The Worlds Slimmest Dive Watch – the ‘Calibre de Cartier’ Diver, 5 years after its introduction.

It is already five years ago, that we had the annual pre-SIHH, ‘Fine Watch Making’ meeting. Cartier normally introduced only high-end pieces here, to a small group of international journalists. This time however there was an important exception. One model of the main stream collection was presented, as the last piece and I fully understand why. What was missing in the mens collection at that time, was a real dive watch. Not a watch that joins the owner during a bit of playing in the pool, but a watch that knows how to behave, really deep in the ocean and is able to withstand pressure and salt water.

– On the wrist of journalist Vasken Chokarian, during the presentation –

Now I hear you think, why a Dive watch by Cartier when Rolex has quite a few very good and famous dive watches in their collection. Well simply because many Cartier fanatics like the brand for its style and elegance, and they just don’t feel comfortable with a Rolex on their wrist, despite the fact that the quality of Rolex is top-notch, what they all know. It is like why some drive a Mercedes, while others prefer a BMW. So to please this group of collectors, Cartier decided to join the party and came up with a watch that is at least as good or better. La Maison chose for the ‘Calibre de Cartier‘ as a base and created the, and please tell me if I am wrong, slimmest dive watch in the world.

– The steel with gold model on the wrist –

This is not a claim by Cartier, but our own thoughts. The case dimension is 42mm and the diver has a height of just 11mm. This 11mm height is pretty flat for an automatic diver watch. Let’s compare the Cartier Diver to for instance a Rolex Submariner. The famous Sub that has a height of 12,5mm, and a Rolex Sea-Dweller measures even 17,68, a Breguet Marine measures 12,25mm and a Panerai Luminor Marina has a height of 16,8 mm. 

The back of the case is closed, as with most dive watches and it has a tasteful simple engraving. The bezel is self-lubricating and unidirectional, steel coated with ADLC, a material that is harder than steel. And an important fact; the bezel runs very smooth with an amazing sexy sound. I know this may sound strange, but Cartier did a fantastic job in getting that tone right. Let’s face it; some divers make a horrible noise when the bezel is turned.

– The pink gold make the hands better visible in day light –

The crystal is sapphire and is 1.2mm thicker than the regular ‘Calibre de Cartier’ model, to make sure it can withstand the water-resistance of 300m. This 300m is the same as the Rolex Submariner and better than the 100 m water-resistance of Panerai models in the same price category. The steel gold and the all-steel model are available on a metal bracelet as well.  

As shown in the pictures the dial is black, partially snailed with XII in super luminova and the sword-shaped hands are covered with this material as well. Quite important deep in the water.

– Press picture of the visibility in the dark –

The same goes for the ‘Sub seconds at 6′. Normally a petite seconde is just a nice complication. For the owner of a dive watch, it is also crucial because it indicates that the watch is still running. The movement of the ‘Calibre de Cartier Diver‘ is the trusty 1904 MC, Cartier’s own automatic caliber, that was first used in 2010. This mouvement powers the ‘Calibre de Cartier’ watch, the ‘Drive the Cartier’ models, the ‘Tank Anglaise’, ‘Tank MC’ and it is also the base movement for some high-end complications. Specifications of the 1904MC: Total diameter: 25.6 mm Thickness: 4 mm,  number of jewels: 27 balance: 28, 800 vibrations/hour. Power reserve: 48 hours.

When we come to the overall looks of the watch, we’ll see that the Diver is available in all-steel, steel with a touch of pink gold, all 18K pink gold, or the latest version PVD coated steel, with or without pink gold.  All models are fitted with a cool and very supple rubber strap with an ardillon buckle. 

– Rubber strap and steel buckle –

Although I did not have the chance to use the watch for a real dive in the ocean, I am very enthusiastic about the Calibre Diver, not only about the specs but especially about the comfortable way it sits on the wrist, thanks to the short, articulated lugs, with that great rubber strap. And don’t forget the ‘Calibre de Cartier Diver‘ with its a gasket sealed locking crown has a water-resistance of 300m and the watch can compete with most professional dive watches on the market. But……….. I also see some room for improvement.

For me, the hands, at least for a professional dive watch, are too thin. Cartier used the same hands as the ones from the regular ‘Calibre de Cartier‘, but to be well visible underwater, the hands should be wider. When looking at the dial in bad lightning or in the dark, the XII and the white circle around the sub second hand, are so dominant that they overpower the hands. I would have preferred to see the sub-seconds with illuminated dots, instead of the dominant illuminated white circle with black dots, to make the dial more clear.

In 2015 ‘La Maison’ released a smaller version of the ‘Calibre de Cartier‘ in 38mm. I would love to see Cartier turning this 38 mm ‘Calibre de Cartier‘ into a dive watch, get rid of the date window entirely and create a simple and easy to read dial for this model.

– Pink gold details –

Pricing: Euro 7900.- for the W710056 steel on rubber strap version, Euro 8450.- for the steel on steel bracelet version. Euro 10.200.- for the W710055 steel/gold model on a rubber strap, Euro 11200.- for the steel ADLC coated version with pink gold and Euro 8950,- for the steel ADLC version. Euro 23.500.- for the W710052 pink gold model.

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