For years, Cartier has been elevating its level of fine haute horlogerie watchmaking – unveiling some of the most complicated and mesmerizing watches on the market. Today, the brand brought us – one of the few members of the global press that is part of its fine watchmaking “club” — a sneak peek at three new timepieces that will be fully unveiled at SIHH 2017. Each of these three watches embody a signature look from the brand: the Mystery, the Skeleton and the beloved Panther.
Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon
For the first time ever, Cartier blends the two complications of the minute repeater and the mystery hour watch – in a daring beauty that bears its soul. In fact, the mainplate and movement parts are visible on the dial side, with a large open sapphire aperture at 10:00 within which sits the double tourbillon escapement as the mystery piece. The watch presented many challenges in building it, not the least of which had to do with slimming down the movement to make it look good on the wrist.
The 45mm watch measures just 11.15mm in thickness—which is the brand’s slimmest double complication to date. The Grande Complication (9406MC) measures 12.57mm in thickness and the previous Mysterious Double Tourbillon measures 12.45mm in thickness. This new Mysterious Double Tourbillon Minute Repeater houses the 9407 MC caliber — a base movement with double tourbillon with double axis rotation. The flying double-axis tourbillon — with first rotation in one minute and second rotation in five minutes — is patented.
Additionally, the minute repeater mechanism – activated via a push piece at 4:00 on the case and whose hammers are visible on the dial side – is unique in its technical repertoire. This exceptional watch and its manual wind movement was years in the development and boasts so many features that we will present it in a separate upcoming article closer to SIHH.
The Cartier Skelton Mysterious Hour watch combines several iconic looks for the brand. First, this timepiece is presented in the round Rotonde de Cartier care – the platform of choice for many of the brand’s flagship models. Secondly, it blends together the famed Mysterious watch with the Maison’s adept skeletonization work. The Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Hour Skeleton watch is also an incredible work of art and technical prowess.
The Caliber 9983 manual wind movement – based on the Caliber 9981 MC movement — features skeleton parts in German silver for optimum boldness, juxtaposed to the Mystery portion of the watch on the left side of the dial. The finishing of this movement takes double the amount of time as the Caliber 9981. The mysterious hour is made possible by placing the motor, gear train, escapement and oscillator together—all operating off of the crown – but without being seen. Again, this complex watch will be outlined in full glory, as we get closer to SIHH. In the meantime you can read the details about this year’s Rotonde de Cartier Astromysterieux here.
Panthere Joueuse de Cartier
The panther, the iconic animal of the Cartier menagerie and the brand’s beloved Muse, has been presented in so many interpretations that stir the heart. This newest one is no exception as a playful diamond adorned Panther comes to life on the dial thanks to an al-new complication. The mischievous animal seems to pounce from the dial in pursuit of a tiny diamond ball. The caliber 9918MC features a module, with a base 1904 MC, that moves as one with the body of the panther to bring this miniature theatre to life. Devoid of traditional hands, the head and paw of the panther indicate the watch’s minutes, while the hours are read by the diamond ball.