Celebrating Cartier style in Fine Watchmaking is the Maison's creative approach for 2014. Style is a question of elegance and balance. It is the fountain-head of constant research, supported by technical expertise with a drive that redefines and questions watchmaking conventions by reinventing traditional complications such as the perpetual calendar or by transforming the timeless Tank model. Cartier's achievements in Fine Watchmaking are the fruit of a constantly innovative approach at the service of highly distinctive aesthetics. Its past as an inventor and designer has given rise to a style that favours volume and shapes. The same drive can be seen in the Maison's technical concepts: their freedom and importance have enabled Cartier to revolutionise the representation of time with Fine Watchmaking pieces that adhere to the Manufacture's highest standards.
For this 2014 edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, Cartier expresses the excellence of its craftsmanship with the launch of innovative timepieces bearing the Maison's creative seal.
This year, two timepieces illustrate the notion of technical creativity and excellence according to Cartier: the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire watch and the Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon watch. Both bear the mark of an innovative and unique interpretation of their respective functions.
The Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire represents a new vision of the perpetual calendar thanks to the creativity of its design and its amphitheatre-style display.
As for the Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon watch, it diverts the tourbillon from its strictly horological role, in which it serves as a guarantee of precision and prestige, making it the backdrop to the moon-phase display, which has neither hand nor aperture.
Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire watch
The amphitheatre of time
The Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire watch transforms the very essence of the perpetual calendar's functioning and appearance. The Maison's idea involves inventing a creative central display that stems from a revolutionary concept.
The perpetual calendar display: incredibly easy to read
Designed like an amphitheatre, with the intention of clarifying the perpetual calendar's indications, the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire's display is an incredible watchmaking feat. It overcomes numerous readability issues that are specific to the traditional approach to this complication, which requires the juxtaposition of twelve months, seven days, the date and the type of year in a diameter of just a few centimetres. Arranged three-dimensionally in concentric levels, the display of the perpetual calendar's functions is spread over the different levels: the day is indicated on the first. It is followed by the month on the second, which is itself surmounted by the date. Thin windows move along these tiers. The perpetual calendar's final function is indicated by a hand located on the back of watch and shows what type of year it is: a leap year or a normal year.
The design of the movement: a technical breakthrough
Consisting of gear trains, the construction of the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire watch's movement is a watchmaking feat that solves all the functional and ergonomic problems connected with this type of complication. It breaks away from the design of traditional perpetual calendars and introduces an alternative that enables any risk of breakage to be anticipated, adjustment errors to be resolved and chronometry to be improved.
Anticipating risk of breakage
Partially patented, the gear train system of the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire's 9459 MC movement replaces the traditional lever and spring mechanisms with a gear train mechanism that substantially limits the risk of breakage when the watch is over-wound at inadvisable times. The traditional design of a perpetual calendar prohibits any manual correction several hours before and after midnight at the risk of breaking the mechanism. The adjustments made using four minuscule push-pieces on the side of the case are impractical and never clearly identified.
Simplified setting using the crown
This operating problem no longer exists with the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire watch's movement thanks to a setting system that uses the crown.
In addition to the traditional setting of the hour and minute, the crown also controls the date and month indicators.
This ease of use is further increased by the possibility of correcting the functions both forwards and backwards. Wearers of the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire watch need no longer fear going beyond the current date as this error is easily corrected.
The Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire watch houses at its heart a flying tourbillon: a complication that is emblematic of the Fine Watchmaking collection.
A timepiece certified "Poinçon de Genève"
The Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire watch is certified "Poinçon de Genève", in accordance with the new regulations' requirements. The self-winding calibre 9459 MC is assembled and adjusted in the new Cartier Fine Watchmaking workshops located in the heart of Geneva, upstairs from the Cartier boutique on the rue de Rhône. Its finishes were carried out according to the standards of the most prestigious watchmaking certification.
Combining watchmaking innovation and technical creativity, the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire watch follows in the footsteps of the Rotonde de Cartier Astrorégulateur and Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon watches, thus taking its place as a major complication in Cartier's repertoire of watchmaking craftsmanship.