Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Automatic or quartz Cartier watch

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
Hello Pricescopers,
I have a big milestone birthday coming up and my lovely husband is considering purchasing a Cartier Ballon Bleu 36mm to celebrate my big day. It’s my first luxury watch and I’m unsure if I should go for the automatic or quartz. I understand the quartz is going to be phased out, in the model I’m contemplating purchasing. I’m in Australia.
Is there any pros or cons with either selection I should consider before I make my choice?
There is no Cartier store locally so I’m considering purchasing from a luxury watch retailer (Watches of Switzerland) or I can wait until we travel to Hong Kong in a few months time. If any one can comment on pricing if they’ve purchasing from HK before it would be appreciated.
Thanks so much in advance!
Hope you don’t mind me tagging you @Dancing Fire, watch guru :lol:
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,014
Will it be a daily wear item or a couple-of-evenings-a-month 'posh bling' watch?

If the former, automatic is great because it stays wound. If the latter, quartz will be low-hassle (will tick away whether you wear it or not) but auto will require the time setting each time you put it on (unless you buy a watch winder).

Auto is more the 'connoisseurs' choice for expensive watches, but quartz is (with no disrespect meant!) often the ladies' choice, because it is low hassle and they don't want to faff around with setting it every time if it's only worn occasionally! (in my experience!)
 

purplesilk

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
1,291
I own mechanical, automatic and quartz and for everyday I prefer the quartz because I need to be sure about what time it is; the mechanical and the automatic have a special place in my heart because I appreciate how they were built but they are rarely worn.
:wavey:
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
3,951
Automatic watches require regular servicing, Hubbys Baume and Mercier just cost $800 for a full service (here in Sydney) so check who can do a Cartier servicing near you and how much. You usually need to use an authorized watchmaker, only they can get access to parts.
A quartz watch on the other hand runs for 18 months or so and you can get a watchmaker to put in a new battery for $20.
No one else will know (or care I guess) whether it’s an automatic or quartz so what suits you is best. As mentioned before an automatic will wind down after 48 hours (I think) so if not worn daily you either need a watch winder machine or to reset it every time you wear it.
Be careful buying any watch overseas, Cartier is one of the most frequently “replicated” watches out there so only buy from a Cartier boutique if OS. And technically speaking if Customs catches you as you come in “back home” you’ll be up for GST and Import tax, while unlikely, it can happen.
 

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
Will it be a daily wear item or a couple-of-evenings-a-month 'posh bling' watch?

If the former, automatic is great because it stays wound. If the latter, quartz will be low-hassle (will tick away whether you wear it or not) but auto will require the time setting each time you put it on (unless you buy a watch winder).

Auto is more the 'connoisseurs' choice for expensive watches, but quartz is (with no disrespect meant!) often the ladies' choice, because it is low hassle and they don't want to faff around with setting it every time if it's only worn occasionally! (in my experience!)
Thanks for your reply. My intention is to wear it everyday, but I’m wondering now whether I’ll feel like it’s too dressy to wear as an everyday watch. My lifestyle is pretty casual, two young kids, school runs, gym when I have the energy. My everyday watch is a Longines and it’s quite small and delicate compared to the Ballon Bleu so this will be a big change.
The SA I was speaking too, also mentioned that quartz is favoured by the ladies as it was less fuss :lol:.
 

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
I own mechanical, automatic and quartz and for everyday I prefer the quartz because I need to be sure about what time it is; the mechanical and the automatic have a special place in my heart because I appreciate how they were built but they are rarely worn.
:wavey:
Do quartz watches last as long as automatic? I’m hoping to keep my watch for a very long time and perhaps pass it to my daughter sometime in the future.
 

