Calibre de Cartier: The Maison's First In-House Movement
Cartier's first in-house calibers appeared in the elegant sports watches of the Calibre de Cartier collection. Highlights include the Calibre de Cartier Astrotourbillon, chronographs, and diving watches.
5 Reasons to Buy a Calibre de Cartier
- Precise in-house calibers
- Calibre de Cartier Diver: water resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft)
- Complications: tourbillon, perpetual calendar, stopwatch function
- Crown with a blue spinel
- Sports watches with Cartier's characteristic elegance
Sporty Milestone: Cartier's Own Caliber
Launched in 2010, the name of the Calibre de Cartier collection reveals what makes these luxury timepieces so special: They were the first to house the manufacturer's in-house calibers. Prior to this collection, the storied company used movements from other manufacturers, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, or collaborated with third parties to develop new calibers. The creation of their first in-house caliber is yet another major milestone in the history of this French manufacturer. Luxury timepieces from Cartier played a major role in establishing watches as an accessory for the wrist. For example, they are perhaps most famous for creating the first ever pilot's watch, the Santos. Other famous models, including the Tank from 1917, have long enjoyed cult status thanks to their innovative designs and are now essential to the watchmaking world.
The Calibre de Cartier collection contains three-hand watches with a date display, chronographs, and diving watches that are water resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft). There are also timepieces with other complications like a perpetual calendar or tourbillon . Cases measuring 42 mm in diameter reflect the sporty background of this collection, while the smaller 38-mm models make perfect unisex watches. The large domed lugs combined with polished and satin-brushed finishes contribute to the collection's masculine feel. A closer look at the dial reveals a subtle Cartier inscription integrated into the Roman numeral "X." In addition, these watches feature a blue faceted spinel on their crowns, though some replace the spinel with a diamond.
While the stainless steel versions have the sportiest feel, these timepieces are also available in white, pink, or yellow gold. There are also bicolor models in gold and stainless steel. These watches come with a number of options for the band: alligator leather, cow leather, stainless steel, gold, or rubber.
Prices at a Glance
|Model (material)||Price (in mint condition)||Features|
|Calibre de Cartier Astrotourbillon (titanium)||117,000 USD||Tourbillon integrated into the second hand|
|Calibre de Cartier Chronograph (gold)||25,700 USD||Date display, stopwatch function|
|Calibre de Cartier (gold)||18,700 USD||Date display|
|Calibre de Cartier Diver Carbon (stainless steel with an ADLC coating)||9,900 USD||Date display, unidirectional ceramic bezel, water resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft)|
|Calibre de Cartier (bicolor)||8,200 USD||Date display|
|Calibre de Cartier Diver Blue (stainless steel)||7,000 USD||Date display, unidirectional ceramic bezel, water resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft)|
|Calibre de Cartier Chronograph (stainless steel)||7,000 USD||Date display, stopwatch function|
|Calibre de Cartier (stainless steel)||5,800 USD||Date display|
How much does a Cartier de Calibre cost?
Pre-owned two-hand models with the automatic caliber 1904-PS MC serve as the entry point to this collection. These timepieces have a 48-hour power reserve and cost around 4,100 USD in very good condition and 5,800 USD new. For the band, you can choose between alligator leather or stainless steel. The dial is available in silver or black, the latter being the sportier of the two. A railroad minute scale with Arabic numerals every five minutes makes telling the time much easier. The date display sits at 3 o'clock, and the small seconds dial is located at 6 o'clock. Most models use indices for the hour markers between 4 and 8 to make room for the small seconds dial, while the other hours are marked using Roman numerals. Some versions, however, only use Roman numerals for the hours.
Bicolor watches with three hands demand about 6,700 USD pre-owned and 8,200 USD in mint condition. These models are especially attractive with a matching bicolor bracelet. You can purchase a well-maintained pink gold Calibre de Cartier starting around 11,700 USD. Prices for never-worn pieces sit around 18,700 USD.
Models with grand complications, such as a perpetual calendar, sell for up to 30,400 USD. The pink gold Calibre de Cartier Perpetual Calendar features a combined month and leap year display at 12 o'clock. The day display arches across the middle of the dial. Instead of a minute scale, the edge of the dial features the numbers 1-31, which, combined with a central hand, indicate the date.
The Diver: A Proper Diving Watch
While it shares its caliber with the three-hand models, the Calibre de Cartier Diver has all the features of a proper diving watch: water resistance to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft), a screw-down crown, and a unidirectional bezel, among others. The stainless steel Diver Blue feels especially nautical with its blue dial and matching blue bezel. Superluminova covers every number on the dial and bezel, making these watches easy to read in the dark. In mint condition, this timepiece costs around 7,000 USD.
The Calibre de Cartier Carbon Diver is just as popular. Its stainless steel case and bezel are coated in a layer of black ADLC (amorphous diamond-like carbon), which is especially scratch resistant. The bezel ring and crown in stainless steel or 18-karat pink gold contrast beautifully with the black dial and rubber strap. The hands and the outlines of the date display and small seconds dial also shine in the corresponding color. Plan to spend around 9,900 USD on a never-worn Calibre de Cartier Carbon Diver.
The Chronograph with the In-House Caliber 1904-CH MC
Creating an in-house caliber is a major achievement. Creating an in-house chronograph caliber is an even larger achievement. Cartier took this step in 2013 with their Calibre de Cartier Chronograph. You can view the result of their hard work through the sapphire glass case back. This 42-mm timepiece has two subdials: a minute counter at 3 and an hour counter at 9 o'clock. The elapsed seconds are tracked via a central second hand, and a practical date display sits at 6 o'clock.
Prices for the stainless steel version come in at around 7,000 USD for pieces in very good to mint condition. These watches feature a silver or black dial and a stainless steel or black alligator leather band. Expect to pay about 11,700 USD for a mint-condition bicolor chronograph. In solid gold, these luxury watches change hands for around 25,700 USD.
Haute Horlogerie: The Tourbillon as a Second Hand
Cartier first presented the Rotonde Astrotourbillon back in 2010. Its tourbillon is integrated into its second hand, meaning this complication not only reduces deviations, but also helps to display the time. This complex construction took five years to develop. The Astrotourbillon joined the Calibre de Cartier series in 2011. The manual in-house caliber 9451 MC powers this titanium watch and boasts a 48-hour power reserve. The Calibre de Cartier Astrotourbillon is rare on the pre-owned market and costs around 117,000 USD.