MANY big names in watches are focussing more on launching women timepieces this year, hoping that higher sales in this segment of the market can soften the fall in the overall market. Cartier, while not totally ignoring the fairer sex - it has actually introduced several gorgeous models for them - has largely continued to pin its hope on the men.
The brand, which is also big in jewellery, has unveiled a new vintage automotive inspired men's collection identified by a new case that's a cross between the shape of a pillow and tonneau. The feel of the watches in this new line is sporty, but elegant.
Cartier has over the years produced a number of iconic watch models defined by the shape of their cases - the Tank, Santos and Crush come immediately to mind. The Drive is the latest which came barely a year after Cartier lifted the wrap off the Cle, which has a case in the shape of the key crown of old timepieces.
Cartier says the Cle case will be used for both men and women watches. The Drive is strictly for men. Three models came with its debut - an automatic timepiece with just the basic hours, minutes and small seconds; another with also a second time zone and a day/night indicator; and a third with a flying tourbillon. All three models feature a stainless steel or pink gold case and a black, grey or white dial.
All three models are equipped with Cartier's in-house movements. The hours-minutes-small seconds watch is driven by the 1904-PS MC, created in 2010 and is among the first movements Cartier conceived, developed and assembled.
At the heart of the second time zone small complication timepiece is the 1904-FU MC, a movement created in 2014 and combines a retrograde second time zone display, a large date and small seconds. The complications are co-ordinated by the crown.
The Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon, produced by Cartier's Fine Watch-making department, is powered by a hand-winding mechanical movement, 9452 MC. The watch is certified "Poincon de Geneve", a mark of fine watch-making excellence.