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
Automatic watches require regular servicing, Hubbys Baume and Mercier just cost $800 for a full service (here in Sydney) so check who can do a Cartier servicing near you and how much. You usually need to use an authorized watchmaker, only they can get access to parts.
A quartz watch on the other hand runs for 18 months or so and you can get a watchmaker to put in a new battery for $20.
No one else will know (or care I guess) whether it’s an automatic or quartz so what suits you is best. As mentioned before an automatic will wind down after 48 hours (I think) so if not worn daily you either need a watch winder machine or to reset it every time you wear it.
Be careful buying any watch overseas, Cartier is one of the most frequently “replicated” watches out there so only buy from a Cartier boutique if OS. And technically speaking if Customs catches you as you come in “back home” you’ll be up for GST and Import tax, while unlikely, it can happen.
Thanks Bron. I did enquire about servicing and the SA said approx $400-500 to service an automatic every 5 years, I think it was a rough guesstimate. As there is no Cartier in Perth, I’m assuming it will be posted inter state. Replacing a battery was $95 in store.
Even though I’m not planning on selling, does either have an impact on resale price? I was also curious as to why Cartier was phasing out the quartz.
 

purplesilk

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
1,291
Do quartz watches last as long as automatic? I’m hoping to keep my watch for a very long time and perhaps pass it to my daughter sometime in the future.
I don't know.
Depending on my outfit/ activity I wear:
a Baume & Mercier steel Linea quartz watch or a CK quartz watch, both about 15 years old, both work perfectly, battery changed only twice;
an automatic yellow gold watch from the 1970's, 17 jewels, it has a ton of problems;
a mechanical white gold Longines dress watch with diamonds from the 1950's, it works perfectly: it's my favourite one and I would wear it everyday but, alas, it's not water resistant- I can't even wash my hands without the risks of water entering into the case.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,014
IMHO one might as well wear the blingiest stuff one owns every day because life is short - why not wear something that brings you pleasure, even if it is perhaps 'overdressing' for day-to-day, as we're a long time dead and we can't take it with us!

Quartz is, rightly or wrongly, sometimes perceived as 'cheap' by some when compared to an automatic movement, which is why I mentioned that watch snobs will usually pick auto over quartz if there is an option, but the general population doesn't particularly care either way - unless you live in the posh parts of town and are in the social circles of 'the upper class', 99% of people won't notice what you're wearing on your wrist, 0.9% will notice and not care, and perhaps 0.1% will notice, care, and maybe take up conversation about it.


I always think watches are very interesting in social terms, though - after all, when one buys a particular brand, are we buying it solely because we like the design? Or because we want to be associated with the 'brand values' and image that the brand has so carefully cultured through millions in advertising and (often) 'aspirational' pricing to keep the riff-raff from owning them? lol
 

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
IMHO one might as well wear the blingiest stuff one owns every day because life is short - why not wear something that brings you pleasure, even if it is perhaps 'overdressing' for day-to-day, as we're a long time dead and we can't take it with us!

Quartz is, rightly or wrongly, sometimes perceived as 'cheap' by some when compared to an automatic movement, which is why I mentioned that watch snobs will usually pick auto over quartz if there is an option, but the general population doesn't particularly care either way - unless you live in the posh parts of town and are in the social circles of 'the upper class', 99% of people won't notice what you're wearing on your wrist, 0.9% will notice and not care, and perhaps 0.1% will notice, care, and maybe take up conversation about it.


I always think watches are very interesting in social terms, though - after all, when one buys a particular brand, are we buying it solely because we like the design? Or because we want to be associated with the 'brand values' and image that the brand has so carefully cultured through millions in advertising and (often) 'aspirational' pricing to keep the riff-raff from owning them? lol
To be honest, I don’t think many of my friends or social circle would even notice my watch. When I was showing my mother in law a photo of the watch and deciding on the size, whether a 33mm or 36mm, she said get both :shock:, she had no idea of the value/cost of the watch.
I love the styling of the Ballon Bleu if I could find one similar in a different brand I would have looked that too. But hubby is adamant, it’s for my 50th and wanted something that was special.
 

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
I don't know.
Depending on my outfit/ activity I wear:
a Baume & Mercier steel Linea quartz watch or a CK quartz watch, both about 15 years old, both work perfectly, battery changed only twice;
an automatic yellow gold watch from the 1970's, 17 jewels, it has a ton of problems;
a mechanical white gold Longines dress watch with diamonds from the 1950's, it works perfectly: it's my favourite one and I would wear it everyday but, alas, it's not water resistant- I can't even wash my hands without the risks of water entering into the case.
All your watches sound like beautiful timepieces, my Longines dress watch is from my late father and I treasure it so much. Now that I’ve considered the options I think the quartz may suit my needs, so I can swap and wear either watch depending on my outfit or mood.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,014
To be honest, I don’t think many of my friends or social circle would even notice my watch. When I was showing my mother in law a photo of the watch and deciding on the size, whether a 33mm or 36mm, she said get both :shock:, she had no idea of the value/cost of the watch.
I love the styling of the Ballon Bleu if I could find one similar in a different brand I would have looked that too. But hubby is adamant, it’s for my 50th and wanted something that was special.
I like your mother-in-law's style :D lol
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
30,898
Mechanical/automatic movements are romantic. Smooth movements. Almost imperceptible the ticks between seconds. My Rolex is self winding automatic.

