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Cartier Calibre De Cartier: Discussion, And Gen Vs. Rep Photo Comparison

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Description of the Gen

Reproduced from: http://cartier.watchprosite.com/show-forumpost/fi-886/pi-3858951/ti-615766/s-0/

Launched at SIHH 2010, the Calibre de Cartier is a sharp departure from Cartier’s other lines. Conceived entirely as a sports, or at least sporty, men’s watch, the Calibre is aimed at a segment in which Cartier has yet to establish a significant presence.

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Cartier has made sports watches thorough its storied past. The watch designed for the Pasha of Marrakesh to swim with was a notable early waterproof watch while the Santos was designed as an aviator’s watch. But because of their refined aesthetics neither of these watches or their descendants can truly be regarded as sports watch in the modern sense of the term.

More recently Cartier has presented watches like the Roadster and 21 Chronoscaph, as well as the Pasha Seatimer which features a rotating elapsed time bezel. Last year saw Cartier unveil one of its most aesthetically radical watches, the Santos 100 coated in black ADLC. All of these watches, however, are derivatives of existing designs.

In contrast, the Calibre de Cartier is a wholly new design, conceived for a particular segment. It is not a diver’s watch like the Rolex Sea-Dweller, nor a pilot’s watch like the IWC Mark XVI; instead it is the kind of watch that is entirely suitable for daily wear to the office and perhaps to the gym. It is, in short, a type of watch that caters to a very broad market.

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Yet this watch is hardly bland or generic. While the Calibre de Cartier retains design flourishes that are identified with Cartier, like the sword hands and sapphire in the crown, it looks and feels very different from any Cartier that has come before, primarily due to its large and sculpted case.

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But what’s inside the new case is equally significant. The Calibre de Cartier uses a new in-house calibre, the 1904 MC, a simple and robust movement with evident potential for production on a large scale. Coupled with its US$6500 retail price, it puts the Calibre in a strong position relative to others in this price range.

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<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/PAuPuQmdvHU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Description of the Replica

I just received this Calibre de Cartier replica from Robert. It seems nicely made, and very substantial. A few quick observations:

1. The crystal on the front is domed and appears to be sapphire (by the water drop test). The display caseback is mineral glass.

2. The links have screws (small, and easy to lose, ask me how I know...) on each side, and a bar in between, with two half links for adjustment. I removed 1.5 links to fit my 6.75" wrist.

3. The date is very slightly obscured by the arrow in the middle of the date aperture when looking at the watch face on.

4. The hands are lumed (very weak), and only the four indices at 12, 3, 6, and 9 on the chapter ring are lumed.

5. The rehaut is fluted, like the gen.

6. There is no AR on the sapphire crystal, unlike the gen.

Compared to the ETA version from the cartel, the petite seconds subdial appears to be more correctly placed, as it is not supposed to intersect the chapter ring. The movement in the display caseback is a clear tell, but I guess the same could be said of the ETA movement, although a silver colored sandblasted asian 21j movement might have been less glaring than the gold tone 21j movement that this watch has.

The most significant difference, apart from the movement, is the case height. The replica has a higher case, and the dimensions of the crown guard and the lugs appear to have been scaled proportionately. From the photo comparison, you'll see that the lugs have larger curvature on the replica, and the crown guards are thicker as well. The lugs on the gen have a beveled edge which is polished, and on the replica, both the bevel and the polish are much less pronounced.

Photo Comparison

The gen photos that follow are from this article:

http://www.ablogtoread.com/cartier-calibre-watch-now-with-bracelet/

I have tried to pose my replica in a similar position, so that it is easier to make a comparison. The gen has the black dial, and the rep has the white dial. I did not compare the deployant clasp, but it appears to have been accurately reproduced on the rep.

Cartier-Calibre-watch-1.jpgcartier1.jpg

Cartier-Calibre-watch-2.jpgcartier2.jpg

Cartier-Calibre-watch-4.jpgcartier4.jpg

Cartier-Calibre-watch-5.jpgcartier5.jpg

Cartier-Calibre-watch-13.jpgcartier13.jpg

Cartier-Calibre-watch-15.jpgcartier15.jpg

Cartier-Calibre-watch-16.jpgcartier16.jpg

Cartier-Calibre-watch-19.jpgcartier19.jpg

Cartier-Calibre-watch-23.jpgcartier23.jpg

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Great comparison review! Thanks for posting this!

The rep looks quite substantial. Is it heavy?

Cheers.

Val.

