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Cartier - More mysterious than ever

Cartier More mysterious than ever

As is customary two months before the SIHH opens in Geneva, Cartier is treating us to a glimpse of what lies ahead.

Cartier’s colossal booth at the SIHH always attracts a crowd of visitors jostling for position in front of the displays, and aiming their mobile phones at the new and fascinating jewellery and watches, some of which are unique pieces. While we’ll have to wait until 15 January to see the 2018 collection, Cartier has already defused some of the mystery by unveiling two new – and mysterious – pieces.

Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night

For the first time, Cartier is offering a combination of two of the Maison’s signature complications – a mystery display and day/night indication – in a single watch. Both are emblematic of Cartier’s rich horological heritage, and its table clocks in particular, which are a vital component of its creative history. 1912 was a landmark year for Cartier: it was the year of both the mysterious movement for the Model A clock, and of the Day & Night movement, designed for the mysteriously named Comet or Planet Clock. One hundred and five years later, “mysterious” clocks and watches continue to fascinate and confound in equal measure. The movement’s designers were inspired by a master illusionist of the time, Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin. And while watch enthusiasts today can easily discover the trick that makes the hands appear to float unsupported around the dial, the illusion continues to enchant.

Plus mystérieux que jamais

Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night © Cartier

On the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night, the gilded sun and moon of the Day & Night function seem to levitate magically. Driven by the mysterious movement, they appear, move and disappear in turn in the transparent upper half of the brown dial, decorated with radiating guilloché and satin sunburst motifs. In the lower half, a blued hand indicates the retrograde minutes. The warm colours of the dial perfectly match the pink gold of the 40 mm case. Inside is the hand-wound calibre 9982 MC, with 174 components, beating at 28,800 vph and supplying a 48-hour power reserve.

Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon Skeleton

The Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon made its debut on the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon watch of 2013 (calibre 9454 MC), and reappeared in the Mysterious Double Tourbillon Minute Repeater presented at the SIHH last year (calibre 9407 MC). This double tourbillon that appears to float in mid-air also adds its allure to a jewellery pendant watch, the Tourbillon Mystérieux Azuré (2016). It is back this year in the Calibre 9465MC with Roman numerals and skeletonised bridges, which add to the ethereal effect of the tourbillon as it spins apparently unsupported. The result is that this new skeletonised timepiece seems even lighter than ever. The tourbillon remains unchanged: it takes 60 seconds to rotate on its own axis in the centre of the transparent area, while its cage performs one revolution every five minutes. The illusion of levitation is created by the use of sapphire discs.

Plus mystérieux que jamais

Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon Skeleton © Cartier

This Geneva-hallmarked watch, produced in a limited edition of 30, comes in a 45-mm platinum case that is just 12.4 mm thick. The hand-wound Calibre 9465 MC is meticulously finished, with chamfered bridges, brushed surfaces and polished screws. Its 286 components fit inside a total thickness of 6.28 mm. The movement beats at 21,600 vph, providing a power reserve of 52 hours. The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon Skeleton in platinum also comes in a version featuring baguette-cut diamonds set into the bezel. We look forward to seeing it in the flesh in January, along with the rest of Cartier’s 2018 collection.


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Characterised by audacity and inventiveness, Cartier’s watchmaking history reflects a unique state of mind: “jeweller of kings and king of jewellers”. Its renown is bound up in the tradition of excellence to which it is heir. Cartier was a forerunner in the use of platinum in jewellery and one of the pioneers of watchmaking.

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