The catalogue of typical Cartier shapes is historically made up of square, rectangular, cushion- and tonneau-shaped cases. When, in 2007, the company announced its biggest ever launch of a round watch, it wasn’t just any kind of round. The name, the shape and the extraordinary versatility of the Ballon Bleu set it apart from all other circular watches. In fact, it has become one of the most significant collections Cartier has ever developed. The Ballon Bleu continues to rise, embracing new complications and innovative variations. How can a such an apparently simple watch have achieved such a triumphant trajectory?
Its shape is reminiscent of a hot air balloon. The idea of a large circle held by slender threads was the image that governed its creation and launch. Why “blue”? Perhaps because of its mellifluous sound. In any case, the Ballon Bleu has the most poetic name of all the Cartier Ladies Ballon Bleu Watch With Custom Diamond Bezel Replica ranges. The concept is supported by meticulous design.
Seen from above, the case is round, the lugs are short and the bezel is generously convex. The crown is protected by a slender bridge that protrudes from the caseband, its gentle bump mirrored in the guilloché pattern in the centre of the dial. But the Ballon Bleu is more than just a circle. You have to turn it over to see the full effect. In profile its graceful lenticular form looks like a perfectly smooth pebble. The crystal and bezel form an unbroken curve that continues onto the caseback, which is curved in exactly the same way. The Ballon Bleu is symmetrical in three dimensions, taking inspiration from some of the most ancient aesthetic codes.
These symmetries result in a watch that rests easily on the wrist. Its gentle contours follow the lines of the arm. Most watches that aim for ergonomic comfort follow the curves of the wrist. The Ballon Bleu does the opposite. From above, the trajectory of the watch’s profile follows that of the arm. From the other side, its convex back nestles naturally between the wrist bones: counter-intuitive, perhaps, but astonishingly effective. When you put it on, it all becomes clear.
This comfort in wear has a second advantage, which is a large part of the Ballon Bleu’s success. Even in larger sizes it fits a wide range of wrists. The Ballon Bleu does not overhang the edge of the arm. It doesn’t slip. It doesn’t catch on your sleeve. It remains in place, whatever its diameter. And this aspect is the key to its ability to embrace an unparalleled range of variations. The Ballon Bleu is fundamentally a unisex watch, its bezel providing a generous canvas for gem-setting. And the range of diameters and styles has naturally invited a wide range of complications.
The simpler versions make up the majority of the catalogue. Fitted with an automatic movement, the Ballon Bleu exists in steel, gold, and steel and gold, with the option in each case of a fine leather strap or a bracelet in the same metal as the watch, in a choice of 36, 39, 40, 42, 44 and 46 mm diameters.
Three models stand out. The Ballon Bleu Flying Tourbillon was the first watch to contain a Cartier manufacture complication movement certified with the Geneva Hallmark. Then, in 2009, Cartier chose the Ballon Bleu as the vehicle for its ID One, its first concept watch, the culmination of several technological advances that had never been seen before in the watch industry. But the most intriguing version is probably the Ballon Bleu Extra Flat. Rather than the usual 13 mm, this watch is just 7.05 mm deep. How did Cartier manage to halve the height while remaining faithful to the watch’s identity? In fact, a known feature of three-dimensional constructions is that they retain their personality even when they are foreshortened. This flexibility is a hallmark of many of the most successful designs.
The construction of the instance, with visible casebands that are slim (and brushed, to emphazise this comparison much more), is well thought. The visual and visual perception is in reality much different than what the specs will make you believe. Obviously at 11.25mm, it will be rather difficult to hide it under a cuff but this sleek profile will greatly help to the general elegance of this watch. According to Cartier, the instance is perfectly executed and, within this golden variant, it’s a certain old-school charm that we quite love here.The face of the Cartier Ballon Bleu Pre Owned Watches Replica Drive isalso, on its own side, extremely classical to the creation of the Old Maison. That is where Cartier has been appropriate for this watch: bringing some fresh air in the shapes, inspirations and measurements, without shockingly change the DNA. We find back the dial with several distinct areas: a fundamental guilloché part with concentric waves, a tiny minute with circular layout, a second track encompassing these guilloché regions and finally, on the periphery, the hours indicated with strong Roman numerals — with of course, the name Cartier published at the 7 numeral. Another usual feature would be the classical sword hands, in blued steel, for the hours, minutes and small second. Overall, no revolution on the dial. The novelty comes from the shape of this watch, which provides some additional sportiness, but clearly not the exact same kind of sport compared to a Calibre de Cartier. This Drive de Cartier (of course, it’s in its own title…) has this gentleman driver attitude, a type of British elegance, not over-dressed, not too sporty. It might well be a great casual view, and a great daily beater in this gold instance, as a suit and tie will not be fearful it.The instances of outsourced or quartz movements are over at Cartier, especially for men’s watches. So you will not be amazed to know that the Cartier Drive comes with a in-house movement — rather than the fabrication’s “entry” calibre, like from the Clé. The Drive includes something more specialized, more complex and possibly more exact. And that’s something we are not going to complain about, especially knowing the price level of this watch (at least in steel). Within the Drive ticks the Calibre 1904MC-PS — PS meaning “petite seconde” or small second. This movement was first introduced at the Calibre p Cartier and it was the first automatic movement entirely produced in house by the brand new. Its title, 1904, is a reference to the date when Cartier started to perform watches — see the Santos for additional information.