When we say Cartier watch, you’ll say either “Tank”, “Santos” or “women’s watch”. With the introduction of the Santos 100 Cartier at least got some attention from the big public (and male). Their Collection Privée is not very known to the public and only aiming at those with serious money to spend. During the SIHH 2010, held earlier this year in Geneva, Cartier unveiled their new line of watches by the name of Calibre. These Cartier Calibre watches have all the superb details a Cartier timepiece should have, featuring an in-house movement and all packed in a masculine watch case that wouldn’t look bad on the wrist of either Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
We at MotoringExposure have to admit that it does look cool on our wrists and that the Cartier-logo that reminds us about the famous (royal) house of jewellers almost makes us want to spend the 4900 Euro / 6,500 USD on this Cartier Calibre. However, is there more than a beautiful designed dial, case and famous brand name?
Part of the fun in owning the Cartier Calibre watch would be the magic around this French jeweller’s family, who delivered the most precious jewellery and time pieces to kings, queens and sultans. Although the image of a 1980s drugs dealer in a track suit wearing a gold/steel Cartier Santos comes to mind as well. This means we’ll have to focus on the watch itself, does this 4900 Euro / 6,500 USD time piece gives value for money, or do you pay premium for the logo on the dial?
First of all, the 42mm watch case seems to be more appropriate and suitable for everyday use than the Santos 100 rectangular shaped design. It is just not as ‘in your face’ although the lugs and crown guards seems to be a bit on steroids. The subtle and typical Cartier dial compensates for this Schwarzenegger behaviour, giving the watch such a classic appearance that it won’t look bad on you with either a suit as well as with t-shirt and jeans.
The movement in the Cartier Calibre is in-house, something that the average Cartier buyer (m/v) probably doesn’t care about, but we at MotoringExposure do of course. Since the Swatch Group has control over all the ETA movements that numerous Swiss brands like to use for their watches, its cool to see that their earlier announcement (that they will quit delivering these movements to non-Swatch Group manufacturers after 2010) results in a lot of brands started developing and producing their own in-house movements. Cartier is obviously one of them, and we are wondering whether they will start supplying their other range of watches with these in-house movements as well. The Calibre uses a caliber 1904-PS MC twin barrel movement, with a small seconds hand, a date on 3 o’clock and a power reserve of 48 hours. The twin barrels are there to provide the movement with a steady power supply. As you might have noticed, calling your watch a Calibre could be confusing with the term for a certain type of movement, caliber. We can live with that.
The crown of this Cartier Calibre time piece features a synthetic spinel cabochon. The case back features a sapphire cystal to enable you staring at their in-house movement and the case is water-resistant to 30 meters. The alligator strap comes with an double-adjustable folding clasp.
Most important feature of this watch though, is its dial. This amazing dial is just eye-catching and would definitely never bore us. A true classic already. To be honest, we would actually pay list price for the Cartier Calibre without the in-house movement (take it with a grain of salt).