Drive de Cartier: vintage inspiration meets modern aspiration

Instinct, independence, elegance. These, claims the house of Cartier, are the qualities of the Drive man. Yet distinct a man as he might be, there’s something about this watch that is piquing mass attention. Putting a modern spin on the Paris-based brand’s iconic elegance, the Drive de Cartier signals a masculine and updated slant for Cartier that has made horologists the world over sit up and take notice.

The Drive de Cartier is characterised by an eye-catching taut linear design and a distinctive cushion-shaped case, continuing the longstanding Cartier tradition to produce watches with unique shapes. Its case, in pink gold or steel, is fitted with a black, grey or white guilloché dial marked by Roman numerals punctuated with sword-shaped hands.

The patterning of the Drive de Cartier’s guilloché dial to resemble the design of a classic automobile radiator grill, the domed crystal sub-seconds counter at 6 o’clock likened to a speedometer, and the winding crown shaped like a bolt, make the motorcar in its most legendary vintage form an indisputable source of inspiration. It’s a nod to streamlined forms, beautiful while it the same time distinctly masculine – Cartier’s focus on male consumers in this line is unmistakeable and has not gone amiss either.

The force behind the Drive de Cartier? Three calibres power the Drive de Cartier watch: the 1904-PS MC, the 1904-FU MC for the small complication, and the 9452 MC for the Fine Watchmaking version. All three of these modern calibres are produced in-house at the Cartier Manufacture.

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And while its aesthetic influence may harken to the automobiles of days gone by, Cartier’s drive for attention in debuting the Drive de Cartier has been distinctly modern. Interactive content across the brand’s digital and social channels signals as much a connection with today’s in-tune and independent man – the Drive man – as the watch itself does. Prioritising engagement is allowing potential buyers to get to know the timepiece first – a smart move on Cartier’s part and one bound to win the brand new devotees.

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