With Quartz movements the second hand goes clunk clunk clunk. Quartz are simple, cheap with great value and highly accurate. Probably what many people want in a watch if you wear a watch. I love my Cartier tank which has a quartz movement but there is no second hand so no clunking.

Watch wearing (today) is sort of like listening to vinyl in audio. A romantic historic nostalgia associated with the experience. Choose what you prefer because it is an experience unique to the individual. Personally I love listening to vinyl and I love the mechanical movements of the automatic watches. But it's always nice to have different options depending on one's mood.
 

purplesilk

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
1,291
All your watches sound like beautiful timepieces, my Longines dress watch is from my late father and I treasure it so much. Now that I’ve considered the options I think the quartz may suit my needs, so I can swap and wear either watch depending on my outfit or mood.
Thanks.
My vote goes to the quartz Ballon Bleu, because quartz watches are precise and low maintenance; automatic watches are charming but I can't figure myself paying hundred bucks for service.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,014
Mechanical/automatic movements are romantic. Smooth movements. Almost imperceptible the ticks between seconds. My Rolex is self winding automatic.

With Quartz movements the second hand goes clunk clunk clunk. Quartz are simple, cheap with great value and highly accurate. Probably what many people want in a watch if you wear a watch. I love my Cartier tank which has a quartz movement but there is no second hand so no clunking.
I can't think which manufacturer it is now but there are 'deadbeat' automatic movements, which are automatic but only tick once a second.

I don't understand why anyone would want this :lol: but they charge mega-money because it's a movement complication therefore can be charged for... lol

On the other end of the scale, Bulova do an ultra-smooth quartz - precisionist, I think they call it? - which is 10 beats/steps per second IIRC (so the same as the Zenith 36000bph automatic movement).

It's good that we have such a range to choose from! :)
 

purplesilk

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
1,291
@Sparkles88
Did you get the chance to try the Ballon Bleu on your own wrist or did you choose it based only on pictures?
I'm asking just because I tried it on and I thought it was more a nice fashion watch than an iconic Cartier piece: I'll be 50 in few years and I don't envision myself wearing it in the next 20 years.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,014
I have never owned a quartz, so I'm biased :P2. I would expect at least 30% off MSRP for an auto and 35-40% off for a quartz. What is the reference # of the watch that you are considering?
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
3,951
Thanks Bron. I did enquire about servicing and the SA said approx $400-500 to service an automatic every 5 years, I think it was a rough guesstimate. As there is no Cartier in Perth, I’m assuming it will be posted inter state. Replacing a battery was $95 in store.
Even though I’m not planning on selling, does either have an impact on resale price? I was also curious as to why Cartier was phasing out the quartz.
With servicing you might find that there will be an authorized Cartier watch repairer in Perth.
It’s interesting that Cartier is phasing out Quartz, obviously they want to reposition itself as a “prestige brand” because the true Prestige brands never made “quartz” watches - ugh, cheap stuff for the masses, “we” are only for the elite and RICH”.
Just a comment about the style, I don’t think the Ballon Blue style will become “ionic” like the Tank is. This seriously affects later resale. An old Cartier Tank is worth a lot more than a similar age Must de Cartier.
In terms of “brand” I think Cartier is seen as more as a luxury “fashion” watch, not a prestige watch like say IWC, A Lange and Sohne, Rolex or Jaeger LeCoultre so again that affects resale value.
I don’t think a true watch connoisseur would buy a Cartier and certainly not a Quartz!
And just an interesting point, men’s watches are a completely different world to ladies watches.
For Men, watches are one of the few ways a man can subtlety display his wealth / status in the business / social world (unless you’re a rapper wearing 10 carat diamond earrings and a 300 carat diamond neck chain)
Top prestige watches can cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and that’s not due to gold and diamonds but complications and rarity.
Average Joe would not recognize these names - Hublot, Panerai, Ulysse Nardin or Blancpain, some might recognize Audemars Piguet or Vacheron Constantin but the people who own and wear them don’t care.
It’s sort of an elite club, wearing a piece of metal on your wrist that cost more than a fancy car, maybe even a house, and no one really knows EXCEPT another watch connoisseur - it’s like a Masonic secret handshake. Those who know, know.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,014
This model was sold out by the time I saved up the $2.5 million. I was one day late. ;(

