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Cartier Introduces a Pair of Grand Complications (and a Mystery)

Cartier New Watches 2020 News SJX

Cartier Introduces a Pair of Grand Complications (and a Mystery)

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Source Credit:  Content and images from SJX Watches by Alvin Chong.  Read the original article - https://watchesbysjx.com/2020/05/cartier-fine-watchmaking-2020.html

Since its debut in 2008, the Cartier Fine Watchmaking (FWM) collection has been the jeweller-watchmaker’s flagship range of timepieces, incorporating highly complicated movements into watches designed in traditional Cartier style, albeit in very large cases. This year’s Fine Watchmaking line-up is made up of four watches – led by the uber-complex Grand Complication Skeleton – all presented in the round Rotonde de Cartier case.

Initial thoughts

I have held the Cartier FWM collection in high regard – it is testimony to the brand’s haute horlogerie prowess, which most tend to underestimate or are unaware of. So it was a bit disappointing to see FWM recede slightly starting in 2018 as Cartier focused instead on its historical, time-only watches – such as this year’s Tank Asymétrique – which have been resurrected as the Cartier Privé collection.

The debut of this quartet of watches is a pleasing return to form for FWM, though it should be pointed out none of the are entirely new in terms of movements.

The “mystery” complication of Cartier has been found in several FWM models in the past, but it never fails to astound. The mystery hours, for instance, are simple, time-only watches but have a great deal of visual allure. And the Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication Skeleton revives one of the most complicated movements ever developed by Cartier, while being visually stimulating with its open-worked dial that exposes the intricate and complex movement.

But all of the watches are large, especially for classically-styled watches. The smallest is the mystery hours at 42 mm in diameter, while the grand complications are 45 mm.

Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton

The mysterious watches

The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton and Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon were first introduced at SIHH 2017 in different guises.

The main difference in the new launches lies in the case material, with the Mysterious Hour Skeleton now available in either pink gold or white gold set with diamonds. And the Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon is similarly offered in pink gold, which creates a warmer, richer look for both.

Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton with diamonds

The mysterious complications of Cartier date to 1912, when Cartier unveiled its first Mystery Clock – the Model A. Developed by watchmaker Maurice Coüet, and Louis Cartier, the clock was inspired by the illusions of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, a 19th-century French watchmaker, illusionist and magician.

The word “mysterious” refers to the hands and flying tourbillon that appear to seemingly float in the air, without any apparent connection or support. In the modern-day wristwatches, as in the original mystery clocks, the secret lies in mounting the hands or the tourbillon cage on transparent sapphire discs that have toothed rims hidden under the movement plates. These teeth mesh with the gears of the going train, turning the discs and creating the illusion.

Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon

Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication Skeleton

And towering over the others is the Grande Complication Skeleton, which incorporates a perpetual calendar, minute repeater and flying tourbillon within an elegant, but large, pink gold case. If it looks familiar, it’s because the model was introduced in 2015, but in a platinum case.

The timepiece is no doubt visually and mechanically satisfying to look at, especially since the hammers and gongs of the minute repeater are prominent – and symmetrically arranged – on the dial.

Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication Skeleton


Key Facts and Price

Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours Skeleton
Ref. CRWHRO006 (pink gold)
Ref. CRHPI01340 (white gold with diamonds)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 11.9 mm
Material: Pink gold or white gold with diamonds
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 9983 MC
Functions: Hours and minutes
Winding: Manual wind
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 48 hours

Strap: Alligator

Limited edition: No
Availability: Now at boutiques
Price
: On request


Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon
Ref. CRWHRO0061

Diameter: 45 mm
Height: 11.5 mm
Material: Pink gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 9507 MC
Functions: Hours, minutes, minute repeater and flying tourbillon
Winding: Manual wind
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 84 hours

Strap: Alligator

Limited edition: 20 pieces
Availability:
 Now at boutiques
Price
: On request


Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication Skeleton
Ref. CRWHRO0065

Diameter: 45 mm
Height: 12.57 mm
Material: Pink gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 9506 MC
Functions: Hours, minutes, minute repeater, flying tourbillon and perpetual calendar
Winding: Manual wind
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Alligator

Limited edition: 15 pieces
Availability:
 Now at boutiques
Price
: On request

For more information, visit Cartierwatchmakingencounters.com.


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Source Credit:  Content and images from SJX Watches by Alvin Chong.  Read the original article - https://watchesbysjx.com/2020/05/cartier-fine-watchmaking-2020.html

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