In the past, we have done an exhaustive and informative job of reviewing a number of Cartier Ballon Bleu watches (including small and medium models). However, it’s time to pick out a range of products from this magnificent collection; the Cartier Ballon Bleu Chronograph.
Adding a chronograph to an already iconic watch is certainly one way to keep Cartier fans and watch enthusiasts excited and interested. In addition, most Cartier Ballon Bleu watches are not necessarily the right size for men, as larger and larger watches are becoming more and more common on the wrist. In fact, most of the watches in the Cartier Ballon Bleu collection are smaller and of a more traditional size.
The 44mm case certainly fits the large size of today’s popular watches and is, according to many diehard enthusiasts, a famous design choice. At 14.8mm thick, this case certainly has the size, weight and feel of a high-end luxury timepiece.
The Cartier Ballon Bleu Chronograph runs on a manufacturing movement. Cartier internal movement 1904-CH2 MC. this 31 hand automatic chronograph movement vibrates at 28,800 vibrations per hour or 4Hz and has a 48 hour power reserve. On the case back, eight visible screws keep the case closed tightly, while the transparent, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal case back allows you to see the watch’s fascinating mechanism.
The 1904-CH2 chronograph movement is slightly different from its predecessor, the 1904-CH, which can be found in the Cartier de Cartier chronograph collection. The 1904-CH2 has the date at the 6 o’clock position instead of a small continuous seconds subdial like the 1904-CH. The 1904-CH has a 12-hour counter in addition to some jewels on the movement, and the date window on the Ballon Bleu chronograph is at 9 o’clock.
The dial on the Ballon Bleu chronograph has all the design elements you would expect to see in any Ballon Bleu watch. These include the blue steel hands, the elegant texture of Cartier’s signature wavy guilloché dial motif that radiates outward from the center of the dial and its sub-dials.
The familiar black Roman numerals are elegantly tucked beneath the sub-registers, which can be seen throughout the Ballon Bleu collection on any dial with a moon phase complication.
They’ve done away with the indented and reduced Roman numerals at 3 o’clock, as well as the 9 and 6 o’clock numerals usually seen on most watches in Cartier’s Ballon Bleu collection. Apparently it’s because the chronograph and small seconds and date window need space. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it allows for a more symmetrical dial design than what is typically seen in Cartier Ballon Bleu watches.
The fine second hand track is printed in black on a smooth, untextured, silvery opaque area of the dial that surrounds the inner dial and is then surrounded by a ring of textured guilloché medallions. This pattern appears to repeat itself until it reaches the periphery of the dial, which is also decorated with guilloché waves. The shape of the inner dial and the chapters is interesting.