Clé de Cartier – The new Key of Cartier11:55 am
Crisp shirt, dapper suit, clean shoes, and a watch that will eventually take all the credit! In the business meeting that really matters or in your discussion with the Prime Minister, this watch wont let you down. Introducing many firsts, today we’ll be talking about the new watch from Cartier: Clé de Cartier.
For those who are already familiar with Cartier, every watch made, every collection crafted is an architectural exercise: from unique designs to innovative crowns, the new Clé de Cartier family has managed to uphold the heritage the brand is known for. Launched at SIHH earlier this year, the new collection has managed to keep the basic traits of the company while introducing some new, subtle elements we’ve seen for the first time. Let’s take a closer look at Clé de Cartier and see what makes the new dress watch from the Maison interesting
A Simple Innovation
The name Clé de Cartier comes from the word “key” in French that inspires the iconic crown of the watch.
Inspired by the winding keys of antique clocks, it’s not your typical round crown and surprisingly offers an interesting tactile experience. Designed within the new in-house movement (which we’ll get to shortly) the slightly long, key size crown is adorned with a sapphire – cleverly slipped inside the structure to blend in with the overall look.
When turned, it actually feels like you’re winding the key of an old clock or pocket watch (it’s an automatic watch, so you wouldn’t need to literally wind it) but for those who thought that the new elongated crown could be disruptive? It isn’t the case here! Setting the time and date is absolutely effortless. As a concept, the effort put behind this “key” has indeed paid off as this feature is a delight to use and admire.
A Simple Curve
This is Cartier’s take of the Tonneau style watch case and because it’s Cartier you definitely see a lot more in terms of elegance and sophistication. Thick sides with sloping lugs and a beautiful curvy 18k Rose Gold design make this watch incredibly comfortable to wear. The Tonneau-style just adds more to the retro-ness of the timepiece. At 40mm one would say the case could’ve been larger, but we believe that’s the ideal size for a handsome dress watch. The Clé sits low and will cuddle to your wrist, and in terms of looks it’s a watch that maintains its charm up close or when viewed from far.
A Simple (yet remarkable) Strap
In the era of new watches being released every day, new strap designs are rare – which is a shame. While most other brands seem to take the route of pairing new watches with old straps, we’re glad the Clé de Cartier hasn’t disappointed us with the new, redesigned alligator strap.
Slightly thinner than the conventional leather strap, not only does it look great but it actually extends the overall comfort of wearing the watch.
A Simple Design
Typical Cartier lines and features are visible on the design of the dial but with enough new little details to make the Clé de Cartier collection distinct from the rest of what Cartier has ever had to offer.
The dial is neatly done and Cartier has avoided unnecessary flourish to let the key-crown take centre stage. It’s only under close inspection that you notice the level of detail that you’d expect from Cartier: A silvered ‘flinqué’ sunray effect dial, Blue sword-shaped hands being complimented by the blue Roman numerals. An unassuming finish, which seems as though it’s playing its part of the overall spirit of the watch.
A Simple Step (Forward)
Beyond the dial, case, and crown (or key) the Clé de Cartier houses an absolutely new in-house movement developed by Cartier.
The Calibre 1847 MC is named after the year the Maison was founded and the movement has been created from scratch by the Cartier Manufacture’s craftsmen in Switzerland – an important step from them considering they’ve moved away and don’t have to depend any more on Swatch’s ETA movements. For consumers, an in-house movement just represents a more compelling value proposition if nothing else, but beyond all that, the bidirectional automatic winding mechanism with an impressive 42-hour power reserve works flawlessly with the watch and is visible through the case back. The movement is also water-resistant to 3 bar (approx. 30 meters). Expect many more watches from the Maison using this movement!
Perhaps not an over-sized ‘statement’ watch, but versatile and delicate enough to look good on anyone’s wrist. The Clé aims to be that prized watch of your collection and the one you’ll probably want to reserve for ‘special’ occasions.
The New Clé De Cartier collection is available now in India at Ethos Watch Boutiques.
(Image courtesy: Cartier, Hodinkee and Xbiao)
Features Writer, The Watch Guide
Rahul is a watch and sports lover currently living in New Delhi. Having worked as a journalist and a copywriter previously, he is now thrilled to be a part of a team that loves, lives and breathes wristwatches. After joining Ethos and The Watch Guide team, his interest for the world of horology grew and is now completely and hopelessly hooked on watches.