Last year, the big SIHH news from Cartier Tortue Extra Flat was the announcement of a totally new shape and thus collection of men’s watches, the Drive de Cartier. The soft cushion shape was definitely a new look and the first collection of watches straddled the line between dressy and sporty pretty evenly. Now in its second year, we’re getting a limited edition Drive de Cartier Extra Flat that distills the design down to its essence, giving you everything you want and nothing that you don’t.
As a quick recap, the first Drive collection featured a few watches (all still available, by the way), including a dual time and a tourbillon version. However, the main Drive is a simple 40mm cushion-shaped watch in either steel or rose gold with hour and minute hands, a small seconds register at six o’clock, and a date window at three o’clock. There are a few dial color options, but all feature Cartier’s signature Roman numerals, radial brushing, and a central guilloché section. Powering the watches are the in-house automatic caliber 1904MC-PS.
The Cartier Drive Extra Flat retains the same shape and basic design codes, but with some pretty serious changes. First off, the case has been sized down just a hair to 39mm and it’s crazy thin at just 6.6mm. It’s a small change, but it makes a huge difference on the wrist. The watch is also only available in white and rose gold, with no steel option on offer. The caseback is closed as well (which gets you major bonus points on a watch like this) and the overall shape of the case is extremely clean and crisp. It’s not a major selling point, but the grey alligator strap that comes with the white gold model suits the watch perfectly too.
The movement has obviously had to change as well from the original Drive. Inside, we’ve got the caliber 430MC, which is Cartier’s version of the Piaget 430P. It’s a hand-wound ultra-thin movement with a 36-hour power reserve, and a great choice for a watch like this.
While I loved the idea of the original Drive collection, none of the models released last year really suited me. Each felt like it had just one or two too many details or additions. I wanted that classic Cartier restraint and to get a Drive that I could see being a true icon a century from now, just like the Tank is today. This version of the Drive is that watch. To me, this is Cartier at its very best, and I couldn’t be happier that the Drive Extra Flat has arrived.
The Drive de Cartier Extra Flat in white gold is a limited edition of 200 numbered pieces, priced at $16,700. The rose gold version is not limited and is priced at $15,600. (Note: Prices were updated by Cartier since the initial launch – these are the current, updated prices.) We’ll have an in-depth look at this one for you very soon, but for now visit Cartier online for more.