It’s already December and we are only one month away from the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie – SIHH – 2016 in Geneva. That means that the pre-announcements for watches that will officially debut there are coming in.
Cartier will launch six new models in Geneva and we are taking a first look at the extravagant timepieces. They are skeletonized, jewelled and high-complication watches for the haute horlogerie-lover.
Last year, Cartier introduced the Clé de Cartier and now there will be a fully skeletonized version of this already stunning timepiece. The movement is the in-house Cartier caliber 9621 MC with a 48 hours power-reserve. Hence the Clé de Cartier Automatic Skeleton is Cartier’s first skeleton watch with automatic winding instead of a manual wind movement. The caliber is housed in a 41mm-wide palladium case, the strap is alligator. And rumors are that there will be a cut diamond-set version of this timepiece as well.
One of the highlights in the last year was the re-introduction of the Crash in platinum and it was sold out in no time. The Crash has an original and interesting design and it’s one of the symbols of watchmaking and watch design. The movement of the Crash Skeleton in Pink Gold is the Cartier caliber 6918 MC which comes with a 3 day power reserve. This manual-wound movement features skeletonized bridges that form the Roman numerals and is specially shaped to fit the extravagant case – which is a first, and extremely difficult to engineer.
Cartier is quite a specialist in having a lot going on mechanically in its watches but not showing the mechanics as such. The Rotonde de Cartier Day/Night Retrograde Moon Phases is a good example for that. The hours are marked with a retrograde hour hand, sweeping an arc across the top half of the dial. The day/night indicator is below and a retrograde moon phase indication lies between 3 and 9 o’clock on the dial.
This watch was also originally introduced last year. The signature feature is the on-demand moonphase – pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock causes a disk to swing on the 6 o’clock position and with doing so it covers up the tourbillon, indicating the current moon phase. The Rotonde de Cartier Earth And Moon also offers a second time zone indication on a 24 hour disk. This feature can be independently adjusted by the pusher at 2 o’clock. The movement is the caliber 9440 MC which lays in a pink gold case. There will only be 15 pieces of this watch, using a meteorite stone disc as dial.
This timepiece bears an interesting complication and is a high jewelry piece as well. The highest priority of this watch is not to tell the time. The dial shows a panther with a hummingbird above an pressing the crown activates the dial animation. A pink gold baby panther emerges from below its mother on demand, while the hummingbird ascends along an arc. The distance of the flying bird indicates the remaining power reserve.
The watch is powered by the caliber 9915 MC. It lies in a white gold case which is covered in 314 brilliant cut diamonds.
Next is one of Cartier’s mystery watches and this model shows once more, that Cartier is a jeweler as well as a watchmaker. The Cartier Panther (jewelled with 533 diamonds and pear-cut emeralds as eyes) crouches over the mystery dial, propelled by movement components sequestered at the rim of the caliber 9981 MC. It is a hand-wound caliber composed of 158 parts in total and provides a 2 day power reserve.