The first watch shown mysteriously displays the hour and minutes with two hands that seem to float magically in space. The second focuses the attention on a mysterious double tourbillon whose floating cage performs a delicate and spellbinding dance.
Cartier once again presented a fireworks of novelties at the SIHH. This brand is so creative and innovative!
The team around Carole Forestier-Kasapi, she leads the movement development department at Cartier, …
… Hélène Poulit-Duquesne, international marketing director at Cartier, and …
… Thierry Lamouroux, international watch marketing director, …
surprises me every year.
I will now step by step the next days show you all the Cartier´s novelties of the SIHH 2013…
Today I start with the rebirth of a big tradition at Cartier: Les heures mysterieuses.
Since 1912, when Cartier sold the very first “Model A” mystery clock, these mechanical miracles fascinate collectors and watch enthusiast. Modern miniaturisation techniques make it possible, now you can wear Les heures mysterieuses on your wrist. Inspired by the concept of transparency and hidden complexity, the watchmakers of the Cartier Manufacture confronted the challenge of bringing enthusiasts two new creations with clean lines that seem to glorify time with incredible lightness.
Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious double Tourbillon, calibre 9454 MC
The tourbillon of the 9454 MC Mysterious Double Tourbillon movement is making one full turn of the open, transparent space in 5 minutes, while the cage performs 5 complete revolutions in the same time. The ingenious way of achieving such a result is to place a rack around the edge of this sapphire crystal disc, transforming it into a large gear wheel that performs one revolution every 5 minutes. For example, numerous calculations were needed to determine the speed of rotation of the different moving parts. To optimise power consumption, the cage of the tourbillon performs one complete rotation in the space dedicated to it over 5 minutes – making it perform one turn per minute would have consumed 25 times as much energy. To improve the mechanical efficiency of this moving organ, the weight of its components had to be reduced to the minimum in order to limit the inertia of the rotating assembly comprising the disc and the titanium tourbillon cage. To compensate for the weight of the regulating organ and the “flying” cage, although the weight of the latter had been reduced to the absolute minimum (0.28 g), a circle segment designed to relieve the toothing has been positioned opposite the tourbillon to restore the equilibrium between the masses, with the effect of creating dynamic balance.
Diameter 45 mm
Crown beaded, platinum, set with a sapphire cabochon
Case back sapphire
Water-resistance 30 m / 100 feet / 3 bar
Dial slate-coloured, galvanised, guilloché, silvered open-work grill with sunray effect, black transferred Roman numerals
Hands sword-shaped in blued steel
Strap in black alligator skin, double adjustable folding buckle in 18-carat white gold
Movement Manufacture mechanical with manual winding, calibre 9454 MC, certiﬁed Geneva Seal, double mystery tourbillon
Casing-up diameter 35 mm
Total diameter 35.5 mm
Thickness 5 mm
Number of jewels 25
Number of parts 242
Balance 21,600 vibrations / hour
Power reserve 52 hours
The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours watch, calibre 9981 MC
Timepieces with a mystery display have always been considered more fragile than other traditional complications, due to the presence of the sapphire crystal discs. The innovative design of the calibre 9981 MC enabled it to pass all the certification tests, including the requirement that it should resist over 500 consecutive impacts, as well as being dropped on to a hard floor from a height of one metre. This movement with its spellbinding transparency, slimness and accuracy, with a balance oscillating at 4 Hz (28,000 beats per hour), has a power reserve of 48 hours. The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours watch, with its fascinating balancing act, appears transparent to the last detail. But in truth, if this watch reveals the essential components of its manual-winding, individually numbered mechanical movement through the case-back, it only shows what Cartier is willing to let you see. In the past, Louis Cartier refused to give any explanation of how his mysterious clocks worked to those who sold them, so as not to divulge the secret. Today, the mechanism that connects the movement to the hands of the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours is so designed as to disappear into the structure of the calibre and remain invisible, keeping the magic alive…
Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours, calibre 9981 MC
Case 18-carat pink or white gold
Diameter 42 mm
Crown beaded, 18-carat pink or white gold, set with a sapphire cabochon
Case back sapphire
Water-resistance 30 m / 100 feet / 3 bar
Dial white, galvanised, guilloché, silvered open-work grill with sunray effect, black transferred Roman numerals
Hands sword-shaped in rhodium-coated steel
Strap brown or black alligator skin, double adjustable folding buckle in 18-carat pink or white gold
Movement Manufacture mechanical with manual winding, calibre 9981 MC, mystery display of hour and minute
Casing-up diameter 31.3 mm
Total diameter 31.9 mm
Thickness 4.61 mm
Number of jewels 27
Number of parts 158
Balance 28,800 vibrations / hour
Power reserve 48 hours
Mystery clocks have their own special chapter in Cartier’s history. “Mystery” because their diamond-and-platinum hands seem to float in the clock’s transparent body, detached from its movement
“Model A” Mystery Clock Platinum, gold, white agate, rock crystal, sapphires, rose-cut diamonds, enamel.
Rectangular, 8-day movement, gold-plated, Swiss lever escapement, bimetallic balance, Breguet balance spring. Hand-setting and winding mechanism underneath the base. The very first “Model A” mystery clock was sold by Cartier in 1912. They are mysterious because their platinum and diamond hands do not seem to be linked to any mechanical movement. In fact each hand of the clock is set on a flat disk of crystal with a hidden, toothed edge; the toothed disks are driven by two vertical racks hidden in the sides of the clock; these racks are themselves driven by the movement in the base. Sold to Count Greffulhe
The historic Cartier boutique at 13 Rue de la Paix (1915)