I think the original concept of Basculante was a bit different to JLC Reverso. Reverso was designed to be flipped to protect the dial, but I think Basculante was designed so that you can stand it on your desk and turn it into a mini desk watch (pictured).
By the way the strap usually comes in blue alligator, but since I got it used, I thought I’d replace it with a new strap in different colour. The official size measurement of strap for small Basculante is 16.5mm/ 14mm. But when I went to Richemont, they didn’t have that many choices for that exact size, so I got a semi matte brown alligator from Cartier in slightly smaller size instead; measuring 16mm/14mm, it fits perfectly on the Basculante and thankfully the 0.5mm gap is unnoticeable.
I was going to put something more adventurous like two-tone phyton from ABP, but my partner prefers a classic OEM strap, so I had to stick with Cartier. I think she made a right decision since she wears this at office as well. Surprisingly, the price for this OEM Cartier strap was quite cheap considering it’s an original Cartier in square scaled alligator. Actually it worked out considerably cheaper compared to buying a square scale alligator strap from ABP.
The case back is very modest – just the word Cartier, watch model number and serial number. The Flip
Unlike JLC Reverso which flips from left to right, with Basculante, you pull out the protruded part on top of the blue spinel, and it will pop out letting you raise the frame. The frame itself supports the inner case that you can rotate 360 degree. The concept is almost like a swing, but the difference is that it is secured in the middle and able to rotate in full circle in both directions.
JLC Reverso is much easier to flip around due to its simplistic mechanism. Basculante takes a bit more effort to flip but in return you get to play around with this cool rotating mechanism. It would be very interesting if we could have a two-dialled Basculante like Reverso, maybe one in white dial and one in black. But this would never happen I guess, since it’s already discontinued and all.
The reverse side of Basculante is usually empty, but some variations have either years (commemorative ones) or part display case back (CPCP version one). Mine comes with a very nicely done custom floral engraving done by previous owner. But as much as we like the engraving, this watch will probably never be flipped anyway. But it’s good to know there is something on the other side.
I also like the inner case of the watch very much and I personally think it’s done better than Reverso. With Reverso you get more plain looking decoration, whereas the Basculante is nicely stamped with repetitive Cartier symbols. One thing I like about Cartier watches is they don’t “cheap out” when it comes to decorating their watches – even the simple ones.
To put back the watch in its original position, you just need to line the inner case, push the case down, and then press the blue spinel part until it clicks and locked in place.Final Words
This ladies Basculante is powered by Quartz movement, (big/men sized one is manual mechanical from Frederique Piguet) so there is nothing much I can add in regards to this apart from it being super practical. But just like many other Cartier watches, movement is not always the most important thing (you try arguing that with your wives), but it’s also about the classic, timeless Cartier style (the Roman numerals), the finish of the watch, and I have to admit, the prestige that the brand name carries. And with Basculante, you get an indigenous flipping mechanism as a bonus.
Would I recommend this watch to others? Heck yeah. Would I buy it at new price had it still in circulation? Definitely. I think this watch is perfect for ladies with small to average sized wrists, and it can be worn as both smart casual and also formal evening watch.
I really still can’t quite understand why this watch wasn’t that popular back then. I mean have a look at some wrist shots of the watch at the end of this review and decide yourself, and you wouldn’t get it too, would you?
Thanks for reading the review and enjoy the rest of the pictures!