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04/09/2014

Cartier may not be the first brand that will come to your mind

In recent years replica Cartier Ballon bleu, the king of haute joaillerie, has begun storming the bastions of haute horlogerie. In April 2008, Cartier startled the watch world with the introduction of its first ever Geneva Seal watch, the Ballon Bleu Flying Tourbillon. At the time, some watch industry observers considered it a stunt.

However, famously French Cartier http://www.nkwatches.com/replica-bell-ross.html had no tradition of making mechanical movements in-house and no watch manufacturing roots whatsoever in the canton of Geneva, which is a key requirement to earn the allegedly prestigious Poinçon de Genève. So how did Cartier get the Geneva Seal?

In 2007, Cartier’s parent High Quality Replica Rolex Datejust II Watches On Sale, Richemont SA, acquired the production facilities of Manufacture Roger Dubuis in Geneva, which specialized in making Geneva Seal movements. Cartier promptly took over an atelier in the Dubuis facility and installed 10 master watchmakers there. The flying-tourbillon caliber they produced there, the 9452 MC, is based on a Roger Dubuis design.

Voilà: Paris-based Cartier, with watch production facilities in La Chaux-de-Fonds and Fribourg, Switzerland, was transformed into a Geneva Seal brand. Technically it was legit. But the question lingered: Was the expertise really Cartier’s or was it Dubuis behind a Ballon Bleu facade?

Two years later, it’s clear that it really was Cartier. What some saw as a stunt was actually a shot, an opening salvo announcing Cartier’s emergence as a bona fide mechanical movement producer with serious ambitions in high horology.


In the past three years, Cartier has rushed with Usain Bolt-like speed into the high-mechanical men’s market. It has unveiled 17 new men’s mechanical watches and nine new manufacture movements (including another Geneva Seal movement), at least six of them conceived, developed, prototyped, and produced entirely in Manufacture Cartier, the firm’s giant watchmaking facility in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Among them is a base automatic caliber, 1904 MC (for Manufacture Cartier), the first Cartier has produced in-house. It was launched this year in a new men’s watch collection, Calibre de Cartier. Caliber 1904 MC will be the base movement for future Cartier automatic models, including those with complications.