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Cartier's On-Demand Enchantment

Cartier's On-Demand Enchantment

May 19, 2017

The round case of the Rotonde de Cartier collection presents the ideal platform for a perfect dialogue between the iconic signatures of Cartier Fine Watchmaking.

The Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Hour watch showcases the mysterious movement of the maison within the incomparable architecture of the Cartier skeleton. In the Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon watch, another mysterious movement encounters the rhythmic spectacle of the maison’s open-work minute repeater.

Cartier brings the aesthetic of its mysterious movement to one of the most demanding complications in the watchmaker’s repertoire: the minute repeater.

The Rotonde de Cartier watch combines the mysterious movement and this particular complication for the very first time, with impressive effect. In addition to the technical feat of assembling 448 parts in a case measuring a mere 11.15mm, the timepiece is aesthetically stunning. The openwork mechanism and contrasting black rhodium plating expose the transparency of the mysterious double tourbillon, and reveal the steady rhythm of the minute repeater on demand.

Endless Fascination: The magical mechanism of the mysterious double tourbillon stays true to the aesthetic of Cartier mysterious movements inherited from the mystery clocks first created in 1912. Its flying tourbillon, which effects a complete rotation in 60 seconds, appears to float in mid-air, seemingly unconnected to the movement. Adding to the illusion is the sapphire disc bearing the tourbillon that in turn completes one rotation every five minutes.

The spectacle of the mysterious double tourbillon, off-centered between 9 o’clock and 10 o’clock, is all the more impressive for the action of the minute repeater hammers visible at 6 o’clock, an unmistakable stylistic signature of Cartier Fine Watchmaking.

On-Demand Enchantment: From the case to the mechanism, Cartier watchmakers have designed this watch to chime the time. All of the four qualities of sound have been considered to optimize the acoustics of the Rotonde de Cartier watch with caliber 9407 MC.

Loudness: Loudness refers to the volume of the sound and is measured in decibels. To achieve improved loudness for the minute repeater, the weight of the Rotonde de Cartier watch has been reduced to a minimum. The titanium case is hollowed out; the push-piece is fitted with a trigger and, thanks to the absence of a dial, the head of the watch is reduced to weigh less than 50 grams. The movement is attached to the case at four points, with the gongs attached at an additional two points, which serves to maximize the transmission of sound vibrations between the minute repeater mechanism and the watch. Measuring 45mm in diameter, the watch presents an ideal surface for resonance.

Timbre: Timbre is primarily determined by the choice of note and the clarity of the sound. To ensure a harmonious sound, the gongs of the caliber 9407 MC are tuned to B (5th octave) for the hours and D (6th octave) for the minutes. When the minute repeater is activated, an inertia fly-wheel visible at 7 o’clock turns silently, ensuring a clear sound free of unwanted noise.

Richness: Richness gives personality to the sound produced by a minute repeater, and is determined by the geometry and material of the gongs used for the movement. The caliber 9407 MC features square gongs made from hardened steel, which deliver a rich sound with eight harmonics.

Duration: Duration refers to the proper carrying of the sound over time. Duration is determined by the regularity of the hammer strikes on the gongs. Because the gongs have a square profile, the hammers can be directed to strike a precise surface. This construction ensures the same sound is produced from one strike to the next. The inertia fly-wheel regulates the striking speed of the hammers to ensure the strikes are consistent.

Contrasting Aesthetic: The fully open-work aesthetic of the caliber 9407 MC offsets the mechanical density of the movement with the transparency of the mysterious double tourbillon. Meanwhile the black rhodium finish on the movement further heightens and adds contrast.

The Hallmark of Craftsmanship: The Rotonde de Cartier watch with 9407 MC movement is certified “Poinçon de Genève,” which attests to the expertise of the Cartier workshops in designing and assembling the watch, as well as meticulously hand-finishing each of the parts.

Rotonde de Cartier: The appeal of the Rotonde de Cartier watch lies in its perfectly proportioned forms. The two prestigious complications are showcased amongst the open curves of the timepiece.

The slender profile guarantees unrivaled comfort and wearability. The discerning aesthetic extends to the feel of the watch itself: in the careful choice of a matte finish for the “Gomma” alligator-skin strap, the softness of rubber is combined with the precious quality of alligator skin.

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