The luxury watchmaker revealed its newest masterpieces that will be officially presented at the upcoming SIHH 2013 watch show in Geneva. Equipped by the brand’s in-house mechanisms and crafted in luxury materials, these watches are true representatives of the haute horology. A new Cartier Ballon Bleu Tourbillon is a beautifully designed, robust timepiece with an open-worked dial that discloses a finely executed jump hour mechanism and its flying tourbillon cage. The second example of Cartier’s mastery is a Rotonde de Cartier Perptual Calendar Chronograph which is the very first chronograph model in the brand’s exclusive Cartier Fine Watchmaking line.
Once again, Cartier will enter a new year with an extraordinary range of in-house models (look the last year’s SIHH collection). Now, we have an insight in two models, but there will surely be a lot more to see. (Mind you that I have already introduced Calibre de Cartier Chronograph watch, also prepared for SIHH 2013). Let us first take a look at the new Ballon Bleu Tourbillon watch that comes in a limited series of 50 pieces either in red or white gold. It is a pretty unusual and very interesting dual time zone model with two jump-hour counters and a sword-shaped, central minute hand in blued steel.
A skeletonized dial is satin-finished and also features parts with sunray effect and black transfer. It reveals a Cartier Caliber MC9456 hand-winding movement. This great mechanism is stamped with Geneva Seal and has a high-class decoration which is also visible through a sapphire crystal case-back. On the top of the mechanism, there is a jump hour module. Off course, the most striking component is the flying tourbillon and its characteristic carriage with Chartier’s ‘C’ which is raised up to be in line with the jump hour display.
Another very special detail that immediately pulls the attention is a wonderful winding crown with inserted blue sapphire cabochon, lying safely inside a golden arc. The case is robust and beautifully polished, with the diameter of 46mm. Characteristic by its convex curves, it incorporates the jump hour pusher at the 10 o’clock position. The white gold version is available with a black alligator strap, while the rose gold Ballon Bleu Tourbillon comes with a stylish brown leather strap. The first one will be available for around 96,000 euros, while the second version will cost about 90,000 euros.
Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Perptual Calendar Chronograph
At the last year’s Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie, the prestigious French watchmaker came up with a remarkable Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar. In order to create another masterpiece, even more complicated, Cartier decided to preserve its refined design and complement it with chronograph features.
It mast have been pretty hard task not to spoil the perfect readability with the addition of two new sub-dials, but according to the photograph, it is preserved completely. As a matter of fact, there is a new sense of harmony on the dial of the new Rotonde de Cartier Perptual Calendar Chronograph. For the total symmetry, the retrograde weekday display at the 6 o’clock position is also designed to look like a sub-dial. The 12-hour counter is at the 9 o’clock position, while the 30-minute counter takes the 3 o’clock position. The disk that shows a month and a leap year is at the 12 o’clock position. Finally, the date is displayed on the outer dial flange, by a special, blue hammer-shaped hand.
The dial of the white gold version also features blue sword-shaped central hour and minute hands, as well as black, over-sized Roman numerals, which all together make a great contrast with the silver surface, beautifully decorated with guilloche. The rose gold version has the chocolate dial that also makes a great contrast with rose gold hands and numerals, in both terms of aesthetics and functionality.
In order to get the space for new counters, Cartier made its new Rotonde Chronograph more robust than the last year’s Perptual Calendar model. Its round case has the diameter of 42mm and it is a 14.9mm thick (compare to the 40mm case of the last year’s watch). A new size, along with two chronograph pushers, gives the watch a new sporty note, which is completely ok, since it is a chronograph watch. Still, it keeps all the stylishness and classic elegance that characterize most of the brand’s haute horology pieces. One of features that recall Cartier’s great heritage is the striking winding crown with a cabochon blue sapphire.
Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Perptual Calendar Chronograph is powered by a new in-house Caliber MC 9423 self-winding mechanism. It is the version of the brand’s Caliber 1904 MC-CH, featuring a perpetual calendar and a column-wheel chronograph. This beautifully decorated movement is revealed through the sapphire crystal case-back. It beats 28,800 times per hour (4Hz) and provides the power-reserve of 48 hours.