Close-Up: Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver

Cartier Calibre de Cartier DiverOf all the watches that debuted at last year’s SIHH watch fair in Geneva, perhaps the one I least expected was a dive watch from Cartier. And it turned out to be one of the coolest new watches in recent years. In this article from my blog,, I give you the scoop on Cartier’s foray into the world of “real” sports watches.

The Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver is an unmistakably masculine watch for both everyday wear and extreme conditions; it meets the challenge of combining the classical Cartier style with the technical requirements necessary to be considered a true divers’ watch under the international standard ISO 6425. To meet this standard, the watch must meet eight criteria for reliability and pass a series of extremely rigorous tests.

Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver in steel (above) and rose gold (below)
For those who are unfamiliar with the ISO standard, these are the main criteria:

Unidirectional turning bezel

To prevent any accidental rotation or alteration of the dive-time indication, the bezel turns in only one direction. It has been designed with 120 notches (40 teeth and 3 points) to enable adjustment to a half-minute, with a clear sound signal during its rotation. For greater visibility, the markers signaling each five-minute period are clearly indicated.

Display in the dark

The Calibre de Cartier Diver can be clearly read deep below the surface due to the Super-LumiNova applied to its dive-time indicators, hour and minute hands, pre-selection device and small seconds counter.


Water-resistant to 300 meters

When underwater, diving watches can be subjected to very high pressures and extreme conditions (saltwater, thermal shocks, etc.). For protection, the Calibre de Cartier Diver is fitted with a thick crystal, a screwed caseback, oversized seals and a screw-down crown that ensure water-resistance to 300 meters. The watch has demonstrated its resistance to saltwater after immersion in a solution of sodium chloride (30 g/l) at 18° C – 25° C for 24 hours. Furthermore, after spending 50 hours at a depth of 30 centimeters at 18° C – 25° C, it continues to function perfectly underwater.

Despite its sportiness, the watch is still a Cartier. Cartier would never release a watch that was overly massive or heavy, so reducing the thickness of the case was a technical and aesthetic challenge. The manufacture’s watchmakers, as always, took care to maintain a balance of dimensions. They have produced an authentic divers’ watch, without sacrificing everyday comfort on the wrist, in a balanced case measuring just 11 mm in thickness. It features a contrast of satin and polished finishes, a turning bezel coated with ADLC and bordered with fluting that recalls the interior of the bezel of the original Calibre de Cartier watch, launched in 2010. This is a clear sign of its pedigree, just like the oversized, luminescent Roman numeral “XII” at the 12 o’clock position.

The Calibre de Cartier Diver is available in an all-steel or rose-gold case, both on a sporty, black rubber strap. Like its predecessor, the original Calibre de Cartier, the watch contains the Cartier in-house movement 1904 MC. Specs for the steel-case version of the watch are below the photos.

Cartier Calibre xxxx, front (above) and back (below)
The watch, which is water-resistant to 300 meters, has a solid caseback.

Case: Stainless steel; diameter = 42 mm; thickness = 11 mm

Crown: Faceted steel set with a faceted synthetic spinel

Bezel: Unidirectional, steel coated with ADLC

Crystal: Sapphire

Water-resistance: 300 meters

Dial: Black, partially snailed, with numeral “XII” in Super-LumiNova

Hands: Sword-shaped, with Super-LumiNova

Strap: Rubber, with steel ardillon buckle

Price: Starting at 5,500 euro (steel)

This article was originally published on December 18, 2013, and has been updated.

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  1. Annabel Robin

    Certainly ‘different’, although the hour and minute hands seem diminutive in relation to the other dial figures.

  2. Simon Gladman

    …it would be an awful lot nicer without that silly date aperture.


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