Among the many models that Cartier has ever come up with, the Cartier Drive de Cartier is one of the most successful and pretty models and a timepiece that also envisages the classic and elegant style of the French maison. The timepiece was presented last year at the Geneva SIHH in threedifferentversions and, this year, the series has seen the addition of this simple and essential two-hands-watch.
If we focus on the aesthetical and technical features of this model and then compare it to the three previous models, it comes quite evident that the concept of purity has been enhanced here even further: the current model doesn’t even feature the date, so I would tend to see it as an excessive simplification (while it is among the most appreciated features by true connoisseurs), but when I actually start looking at the technical side of this timepiece and leave the aesthetical features aside, I immediately notice that this timepiece’s thickness measures less than 7mm or rather 40% less than the base model.
Many people don’t see an ultrathin model as a complication but this is actually not the case, as the ability to combine technicalrefinements with sturdiness, the precision of a movement with aesthetical beauty through the thinning of the entire timepiece while still making sure that the watch won’t break, is a complication in itself and the concept of “less is more” really hits the spot here. Thanks to the manual caliber Cartier 430MC running at a frequency of 21,600 A/h and featuring 18 rubies, of 20,5mm in diameter and 2,15mm in thickness (the caliber originates from Piaget; a manufactory famous in the 50s and 60s for its ultrathin and excellent calibers like the manual 9P and the automatic 12P), the Cartier Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat provides its users with style, elegance, great wearability, sturdiness, reliability, precision, and longevity.
The dial is minimalistic in style; it is matted gray in color, it features big Roman numbers painted on the sides and a minute scale in the middle; this references the pattern of the 38mm by 39mmcoussin-shapedcase. The sapphire glass is flat and is crafted in the same shape as the case and mounted on the inner perimeter. The Cartier Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat comes in pink gold or white gold, the latter version has only been released in 200 limited-seriespieces. The bezel, the lugs, and the outer perimeter are polished, while the thin case-middle is satin-finished. The case-back is screwed in through 8 small screws (no pressure screws) to highlight the refined construction work behind this watch.
Another classic and refined feature of the Cartier Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat model is its crown built in the shape of a bolt with a multifaceted sapphire that is typical of Cartier, the leather strap is thin and finely crafted, it is made of alligator skin and it features a buckle in the shape of a "C". I personally find this Cartier Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat quite pretty and whoever is able to appreciate its aesthetic looks, its wearability and its technical side and elegance, will be gifted with a second skin around their wrist given the very reduced thickness of this timepiece and who knows? Maybe an automatic, more practical version of this watch (and hopefully with a micro-rotor) will be released next year; only time will tell! Meanwhile you may buy the new Cartier Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat at 15600 dollars in pink gold or at 16700 dollars in white gold.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Cartier; Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting by Entropik)