Cartier makes some of the finest jewelry in the world that it’s sometimes easy to forget that it also makes premium timepieces. In fact, the French maison’s watchmaking history stretches back to 1874. Its first men’s watch arrived in 1904, when the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont asked Louis Cartier for an easier way to tell time while flying. The result was the iconic Santos, one of the first wristwatches in history.
Today, Cartier still offers timepieces for the polished gentleman. At the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) show in Switzerland, the luxury brand presented its latest collection, Drive De Cartier. Inspired by the aesthetics of the automobile, the Drive de Cartier comes in an elegant cushion shape, with soft edges that sits somewhere between a square and a full circle.
The dial has a guilloche (a mechanical decorative technique) meant to evoke old radiator grills, while the crown sort of looks like car bolts. The masculine face is softened somewhat by the classic Roman numerals and blue sword hands. On the flipside, the transparent caseback offers a peek into the 1904 MC Movement, which Cartier proudly says is made in-house.
The Drive de Cartier comes in three versions: a base steel, pink gold (both of which run on the 1904 MC Movement), and the Flying Tourbillon model that runs on the manual 9452 MC movement, which Cartier bears the “Poinçon de Genève,” or Seal of Geneva, a quality mark reserved only for timepieces made entirely in the Swiss city.
But whether these things impress you or not, the bottom line is that the new Drive de Cartier looks good on the wrist and actually carries well from the daytime to more formal events in the evening. It’s a design triumph for the French luxury house which, while known for its stunning jewelry, has proven time again that it’s quite capable of crafting beautiful watches, too.
Cartier is at Greenbelt 4, Makati City; Rustan’s Makati; Rustan’s Shangri-La, Mandaluyong City; and Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila.