When I saw the new models in the Ballon Bleu series, I was quite astonished. An update for this main-role player is the last thing I expected this year.
In case you are not that aware, the Ballon Bleu is a very important model for ‘La Maison’ ever since it was launched in 2007. Cartier even presented their first Flying Tourbillon in this round UFO shape case, and that was a huge watch, measuring 46mm in diameter. The Ballon Bleu has been one of Cartier’s best-selling models for quite some time and in recent years we have seen almost any size, popping up, in the women’s collection. With the men’s models, the choice was not so generous. The most important and most popular model was the 42mm with a date window. A little larger is the Chronograph version that measures 44 mm.
But times have changed and in general, people often prefer now a slightly smaller model: something that is more comfortable to wear and that more easily disappears under the cuffs of a shirt. I myself have been wearing a 39mm Ballon bleu since 2016, which now has been discontinued, but every time when I look at the watch, I am charmed, how the case is built and how the back of the watch fits in the construction of the case.
This year Cartier is launching the Ballon Bleu in 40mm. The appearance of the watch corresponds to the successful 42 mm model and the date window is also in the same place. Yet the 2mm difference with the 42mm model can be called large and you only notice that immediately when you strap the watch on your wrist. Different feelings, and also a different look. And isn’t that all that counts? Cartier’s own caliber, the 1847MC gives the Ballon Bleu a power reserve of 40 hours. The models come in steel and in pink gold, and both are available on an alligator strap or on a bracelet. Everything is round and smooth and the short lugs and half-built-in crown give the watch a unique kind of pebble-like appearance. It is a watch many men often have to get used to, because of the smooth lines of the model.
Cartier stepped away from the typical deployant buckle that was for decades a standard on most of their models and is supplying their new watches with the more affordable pin buckle. However, it seems that there is a new deployant that can be ordered as an option. It is a new design that works with existing (pin buckle) straps so that can also be attached later on.
Next time you are at your dealer of Boutique to look at a Tank or a Santos-Dumont, do ask to see the new Ballon Bleu too, just so you know, why the perky Ballon Bleu does not fit the style of your brother in law, but will probably suit yours.
Price: 4,850 EUR steel on leather – 5,250 EUR steel on steel bracelet – 12,200 EUR gold on leather – 25,000 gold on gold bracelet