Signs are that the Cartier SIHH lineup for 2017 is designed to attract the watch aficionado, with three special watches debuting at the January fair in Switzerland.
We can reveal that three of the releases play with themes well-known in Cartier circles, namely the Mystery watch, the Skeleton and the signature Panther, with the brand aiming to take each and “expand, and push further”. Citing “exiting plans” for its ,
Cartier’s Fine Watchmaking division has taken the round case of the Rotonde de Cartier collection as the platform for the new line-up. It comprises a Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon watch, in which the mystery movement compliments an open-work minute repeater; a Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton, and the aforementioned Panther piece occupying the niche of a feminine complication watch.
The Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon combination is a stunning first for Cartier and boasts some impressive engineering.
It results not only in chronometric accuracy but toughness thanks to the sapphire discs used in keeping things “invisible” being built to resist shocks up to 3000G – despite their thicknesses ranging from half to one millimeter.
The flying tourbillon cage weighs just 0.28g and rotates once a minute while the complimentary flying sapphire disc rotates once every five minutes, using 25 times less energy.
The minute repeater mechanism came in for its own attention, its hammer and gong arrangement producing audible signals with a strength of 66 decibels at a distance of 10 centimeters, 56 db at 30. If that sounds impressive it’s because it is.
In total the movement comprises 448 parts and carries the Geneva quality seal. It’s housed in a 45mm case of titanium (50 pieces) or two versions in platinum with diamond paved bezel (30 pieces) or bezel and dial with baguette-cut sparklers (20 pieces.)
The Mysterious Hour Rotonde is another Cartier first, combining the brand’s typical skeletonisation – the sculpted bridges reveal all – with a mystery mechanism that in contrast hides how it actually works. It’s a complex piece that manages to look deceptively simple.
The manual wind watch takes around double the usual time to assemble and is presented in a 42mm palladium case, water resistant to 30 metres – in case you were wondering.
As for the sparkling Panthere Joueuse de Cartier number, it’s a dramatic wrist-tableaux powered by a brand new complication featuring an interpretation of the “house” creature that appears to pounce from the dial in pursuit of a ball. To quote Cartier, “The calibre moves as one with the body of the panther to bring this miniature theatre to life. The minutes are indicated by the head and paw of the figure, while the hours are marked by the ball.”
And of course there are diamonds – 320 brilliant cuts totalling 4.61 carats on the bezel, 255 or 1.09 carats for the panther. The 40mm piece is cased in white gold and a version with diamond-studded strap (for a total of 17.80 carats) will also be available.
The new Cartier pieces will be officially launched at the SIHH in Geneva on January 17th, 2017.
Our read of Cartier’s forthcoming SIHH Fine Watchmaking attractions? Never mind the time – these are watches for the time of your life.
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