartier Diver, an ISO-certified dive watch powered by the in-house 1904 MC calibre.
Cartier’s calibre 1904 MC beats inside the new Diver. The in-house movement was introduced by Cartier in 2010, found in the Calibre de Cartier. this was Cartier’s first fully in-house manufactured movement. Made in part as a reaction to swatch groups move to tighten their supply of movements to other brands, the 1904 MC, in name pays homage to the year Cartier introduced the first wristwatch. It uses two barrels instead of one for better consistency in power delivery, has hacking seconds, giving you the ability to set it to the second easier, and it uses a fantastically elegant bi-directional winding system. The 1904 MC a robust modern movement thanks in part to these features. The balance beats at 4Hz (14,400 bph)and has a 48 hour power reserve.
Cartier already has a beautiful and successful watch in the Calibre De Cartier, some watchmakers would have simply added a strap and dive bezel to that and called it a diver, and it would sell. Carter went the direction of developing an ISO-certified dive watch. In order to be a certified Dive Watch under ISO 6425, the watch had to meet eight basic criteria; unidirectional dive bezel, dial readability, visibility in the dark, running indication, magnetic resistance, shock resistance, chemical resistance, strap durability, and resistance to water and pressure. Cartier did this the way only they would, with ease and elegance, turning a “tool watch” into an appealing daily wearer. The watch 11mm thick, which is thin enough to easily fit under along sleeve shirt. The case 42 mm average by comparison to other divers. The dial is nicely contrasted and easy to read. The sub seconds dial pairs well with the oversized XII, and dresses up the face. The finish over all on case, dial, and movement are gorgeous, and what I have become to expect from Cartier. I especially like details such as incorporating the “Cartier C” onto the fine adjustment screw for the balance wheel. It is certified to 300m and comes on a rubber strap or bracelet, it will be available in stainless steel, pink gold, and a two-tone.
As I alluded to earlier, Cartier isn’t know historically for their tool timepieces Overall, but the Calibre Diver is suppose to be something a little unexpected. It carries all of the Cartier DNA in it’s execution and at the same time it is something new and technologically advanced from Cartier. Priced between $7500 and $8500 depending on strap and case options. In a word the Calibre de Cartier is absolutely swell.