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Cartier’s in-house Chronograph movement – Calibre de Cartier Chronograph

In 2010 Cartier introduced the Calibre de Cartier featuring Cartier’s in-house movement caliber 1904-PS, a solid base movement that found its way into the new Tank Anglaise as well. Last week Cartier introduced their new in-house chronograph movement, caliber 1904-CH, in a watch with the familiar Calibre de Cartier case and face.

This is of course very different from the classic elegant Cartier mono-poussoir models from the esteemed CPCP collection, however a great next step for Cartier’s mainstream collection. This is the new Calibre de Cartier Chronograph with caliber 1904-CH movement.

This is the new Calibre de Cartier Chronograph with caliber 1904-CH movement.
This is the new Calibre de Cartier Chronograph with caliber 1904-CH movement.

Calibre de Cartier Chronograph
I think it’s justified to call this movement, Cartier’s first ‘normal’ in-house chronograph movement, putting aside the exotics from their Fine Watchmaking collection. The previous Cartier chronograph replica watches, were either based on ETA movement like in the Santos 100 Chronograph or the mono pusher chronographs from Collection Privee Cartier Paris. These mono pushers use a manual wind movement developed by THA, a company founded by no-one less then Denis Flageolet (De Bethune), Vianney Halter and Francois-Paul Journe!

The press release doesn’t mention anything about it, however it looks like the new movement, caliber 1904-CH, has been designed on the base caliber 1904-PS. It shares much of the same principles, like two main spring barrels, which are good for ‘just’ 48 hours of power reserve. Opting for two main springs ensures a more stable chronometric rate. Other similarities between caliber 1904-PS and the new chronograph caliber 1904-CH, are the same beat rate (28,800 vph), diameter (11,5 ligne) and a central rotor with ceramic ball bearings that which ensure excellent shock resistance and durability.

The fine-adjustment system features the signature Cartier “C”.
The fine-adjustment system features the signature Cartier “C”.

Cartier Caliber 1904-CH
The fine-adjustment system features the signature Cartier “C”. The chronograph function is activated by a column wheel that is visible through an round aperture in the large bridge, which almost fully covers the entire movement. The rotor winds, like on caliber 1904-PS, bi-directional.

The bottom plate, masked by the movement’s components, is circular-grained. The movement’s bridge, balance cock and rotor are finish with a fine Côtes de Genève striping, which is all visible through a sapphire crystal case back.

Calibre de Cartier Caliber 1904-CH
And before I forget it, there’s also the dial side and case, which both strongly remind of the Calibre de Cartier. A similar case, measuring 42 mm in diameter with a water resistance of 100 meters. The dial shows the Roman numerals on the top half and stick hour markers, treated with luminescent material, on the lower half.

The dial shows the Roman numerals on the top half and stick hour markers, treated with luminescent material, on the lower half.
The dial shows the Roman numerals on the top half and stick hour markers, treated with luminescent material, on the lower half.

The date aperture, which shows three consecutive dates, has moved from the 3 o’clock to the 6 o’clock position and there are two registers, one for the running seconds hand and a 30-minute counter. All hands share the same design as those on the ‘normal’ Calibre de Cartier, being the sword-shaped hands in black oxidized steel with a luminescent coating. Around the silvered opaline dial is a rail-track engraved in the fluted steel or gold bezel.