The master of shapes presents a brand new case, and this one’s just for the gents.
TEXT CHARMIAN LEONG
While watch complications constantly break new records and push haute horlogerie to exciting new frontiers of innovation, watch designs have stayed comparatively tame. So when a brand announces a new case shape, it’s a big deal. Which is why amid new skeleton dials, moon-phase timepieces and high jewellery, it was the Drive de Cartier that generated the most excitement for the brand this year.
For a maison that can pump elegance into a deliberately misshapen watch case (hello, Crash family), a cushion case is a cake walk. The 40mm size keeps it firmly in the men’s collection, and it gets its name from its automotive-inspired design accents, such as a radiator grill-like engraved pattern and a bolt-shaped crown. Sword-shaped hands and the classic Cartier-style Roman numerals add to the versatility of this collection.
The basic steel models feature a date display and small seconds subdial, while the next-level Drive watches comprise dual-time models. The collection’s crown jewel is the Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon, distinguished by the tourbillon of the Geneva Seal-approved 9452 MC movement. Happy driving.
IN TOP FORM
Look at Cartier’s key watch shapes.
The Santos de Cartier was one of the first aviator watches ever made, and remains instantly recognisable due to its rounded square case and exposed screws.
Created all the way back in 1917, this rectangular watch gained popularity for its unique lugs, which are basically seamless extensions of the case itself.
03. BALLON BLEU
The brand puts its own spin on the classic round case by adding a crown “guard” over its sapphire cabochon, giving the case an even curvier presence.
Released just last year, the Cle de Cartier has a round face but its extended horn-shaped lugs give the appearance of an ovoid case.