 

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
I have never owned a quartz, so I'm biased :P2. I would expect at least 30% off MSRP for an auto and 35-40% off for a quartz. What is the reference # of the watch that you are considering?
Thanks for your reply, I’m considering the Cartier Ballon Bleu 36mm.
Sorry, but what’s the MSRP? I’m guessing recommended retail price? Unfortunately, that’s no where near the price they quoted, that would be amazing!
 

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
This model was sold out by the time I saved up the $2.5 million. I was one day late. ;(

Amazing watch! There is no way I could wear that on my wrist, unless I had personal body guard..lol I’d be too scared someone would chop my hand off!
 

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
@Sparkles88
Did you get the chance to try the Ballon Bleu on your own wrist or did you choose it based only on pictures?
I'm asking just because I tried it on and I thought it was more a nice fashion watch than an iconic Cartier piece: I'll be 50 in few years and I don't envision myself wearing it in the next 20 years.
Yes, I tried on both the 36mm and also the 33mm (two tone) to get an idea of size. That’s what I was concerned about, that it might not be “fashionable” in 20 years time. I asked my sister and she said don’t worry buy what you like now and don’t worry about the future.
Which size do you think looks nice? 513D8A90-F259-4F1E-8CC7-912C259A935A.jpeg F8814169-E966-4612-8010-CBA7F52B4CCA.jpeg
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
3,951
To me the 36mm is just a bit too big on your wrist, sort of looks like you’re wearing Hubbys watch. So I’d vote for the 33mm.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,014
Thanks for your reply, I’m considering the Cartier Ballon Bleu 36mm.
Sorry, but what’s the MSRP? I’m guessing recommended retail price? Unfortunately, that’s no where near the price they quoted, that would be amazing!
manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP)
 

purplesilk

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
1,291
I think the 33 mm looks better on your wrist.
If you're not a connoisseur and don't want to pretend to be, buy a quartz Ballon Bleu and enjoy it: there's no reason to waste money on niche products if you don't have the knowledge to "appreciate" them.
If not in debt, at our age we are in the position to wear whatever pleases us, not fearing to be judged.
 

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
I think the 33 mm looks better on your wrist.
If you're not a connoisseur and don't want to pretend to be, buy a quartz Ballon Bleu and enjoy it: there's no reason to waste money on niche products if you don't have the knowledge to "appreciate" them.
If not in debt, at our age we are in the position to wear whatever pleases us, not fearing to be judged.
The choice of quartz or automatic may be taken out of my hands if I choose the 33mm because the retailer is unable to order in the quartz in that model due to Cartier phasing out those models.I noticed that in both sizes it’s no longer available on the Cartier Australia website. If they happen to sell the last quartz 36mm, I’ll be in the same situation and only be able to purchase the automatic.
 

Sparkles88

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
418
manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP)
Thanks for clarifying. My cousin priced the watch for me in HK and the discount of MSRP was around the 12% mark, no where near the 30-40%. You must have special contacts @Dancing Fire? I’m assuming this would not be offered at any of the Cartier boutique stores, I would be paying the full retail price.
When I discussed discounts with SA here, they said due to the Aussie falling dollar they have reduced the % off discounts allowable as they have not adjusted for the currency fluctuations of the Aussie dollar.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,014
Thanks for clarifying. My cousin priced the watch for me in HK and the discount of MSRP was around the 12% mark, no where near the 30-40%. You must have special contacts @Dancing Fire? I’m assuming this would not be offered at any of the Cartier boutique stores, I would be paying the full retail price.
When I discussed discounts with SA here, they said due to the Aussie falling dollar they have reduced the % off discounts allowable as they have not adjusted for the currency fluctuations of the Aussie dollar.
That sounds too low b/c last I heard even for Rolexes you can get a 15% discount except for their S/S models. I bought my wife a 18K/SS Rolex last May and received a 17% discount but not from a AD.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top