The Battle of Elegant Time-Only Watches Part 1 – Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat

Cartier is the undisputed expert of the formed watch and for the only remaining century has dispatched probably the most significant and life-changing watch assortments for people the same. Yet, Cartier likewise offers something far in excess of uncommon shapes and has become the maxim for refined French taste. Le goût Cartier, as it is known, describes a calm, confident class that has no compelling reason to yell. In the event that you are lurking here and there for a period just dress watch, sans testosterone-substantial looks, the Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat is a promising applicant. A lean 39mm hardened steel case, a straightforward dial with trademark highlights of Cartier’s watches and a value that will not inspire a oh là là, could this Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat be the solution to your dress watch dreams?

Editor’s note: this review of the Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat is section one of a progression of three articles where we will compare two exquisite time-just watches as of now available. Two watches with a similar idea, however two unique flavors. The third article, which will be distributed after our two separate reviews, will pit them side-by-side.


The unavoidable impact of Louis Cartier’s job in watch design, his commitment to the introduction of the modern wristwatch, and the broad line-up of molded watch assortments persuaded Norman Foster to clergyman a display – Cartier in Motion – at the Design Museum in London in 2017. As you most likely are aware, the watch that put Cartier on the watchmaking map was the 1904 Santos , a square wristwatch hand crafted for the Brazilian flight pioneer Santos-Dumont who needed a watch he could wear on his wrist while flying. All through the 20th century, La Maison Cartier delivered a stunning assortment of watches with the most interesting shapes, from the bath roused lines of the Baignoire to the Tonneau or the indestructible Tank and the surrealist softening Crash , all appropriately returned to (see here for our report on Cartier’s molded watches ). The 21st-century welcomed the 2007 Ballon Bleu, the 2015 Rotonde and Clé , and the family which concerns us today, the Drive de Cartier dispatched in 2016 .

With everything from flying tourbillons to moon phases, GMTs, and more straightforward time-just models, the standard Drive de Cartier watches have a distance across of 41mm and a case stature – depending on the complication underneath – of around 12mm. The more modest and more slender time-just Extra-Flat model showed up in 2017 in gold cases . The steel model we have here with us today, retailing for nearly EUR 10,000 not as much as its gold partners, showed up in 2018 as the section level proposition of the Drive Ultra-Flat family.

It’s a Cartier, no uncertainty about it

The strange thing – and clearly its solidarity – is that the Drive de Cartier seems as though it has consistently been in Cartier’s assortment: a model that showed up years prior and, similar to its kin, had been blessed to receive an update. With its dumbfounding pad formed case accommodating a circle and a square, the Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat took off with a manly crowd who had been managing with Tank or Santos watches or the sportier Caliber de Cartier assortment. In contrast to the Clé and Ballon Bleu assortments, which appeal to people the same, the Drive de Cartier targets men. Albeit the name may bring out vehicles, the watch could scarcely be considered a games watch and sits all the more comfortably in the “gentleman driver” classification instead of a watch for a fanatic petrolhead. This isn’t a Daytona or a hustling enlivened Richard Mille.

Slim and proportioned

A expression of caution: regardless of how great these photographs are, they don’t do equity to this watch. It looks sort of basic and flat in the photos, which it is, however what is harder to appreciate is the sheer tastefulness and delightful ergonomics of the case. Estimating 39mm across with a slender tallness of simply 6.6mm, the pad molded case shows how well Cartier overwhelms extent. The design feels easy, unforced on the off chance that you like, and all that appears to stream gracefully.

Even however there are more slender watches out there, I am glad to report that the Drive Extra-Flat isn’t a contender in the super slim watch war. For that, you can go to Piaget’s extraordinary 2mm Altiplano Ultimate Concept (an idea watch and not accessible) or Bvlgari’s Octo Finissimo Automatic with its 5.15mm profile and a sticker price that copies that of this watch. The Drive de Cartier is thin, for sure, however it isn’t anorexic and has barely sufficient load to make itself felt.

Handling the watch, you can feel the excellent rounded edges and the delicate cambering that embraces the wrist like a subsequent skin. I was truly dazzled when I put the watch on; it felt like it had been customized for me (or, in this occurrence, for a rich, slender man). The cleaned bezel and drags get the light pleasantly and for contrast, the flimsy case band and case back are decorated with even brushing.

As a watch that prizes style and refinement over mechanics and can’t take anything over an accidental sprinkle, the case back is fixed with eight screws offering water-opposition of simply 30m – slenderness comes with compromises.

Simple yet fundamental

Cartier’s design codes show up on the dial with the huge, marginally raised Roman numerals, the rail route minutes track and the blued-steel hands. Straightforward yet fundamental, the gleaming white dial with a sunburst finish provides you with the hours and minutes solely. No date window, no little seconds counter or third hand, no superfluous engravings save the Swiss Made and Cartier, only the fundamental data you would expect on an exquisite dress watch. The octagonal-formed crown is set with Cartier’s unique blue cabochon. Made from engineered spinel and not sapphire to minimize expenses, the cabochon isn’t just about as protrusive as on other Cartier watches. The spinel coordinates the blued steel hands and the matte blue, flat and graceful croc calfskin lash that comes with the watch.

Did you notice how the numeral IV is depicted as IIII? On the off chance that you need the full story on the purposes behind this idiosyncratic detail, don’t miss Brice’s in-depth examination . For this situation, the IIII adjust the VIII on the dial and looks more amicable. There is additionally the mysterious Cartier signature hidden on the V of the numeral VII.

Cartier 430 MC

Cartier’s 430 MC super slight hand-wound type depends intently on the Piaget 430P. Beating at 21,600vph, the force save is of 36 hours. Despite the fact that you can’t see the development and the force hold is on the short side, these are a reasonable trade-off for the smooth profile.


This Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat is completely a courteous fellow’s dress watch, an exquisite time-just model with a design that is unequivocally Cartier. It is a watch that magnifies its exceptional and refined design over mechanical legitimacy. It sends a consoled, quiet fashion awareness that is frequently connected with old cash. Thin, snazzy and complex, the watch comes with a sticker price that may come as a charming surprise.


The Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat in steel comes with a matte blue crocodile calfskin tie and a steel pin clasp. It retails for EUR 5,650 (retail) or USD 5,600 (excl. deals charge). A yellow gold option is additionally accessible for $14K.

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