This year at the SIHH 2015, Cartier the French Maison that is very well known for their very high end jewelry creations, presented a handful of novelties that will continue to position the brand as one of the top haute horlogerie houses. While most of these novelties are not necessarily the most affordable from a pricing standpoint, there are for sure exceptional when it comes to watchmaking. In 2010, Cartier offered a new vision of traditional tourbillon design with the Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon watch. For the first time, this complication was no longer limited solely to its function, which consists of guaranteeing better timekeeping and reducing the effects of gravity, but instead was fully incorporated into the aesthetics of the watch. Indeed, unlike classic tourbillons which rotate around their own axis, the Astrotourbillon is distinguished by its elongated cage that enables the balance to make a complete circle of the dial in a minute, thus marking the seconds and evoking a star. In 2012, on the back of research led by the innovation programme responsible for the ID One and ID Two concept watches, which explore, among other areas, the performance of materials never before seen in watchmaking, Cartier decided to use carbon crystal for the Astrotourbillon, thus making it the first Cartier movement available for purchase to benefit from this incredible technical advancement.
The new Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon skeleton watch —fitted with a robust and very generous 47 mm 18K white gold case— is a timepiece that features a manual wound mechanical movement with an Astrotourbillon complication with rotation of the carriage in one minute and skeletonized bridges forming Roman numerals. The main plate of the 9461 MC movement rests on just the twelve and six Roman numerals. In this unique architecture, these bridges powerfully structure the calibre, defining its appearance and supporting the construction. This exceptional timepiece is one that you can contemplate for hours and still find its essence extremely inspiring. Its beaded 18K white gold crown set with a blue sapphire cabochon, Roman numeral dial formed from the bridges of the movement and blued-steel sword-shaped hands are just pure 'haute horlogerie'.
Powered by the in-house manual wound calibre 9461 MC consisting of 233 parts and 23 jewels, the wearer can contemplate its skeletonized movement via the display case back. This spectacular calibre has a diameter of 40.1 mm, a thickness of 8.89 mm and beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph to provide a power reserve of 49 hours.
Rounded out by a black alligator strap with 18K white gold double folding clasp, the watch wears true to its size but quite high on the wrist due to its thick case measuring 15.8 mm in thickness. With its tourbillon carriage rotating every minute around the dial, this is a watch that is beyond remarkable and mesmerizing. Next time you are attending that boring board meeting in Dubai, you can count on your new Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon to keep you entertained.
Sticker Price $195,000 USD. For more info on Cartier click here.