The Battle of Elegant Time-Only Watches Part 3 – Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat vs. Grand Seiko SBWG231 – The Verdict

There are minutes in life that require an elegant, time-only watch. Circumstances in which a strong apparatus watch with jutting pushers and a shining dial will not look very right. On the off chance that you are on the lookout for an attractive, direct time-only watch we have two exceptionally intriguing competitors as various with regards to looks as their social foundations. The Drive de Cartier is a très French interpretation of tastefulness and refinement; the Grand Seiko SBGW231 is additionally an extremely elegant and refined watch however deciphered from a Japanese stylish. How about we put them side by side and measure the qualities and shortcomings of each watch before we figure a verdict.

Case size and presence on the wrist

The Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat has a distance across of 39mm and a case tallness of 6.6mm, extents that completely attest its status as a dress watch. The pad formed instance of the Drive spells Cartier again and again and appears to have been an individual from Cartier’s prestigious group of molded watches perpetually (note: the Drive assortment was presented in 2016). The case is amazingly proportioned and its smooth, rounded edges and delicate cambering permit the watch to sit on the wrist like a subsequent skin. It is thin however not anorexic like some different models available today with enough weight and presence to make itself felt. The completions are palatable with a cleaned bezel and carries and level brushing on the flanks of the case and fixed case back. With regards to a very Cartier custom, there is a blue cabochon in the crown.

The Grand Seiko SBGW231 has a distance across of 37.3mm and a case thickness of 11.6mm. The distance across will satisfy idealists despite the fact that they may contend that the thickness of the case precludes the GS as an ideal dress watch. There isn’t anything progressive about the state of the round case until you find the remarkable completions of the metal. Like a shining Japanese katana blade, the Zaratsu polished bezel and drags mirror the light like a mirror, with no distortions.

Conclusion: The Drive de Cartier shows unrivaled design style and extents however the completions can’t measure up to the Grand Seiko. The instance of the GS is less unique, more conventional and somewhat thicker than the orders of a dress watch. In any case, the craftsmanship of Seiko’s craftsmans rejuvenates the metallic view with completes that equal and often outperform the crème de la crème of Swiss watchmakers. Design-wise the Cartier is really fascinating, finish-wise the GS shows significantly more consideration regarding detail.

The face of time

Once once more, the dial of the Drive de Cartier is quintessential Cartier and all the unmistakable family qualities are in plain view: the articulated Roman numerals, the railroad minutes track, the blued-steel hands and the mysterious Cartier signature on the VII numeral. The dial is a beautiful silver-white with a sunburst finish that sparkles somewhat; a spotless, moderate foundation for the time-only functions.

The dial of the Grand Seiko is likewise a moderate, practically thrifty undertaking propelled by the principal Grand Seiko model of 1960. Notwithstanding the hour and minutes, this watch has a focal seconds hand. The dial is an off-white tone with twelve stretched and applied hour markers and a basic minutes track with dark markings. The obvious moderation is countered by the most dazzling scrupulousness on the hour markers and hands. The sharp faceted edges and the polishing rejuvenate the details as light ricochets off their edges. The transaction of light and shadow is a lot of a Japanese tasteful touch and adds extraordinary volume and brightness to the generally basic dial.

Conclusion: Two exceptionally basic time-only dials that dependably mirror their provenance. Regardless of whether simply a segment of the dial was uncovered, you would have no uncertainty about the brand behind the Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat, and the equivalent could be said about the Grand Seiko. It also adjusts to a bunch of exacting principles and design fundamentals set down in 1967 by designer Taro Tanaka for the Grand Seiko family.


The Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat is fitted with a hand-would type (430 MC) in light of on Piaget’s super dainty 430P. Beating at 21,600vph, the force save is of 36 hours. In spite of the fact that you can’t see the development and the force save is on the short side, these are a reasonable trade-off for the smooth profile.

The development of the Grand Seiko is noticeable under the sapphire gem case back and is completely made in-house with in-house components to Seiko’s demanding (above COSC chronometry) norms. Type 9S64 is a hand-twisted development with a 3-day power save adjusted to an amazing accuracy pace of – 3 to +5 seconds every day. The equilibrium spring is stun safe and hostile to attractive and the time setting capacities are upgraded with a stop-seconds work. The extensions are decorated with Seiko stripes that get the light/shadow topic of the dial.

Conclusion: No debate here. The Grand Seiko wins gives over in this classification offering a standout manual-twisting development with extra stop-seconds usefulness, longer force hold and standout decoration (yet a thicker profile as well). On the off chance that you need to criticize, the absence of a force hold pointer on the GS may be a con.

Price and Availability

The Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat in steel retails for EUR 5,650 or USD 5,600 (excl. deals charge). The Grand Seiko SBGW231 retails for USD 4,300 and is at present very elusive in Europe.

Conclusion: The cost of the two models mirrors their entrance level status. Given the glory of the two brands, the cost isn’t excessive in either case.


Editor’s note: remember that the verdict here depends on Rebecca’s own preferences.

The Drive de Cartier and the Grand Seiko are two ministers of astoundingly great taste and rearing. They are results of their particular social foundations and as such communicate various sensations and center values.

If we measure mechanical ability, accuracy, and execution of completions, the Grand Seiko wins easily. The watch may look disarmingly basic and maybe somewhat cold from the start, however it is a genuine delegate of Japanese stylish taste where caution and tastefulness are critical and craftsmanship a matter of public pride. It is a watch that should be found and appreciated. I realize that it required some investment to warm to its unmistakable style, however having found the wonderful details it has discovered a spot in my heart.

But, and this is a major “but”…the extreme mediator in this battle is taste. Furthermore, regardless of how hard a sell I’ve made for the Seiko, there will be a considerable lot of you who are glad to trade the specialized predominance and standout completions of the Seiko for the more articulate, stylish magnificence of the French candidate.

As you can see, the verdict isn’t written in stone for the straightforward explanation that these two watches are not implied for similar sort of authorities/clients. Their designs will mirror the character of the wearer and there are no awful decisions, simply various tastes. I can’t reprimand anybody for having an inclination for the Seiko – the execution and value/quality proportion are incredible. All things considered, I can’t fault somebody whose heart shouts out for the Cartier as it overflows class and an old-European feeling of taste. Regardless, these two watches are amazing decisions for somebody on the chase for an elegant, careful time-only watch with extraordinary pedigree.

Looking forward to hearing your considerations on this one!