It is indeed quite substantial. It's 6.3 oz or 178g.

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I held one at an AD and my surprise was that it was really light... Actually it was titanium light...! I think it is not titanium but to me it's something to take note of...

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Thanks for the review. Wonder how this compares though ;)

A sweet looking watch!

Yeah, I was contemplating the asian ETA clone version which is available from the cartel as well, but figured I didn't want to spend that much money. The main issue with the cartel version is the petite seconds subdial, which cuts into the chapter ring. It does have a more accurate date aperture location though. One interesting thing I noticed in looking at the photos of the asian ETA version is that the serial number on the caseback is the same as the one on mine, so that part is probably reused here.

However, it does look like the case on the cartel version is better made, with a sharper interface between the lugs and the rest of the watch head. I would be happy to do a review if someone sends me a cartel Calibre de Cartier... :p

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Thanks for the review. The rep looks pretty good, but not great IMO. I have the 42mm. Balloon Blue, and I have to say the finish is

very nice. Not everyone's cup of tea, abit femme I think. As a dress watch though it's fine.

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Great comparison of a very nice watch. Thanks.

A couple of comments:

Dial: From what I can see, the hours are painted in a very thick layer on your version, whereas that seems not to be the case on the Cartel version referred to above. Conversely the datewheel is not very well placed on your version.Care to comment?

Movement/rotor: The Gen movement is mostly covered by plates. That should be simple to replicate. And the rotor is engraved. From your pics it looks like like yours is stickered. That is a shame. I think the rep makers should take a look at the Pam reps to see that it is very posssible to make a great looking back of the watch without spending huge amounts on copying the movement.

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Great comparison of a very nice watch. Thanks.

A couple of comments:

Dial: From what I can see, the hours are painted in a very thick layer on your version, whereas that seems not to be the case on the Cartel version referred to above. Conversely the datewheel is not very well placed on your version. Care to comment?

Movement/rotor: The Gen movement is mostly covered by plates. That should be simple to replicate. And the rotor is engraved. From your pics it looks like like yours is stickered. That is a shame. I think the rep makers should take a look at the Pam reps to see that it is very posssible to make a great looking back of the watch without spending huge amounts on copying the movement.

Agreed, the date aperture is a bit too far to the left on this version, and is better placed on the cartel's ETA and 21j version. You're also correct that the painted Roman numerals are applied a bit too thickly as compared to the gen. Can't really tell about the cartel version from the photos.The cartel's ETA version does have the issue with the incorrectly placed petite seconds hand, and I've made some observations about the cartel 21j version on leather:

1. the date font for the single digit dates look too large;

2. the date aperture window placement is better than in Robert's;

3. the cabochon jewel on the crown looks too light in color;

4. the silver colored movement, and rotor sticker looks better;

5. it lacks the Cartier deployant, comes with a tang buckle instead;

6. the lugs have a nice polish bevel which Robert's doesn't have;

7. the lugs look a bit strange where the attach to the watch head, it bumps out too much on this version, should just be the lug intersecting with the curve of the case, as opposed to a big indent where they meet.

Yes, the movement is poorly done, but I think we'll have to wait a while to see the level of replication seen in the Pam replicas, since the movement in the Pams can be used in a whole slew of Pams, but the movement in the Calibre de Cartier is only used here. As you've said before, even the Patek rotors on the 1:1 Nautilus and Aquanaut are disappointing.

However, the common observation in the replica market is that they correct a flaw, only to introduce another. I guess this allows them to milk the most obsessed of replica collectors by having them buy several versions of a watch in order to mix and match parts.

My sense is that the replicas for the Calibre de Cartier are still in a state of flux, just look at Watcheden for a range of variants, none of which are fully satisfactory.

For me, since none of the current offerings are perfect, I'm content with my cheapie from Robert, until such time that they come up with a much more accurate version. Let me put it this way, if you don't take the watch off your wrist, it does look very nice on the wrist, even if there are a number of flaws. If you can live with the too low petite seconds subdial, then the ETA cartel version looks very good to me as well, except that it is twice the price.

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Anyone know where I can purchase a decent replica of the Cartier Calibre? I love the watch and would like to find one that looks decent in real life, afraid of lots of random sites on the net.

 

Any advice, please help!!

 

Morgan

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Thank you for posting this review. 

I was looking at the white dial one for a while now. 

In your opinion, is it still worth buying it? 

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Thanks much for your excellent review - I really enjoyed the way you posed your rep next to the gen.

 

May I ask - who is your dealer Robert?

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