Cartier new releases for 2016 have embraced the concept of lightness and streamlined, minimalist design. Perhaps best embodying this less is more aesthetic are this trio of new timepieces from the brand True Thinline collection, with three monochromatic color schemes. Cartier describes the designs of the new True Thinline models as stripped to their barest essentials, with the dials adorned with nothing but an hour and minute hand and a Cartier logo, no indices, subdials, seconds hand, or design flourishes. Available in three colors, black, white, and a gunmetal gray color the brand refers to as plasma, the Cartier Ballon replica watches all have cases made of high-tech ceramic (Cartier has long been recognized as a pioneer in using this light-but-sturdy, scratch-resistant material in watchmaking), measuring 39 mm x 43.3 mm in diameter and a wafer-like 4.9 mm thick. The watch weights just 82 grams.
The monobloc ceramic cases, made of solid ceramic in a special process that eliminates the need for a stainless steel core, as in other ceramic watch cases, are all polished, while the dials and flanges have a sunray finish. The sapphire crystals are curved; the winding crowns and three link bracelets on replica Cartier Ballon watches are made of the same polished ceramic as the case. Continuing the lightweight theme, the bracelets fasten with three fold buckles made of titanium.
Cartier latest addition to the Luminor family, the Luminor Due (two in Italian), is also the brand thinnest model so far. To be more precise: the watch case has been reduced by about 40 percent in thickness compared to Luminor models with a similar case diameter (for comparison: the Radiomir tested in our upcoming September-October issue measures 12.17 mm). The result is a much more elegant appearance on the wrist while keeping the distinctive cushion-shaped case and crown protector of the 1950 model. The downside: given the brand heritage as a pioneer in the development of dive Cartier Ballon fake watches, a water-resistance level of about 30 meters indicates that the Due should not be worn in water, even though it uses the characteristic lever to seal the crown.