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Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton 2015

The Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton

Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton

At the 2015 edition of Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), which takes place January 19 to 23 in Geneva, the French brand is presenting a new version of its Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon watch.

This skeletonized watch exhibits the best of the brand’s innovation and mastery, both technical and aesthetic.

After offering a new take on the traditional tourbillon with the first Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon in 2010, and after adding carbon crystal to the mix in 2012, Cartier is highlighting its sculptural prowess with this latest edition, which is entirely skeletonized.

The parts that make up the extraordinary Astrotourbillon complication blend into a dial that consists only of two roman numerals, XII and VI, the signatures of Cartier timepieces.

Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton 2015

Light and airy, the Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton Calibre 9461 MC is a testament to the brand’s innovation and mastery, as much from an aesthetic perspective as from a technical one.

On the technical side, watch enthusiasts will appreciate the Calibre 9461 MC, a hand-wound mechanical movement with an Astrotourbillon complication that completes one rotation per minute.

The watch comes in a 47mm 18K grey gold case and is produced in a limited edition of just 100 numbered units.

Pre-SIHH: Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon

The Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon watch gets its name from the topsy-turvy arrangement of its movement. Despite the ubiquity of tourbillons that are visible from the dial today, the complication was originally mounted closer to the case back and hidden from view. This watch’s flying tourbillon’s placement, however, has been “reversed” to the dial side, along with the mainspring and gear train.Pre Sihh Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Reversed Tourbillon 2These components are layered out of necessity, with the blued steel hands closest to the crystal, followed by the various wheels, bridges, and springs, and other components. This creates a delightfully layered appearance that must be appreciated in person, preferably with a loupe, in order to observe the dial from different angles. Because of this visual interest created by the movement components, they have been elevated to become the central element of the dial. The relatively simple guilloché dial takes a backseat on this watch, and serves to accentuate the perception of depth on the watch face.Pre Sihh Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Reversed Tourbillon 3This isn’t Cartier’s first Reversed Tourbillon watch from the Rotonde de Cartier collection though. The original, introduced and formerly known as the Cadran Lové Tourbillon watch, set the precedent in 2012 with its layered dial, off-centred layout, and second hand in the form of a capitalised “C”, as shown below. Besides these visual similarities, the newer iteration also retains the Calibre 9458 MC movement. The manual-winding flying tourbillon movement comes packed with a 50-hour power reserve, and clocks in at a wide 16¾ lignes. Naturally, the case remains unchanged at 46mm wide to accommodate it – certainly a tad too big to qualify as a dress watch, but an appropriate size for its purpose, which is to display the watch’s details in all their glory. Like the original, the new Reversed Tourbillon is certified Côtes de Genève due to the finishing standards on the movement.Pre Sihh Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Reversed Tourbillon 4

The Man by Cartier Exhibition

Cartier opens men’s pop up at Harrods

The Man by Cartier -Facade

Cartier has opened its first pop-up space at Harrods dedicated to men’s watches and accessories. ‘The Man by Cartier’ will run until November 19.

The exhibition features a range of pieces from the house’s archives, mixing vintage models and new watches, leather goods and accessories.

Key exhibits include classic models (The Santos, The Tank, and the Ballon Bleu) alongside the new Calibre de Cartier Diver.

The Man by Cartier - Fine Watch bar

 and  are both committed to providing clients with the ultimate luxury experience, which makes this exhibition not only an ideal partnership, but also an exciting opportunity for our customers to view rare Cartier pieces,” explained Helen David, Harrods Director of Womenswear, Accessories, Fine Jewellery, and Childrenswear.

“110 years after the creation of the first modern wristwatch by Louis Cartier, we pay homage and celebrate the man’s natural home in the Cartier universe,” added Laurent Feniou, Managing Director of Cartier UK.

The Man by Cartier - Private Client area

The French brand has also taken over four of the store’s Brompton Road windows for the duration of the project.

Harrods has had a busy year when it comes to brand events and goings-on, having hosted the month-long Pradasphere exhibition in May, and also featuring interactive Ermenegildo Zegna window displays earlier this month.


Jewellery Time 2014: Updates!

As we inch closer towards Jewellery Time 2014, Cortina Watch has revealed more details about the biennial luxury watch showcase. For the readers who might have forgotten, the seventh edition of Jewellery Time will take place from 25 September to 5 October, 11am to 9pm daily at the main atrium of Paragon in Singapore.Jewellery Time 2014 Updates 3

Beyond our initial report which previewed some of the timepieces that will be on display, we now also know that the event will be housed within the purpose-built Collector’s Mansion. Said mansion has been designed in a style reminiscent of the Renaissance, while its white mesh structure juxtaposes modernity with old-world charms. Within the mansion, the contrast continues as contemporary furnishings meet Art Deco elements, topped off by chandeliers hanging from its ceiling.

