Cartier Drive De Cartier ‘Small Complication’ Gold Watch Review

0
204

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Cartier Drive de Cartier Small Complication watch is powered by the aforementioned in-house Cartier Manufacture Movement 1904-FU MC, viewable through the exhibition case back. The “Small Complication” designation might be a little confusing for some, but it positions the watch between their “classic” pieces (time only, date window, etc) and Grand Complication pieces. What comprises a Grand Complication watch is another story altogether, but a Grand Complication typically contains an astronomical complication (perpetual calendar, for example), a chiming complication (like a minute repeater), and a stopwatch function (such as a chronograph). These are at a whole different level of watchmaking and not entirely relevant to understanding this watch, but I wanted to put the Small Complication part into context.

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Functions on this Cartier Drive de Cartier Small Complication watch are a large date window, a retrograde second time zone indicator, and a day/night indicator. It results in quite a busy dial, and my eyes weren’t sure where to focus between the guilloche patterns, all those complications, and large roman numerals encircling the face. In any case, the watch has a 48-hour power reserve which really was something I found a little lackluster. Maybe I at least would have preferred having a power reserve indicator which I first thought the day/night indicator to be.

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Grande Date is fairly simple to explain, as the two date windows at 12 o’clock make it pretty easy to tell what date it is. I really, really love this feature of the watch and enjoy the almost conspicuous framing of the windows. The second time zone is at 11 o’clock and the day/night indicator let’s you know whether it’s the PM or AM. The second time zone is easily accessed by a push of the crown, which has a regal blue sapphire embedded into it.

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

At 41mm wide and 40mm long, the Cartier Drive de Cartier is obviously designed to appeal to the broadest possible audience, and I think they hit a home run with this. The cushion shape provides a solid presence for people like myself who are more comfortable in the 42mm-and-up range, while being accommodating to more conservative preferences. I believe it’s just about 12.65mm thick, so it can fit under a sleeve without looking fragile. Sizing and comfort of wear was really not an issue for me, basically.

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

What I want to get back to is exactly where the Cartier Drive de Cartier Small Complication watch fits into the larger market. The simple steel model will probably appeal to the same market that Piaget is looking to tap into with their Polo S watch announced earlier this year. In fact, both are cushion-shaped offerings geared towards a younger market, though the Cartier is a couple thousand dollars cheaper. For this Cartier Drive de Cartier Small Complication watch, I think the Piaget Emperador ref. GOA32017 in pink gold provides a clear direct competitor. With the same functions as well as a cushion shaped case, the Piaget is nearly $7,000 pricier at $29,300. The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Dual-Time won’t give you the cushion-shaped dial, and it’s priced at $26,300. Rolex actually presents a less costly yet far “dressier” option with the Cellini Dual Time watch which is priced at 18,500 Swiss francs.

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

So, there are plenty of options out there from brands that might have more “horological street cred” than Cartier, but when you compare this model I reviewed with what else is out there, I think they priced the piece just right. In fact, if the $40,000 for the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Dual Time is a little too much, this is a solid option for almost half the price.

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Cartier Drive De Cartier 'Small Complication' Gold Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I’m looking forward to hearing what people who own this watch think, so if you’re out there make sure to leave your thoughts. Overall, I think Cartier plays at a level that’s at least comparable to some of the Swiss watchmakers I mentioned previously, and this watch is a testament to their steady improvements in finishing and in-house movements. So, priced at $22,700 the Cartier Drive De Cartier Small Complication watch is right in line with what you’d expect to pay when considering the direct market competition. It’s a little tough to place where Cartier sees the identity of the Drive line going as there’s a world of difference between the more affordable models and something like this, but I’m definitely genuinely interested in seeing where they take it. I’ll also once again invite the readers to give their thoughts, as I’m really quite curious to read what you all think. cartier.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Cartier
>Model: Drive de Cartier “Small Complication”
>Price: US $22,700
>Size: 41mm wide
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Collector who travels often and also has tired of manufacture and brand elitism. Obviously, also a fan of cushion-shaped cases.
>Best characteristic of watch: Contemporary yet classic, doesn’t make the wearer feel like it “ages” you. Felt and wore natural on a 29-year-old out to dinner and drinks, but can fit right in with its peers.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Image is a little confusing when considering the attitude of the “Drive” line.

#gallery-2 { margin: auto; } #gallery-2 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 20%; } #gallery-2 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-2 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; }

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY