Daring, excellence, and inventiveness: the history of Cartier watchmaking is a reflection of a unique state of mind. A boundless tradition of research and pioneering that has doubly presided over the creation of a new Cartier watch for men, characterised by a bold Manufacture spirit: the Calibre de Cartier.
This creation is equipped with the first self-winding mechanical movement crafted entirely by Cartier: the calibre 1904 MC. A new move forward that testifies to the priority Cartier gives to developing its own movements, based on in-depth, ambitious research.
The calibre 1904 MC reflects the intense, ambitious research that Cartier has carried out over the years in the field of watchmaking mechanisms. This overt determination to develop its own movements, both simple and with complications, confirms Cartier’s strong intent to uphold the great tradition of fine Swiss watchmaking Manufactures.
Christened the 1904 MC in homage to the birth of Cartier watchmaking, the first self-winding movement to be entirely produced by Cartier perpetuates the vitality of an approach that is driven by a constant desire to go further. The conquest of time took on a whole new meaning in 1904 when Louis Cartier created a watch for his friend, the aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. It was one of the very first watches to be worn on the wrist and enabled the pilot to read the time while keeping his hands on the controls during flight. This exciting development was born from passion, a taste for adventure, and a pioneering spirit that propelled watchmaking firmly into the modern era. More than a century later, the 1904 MC movement is launching a new chapter dedicated to Cartier watchmaking.
Utmost timekeeping precision
Precision, resilience, and reliability have determined the development of the first mechanical self-winding movement to be entirely created by Cartier. A successful blend of technology and aesthetics, the calibre 1904 MC meets the extremely demanding standards set by Cartier for all of its creations.
This new 11 ½ line calibre has been designed to ensure excellent chronometric stability at all levels of winding, whether the watch is worn for an hour or an entire day. To achieve this, the movement is equipped with a double barrel that guarantees the excellent, long-term consistency of the mainspring, thus making it possible to control and stabilise timekeeping precision.
The calibre 1904 MC is fitted with a fine regulation system for perfect adjustment of the movement’s chronometry. Carried out by Cartier watchmakers, who meticulously adjust the arrow of the C-shaped index, this operation is essential to the accurate running of the watch.
To enable each owner to set the watch accurately to the nearest second, the calibre 1904 MC is equipped with a stop-seconds system. When the crown is pulled out fully, the small-seconds hand stops instantly and immediately restarts once the crown is pushed back in against the case.
An innovative system for winding the time
The winding system of self-winding movements is often subjected to severe constraints that may affect its performance. To counteract this weakness, the calibre 1904 MC features a system of ceramic ball bearings fitted at the centre of the rotor, which ensures excellent shock resistance and tremendous durability.
Cartier has also abandoned the traditional reversers used in self-winding mechanisms, replacing them with an even more innovative pawl system that results in a faster winding rate, thus allowing the watch to be wound more easily.
Lastly, when the watch is worn on the wrist, a bi-directional winding system enables the oscillating weight to wind the movement as it rotates both clockwise and anti-clockwise.
Fine watchmaking finishes that go beyond the purely visible
The passion of artisan decorators drives an endless quest for beauty that highlights and enhances fine watchmaking movements. Visible through the transparent sapphire crystal case back of the Calibre de Cartier, watch, the upper bridges and oscillating weight are decorated with the traditional Côtes de Genève. Even the main plate is circular-grained, despite the fact that it is hidden by the movement’s components.
The care devoted to the finishes adorning the calibre 1904 MC demonstrates Cartier’s resolve to offer an exquisitely crafted movement that exceeds the immediately visible.
Crafting the components of time differently: an endless quest for quality
Located at the heart of Swiss watchmaking, the Cartier Manufacture brings together all the artisanal professions of the industry, placing the most advanced technology alongside traditional crafts. This wealth of exceptional expertise, accumulated over many years, has given rise to the first self-winding mechanical movement to be made entirely by Cartier.
Development of this completely new Cartier movement has been led by a specialised unit made up of approximately twenty people representing all stages of its creation: design, development, industrialisation, prototyping, and homologation. It is a long and rigorous process that is essential to guaranteeing the quality of a new movement before it goes into production. The reliability, resilience, and precision of the new calibre 1904 MC have been verified by a highly stringent testing programme carried out in the Cartier laboratory, located in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
For the development of its new movement, Cartier implemented an innovative organisational watchmaking strategy that preserves the craftsman’s expertise and emphasises the importance of human skills. This method creates a team of representatives from all of the crafts involved in the production of the movement, thus facilitating communication throughout the team and allowing better quality control at each stage of production and assembly.
This unfailing devotion to quality has resulted in the birth of the latest Cartier watchmaking masterpiece: the calibre 1904 MC.
Calibre 1904 PS MC
Movement: Cartier Manufacture, mechanical self-winding − Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, calendar − Diameter: 11 ½’’’ (25.6 mm) − Thickness: 4 mm − Number of jewels: 27 − Number of components: 186 − Double barrel − Oscillating weight self-winding pawl − Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/hour (4 Hz) − Power reserve: approx. 48 hours − Finishes: Côtes de Genève on the bridges and oscillating weight.
The Calibre de Cartier watch is available in three versions: pink gold, steel, or a combination of the two. With a dial in black, white, or chocolate-brown, this new creation has made a striking entry into the 21st century. It offers a eulogy to masculinity that echoes the rhythm of the first self-winding movement to be produced entirely by Cartier.