Continuing the watch design trend of “more blue is better,” Cartier showed a blued version of their Calibre De Cartier Diver at SIHH earlier this year. As with many of its peers, this simple color swap manages to impart this rather dressy Cartier diver with an appeal distinct from that of the original black-dialed version. From steel to solid gold, the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Blue wears the color well, adding a playful touch of personality to a brand often characterized by their stoic aesthetic.
Save for the coloring, the blue variant of the Calibre de Cartier diver is identical to the original black version of the Calibre de Cartier Diver that Ariel. With a 42mm case in steel or 18k pink gold, the new blue dial is matched by an equally blue, lumed ceramic bezel insert. At 11mm thick, the Calibre de Cartier Diver is a consummate dress diver, offering a more sporty interpretation of the Calibre de Cartier platform. Dress divers are a strange evolution, a subspecies of the sport watch grown to bridge the gap between the traditional role of a dive watch as a tool and its more modern context as an object of luxury with adventurous intentions (especially within the confines of Cartier and its peers).
While few Cartier dive watches actually see use as tools for scuba diving, many watch buyers desire a watch with the ancillary qualities of a dive watch (robust construction, good legibility, water resistance, and a casual masculine appeal). So, within the large market for casual dive watches there is a demand for higher-end products that retain some semblance of their toolish roots. A very similar thing has happened to SUVs over the past twenty years. What was once a tool then became popular for its strong versatility and was eventually co-opted by the luxury market. Think of the difference between an old Wrangler and a new Grand Cherokee, or a Merc 280G vs a modern G65.
As such, the Calibre de Cartier Diver Blue, while undeniably a luxury product, is water resistant to 300 meters, has a legit dive bezel, strong legibility, and a capable in-house automatic movement. Inside its nicely detailed case, we find Cartier’s 1904 MC movement, sporting double barrels that provide more consistent torque over the 48 hours of power reserve. With 27 jewels and a 4Hz rate, the 1904 MC is not especially fancy, but it is a capable movement that finds a fitting home in the Calibre de Cartier family.
Focusing on the blue, I think it’s a strong addition to the lineup. While the black version is certainly a classic look, I think the blue really suits the nautical feel of the Calibre de Cartier Diver’s aesthetic replica watches. The blue is arguably an even stronger suit for the solid gold version. While the two tone has a certain appeal, the full 18k pink gold version really rips the knob off. While I don’t have the wrist to pull off a gold dive watch, I think I get the appeal and there is something wondrously nouveau-riche about the solid gold Calibre de Cartier Diver Blue on a blue rubber strap.
Steel dive watches are tools for the masses, while a gold diver (especially from a brand like Cartier) paints visions of the sun-soaked Amalfi coast, an ever darkening tan, and a teak decked vessel to carry you far away from steel concerns. If this is your life, then this may be your watch.