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Cartier - A mystery, a skeleton and the ubiquitous panther

Cartier A mystery, a skeleton and the ubiquitous panther

Cartier’s preview models for the SIHH 2017 once again break new ground but do so around three familiar themes.

Mysterious complications, a particular take on skeletonisation and playful complications around the theme of the panther have been a staple of Cartier’s talking pieces in recent years, and those for the SIHH 2017 are no exception. In the Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon, the complication is pushed to its very limits, while the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton combines the skeleton work and a mysterious display for the first time and the “Panthère Joueuse” introduces a new automaton complication for ladies.

Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon
The market for minute repeater wristwatches, which change hands for astronomical sums measured in hundreds of thousands of Swiss francs, is little affected by the ups and downs of the global economy. Since it is a market dominated almost entirely by collectors, the brands active in this segment are obliged to offer what collectors are looking for, namely uniqueness and differentiation. Cartier’s answer to this is a minute repeater that combines the mysterious double tourbillon complication already familiar in the Rotonde de Cartier case. In the new Calibre 9407 MC manually-wound movement, which bears the prestigious Geneva Hallmark certification, the full workings of the movement are laid bare on the dial side, with a distinctive black rhodium finish.


Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton
The inspiration from the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Mystérieux is recognizable in this watch, which for the first time combines the mysterious time display (based on the use of two sapphire discs to give the appearance of the hour and minute hands floating in space) with a patented Cartier signature: a single skeletonized bridge in the form of oversized Roman numerals. The skeletonisation further accentuates the technical prowess of arranging the movement and hour and minute hands offset from the centre of the watch to leave the large space available for the mysterious time display.


Panthère Joueuse
Continuing the playful theme chosen by Cartier for the talking pieces in its ladies’ watch collections, the Calibre 9918 MC in the Panthère Joueuse animates a panther club pawing at a ball. In the absence of any numerals or hour markers, the focus is clearly on the bejewelled panther at the centre of dial, studded with 185 carats of diamonds, with emerald eyes and lacquer spots. The head and paw move as one to indicate the minutes symbolically, while the diamond ball that the panther is chasing indicates the hours on a separate ring against the black background of the dial.




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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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