Jewellery Time 2014 Updates 7

Setting aside, other details have also emerged. The showcase, which is open to the public, will feature over a hundred jewelled timepieces curated by the twelve participating brands: Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, Corum, Ebel, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin and Zenith. Taiwanese model-actress Sonia Sui has also been revealed as the face of Jewellery Time 2014. Sui has over a decade of experience in the modelling, film and television industry, and will be in attendance at Jewellery Time 2014’s official opening party on 25 September.Jewellery Time 2014 Updates 1

To celebrate the occasion, Chopard has created the Imperiale Automatic Full Set, a pair of watches combining haute joaillerie and haute horlogerie. Conceptualised and designed as a unique set, the timepieces are entirely paved with diamonds save for the bezel, which has been set with multi-coloured baguette cut sapphires. The beating hearts of the watches are Calibre 01.03-Cs that run at 28,800 vibrations per hour and feature 60-hour power reserves. These movements are in-house developed and manufactured by Fleurier Ebauches, a company under the Chopard group that was founded to reinforce the brand’s vertical integration in watch production. The watches come in one unique piece of white and pink gold each, and will be delivered in a special box bearing an engraved plaque with “Cortina Watch” celebrating the occasion.

Interview with Stanislas de Quercize, President & CEO of Cartier

Not just a jeweller or a watchmaker, Cartier defies ordinary notions of a brand or a company. It might be more apt to define and approach Cartier as an institution in its own right because of its multiple faculties and indisputable expertise with each faculty. Jewellery, timepieces, small accessories, fragrances, and leather goods make up Cartier’s portfolio but the maison doesn’t see it that way. It refers to all of its products as objet d’art, and rightly so, for only recently had they been on exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris. Making that exhibition doubly impressive is the fact that it was initiated by the museum, not Cartier. So what does it mean to be the CEO of a company like this one? To Stanislas de Quercize, who ascended to this role one year ago in 2013, the rules are different, but the game remains the same.

Interview Stanislas De Quercize Cartier 5His appointment was not a big surprise especially to those who are familiar with the stellar results he had shown at sister high jewellery maison Van Cleef & Arpels. From 2005 to 2013, de Quercize had been the CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, which under his charge famously invented the concept of Poetic Complications, now a trademark of the maison. Apart from steering the company safely through the 2008/9 financial crisis, de Quercize also laid the foundation for a strong watchmaking division, and in recent years, watches by Van Cleef & Arpels set the standard for traditional artisanal crafts which are coupled with creative mechanisms to tell a story. Rather than competing in the fields of movement making know-how or watchmaking tradition, de Quercize went a completely different way and blazed a new path. Perhaps this is what makes him the perfect candidate to take over from ex-CEO Bernard Fornas.

But de Quercize is not a stranger to Cartier. As a matter of fact, before his tenure at Van Cleef & Arpels he was already with Cartier from 1999 to 2005, first as general manager, then CEO of the North American market. This definitely explains the love and respect he has for Cartier, even as luxury, it can be said, is in his blood; de Quercize has an aristocratic lineage that leads back to the 17th century French royal court.

Having recently taken over the helm at Cartier, can you tell us what your ambitions are for the brand?
First of all, we call Cartier a maison, not a brand. We have the mission to be an artist and create jewellery and watches that are universal and eternal. Universal in that it appeals to connoisseurs all over the world; timeless in that it is revered and dreamed of today and also 50 or 100 years from now. There was an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris showcasing 600 creations of Cartier since 1847. It’s called Cartier l’Histoire et le Style. This is really the root of the maison. Our creations go through decades and decades, yet they remain extremely relevant. That’s why it’s art, and that’s why they’re in a museum.

Tell us more about the significance of this exhibition to Cartier.
This exhibition in the Grand Palais is the 27th Cartier exhibition worldwide. We’ve been welcomed at the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum, the Forbidden City, the Kremlin, and so on. You understand that the curator truly respects and assessed Cartier as an art form, an art decoratif. That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising to see that Cartier is the number one name in auctions for jewellery and the top three for horlogerie.

How do you spread yourself across the various divisions from jewellery to watches and from leather to fragrances?
Cartier has always been able to create. We are named the king of jewellers and jewellers of kings by Edward the Seventh, but we are also the king of creative watchmaking and objet d’arts. Louis Cartier said it. We wanted to create objets d’arts or gifts or leather accessories at the same quality as with the craftsmanship in jewellery and watchmaking because it’s the art de vivre. The luxurious art de vivire à la Parisienne.

How do you aim to achieve this?
The vision is to have a style that is recognisable from far away. We want you to say Cartier like you say Picasso. It has to have a recognisable style, a different style, bringing a different vision to the world. And it has to be something you want to keep forever.

So in terms of aesthetics, you want everything to have a distinctive look and feel?
Also it has to have audacity. Look at the AstroCalendaire. That’s in haute horlogerie a tour de force. It is something that’s unique, different and it brings a different view to tourbillons and style.

Interview Stanislas De Quercize Cartier 6

Cartier has undoubtedly achieved a lot since the Collection Privée Cartier Paris evolved into the Fine Watchmaking collection. Are there any other aspects of haute horlogerie you are striving for?
We believe haute horlogerie should be beautiful outside and inside. That’s why we embarked on the creation of 29 in-house movements for haute horlogerie. We believe the audacity of haute horlogerie is equivalent to the audacity it was for Louis Cartier when in 1904, he came up with the Santos Dumont, which was the first watch to be worn on the wrist. With the same audacity, Louis Cartier also came up with the Pendules Mysterieux in 1913. And we exhibited the same audacity when we put the mystery clock idea in a watch. The audacity of Cartier led us to bring newness to the market. Also the concept watches, ID One and ID Two, followed this vein in search of new ways to express horology in the 21st century.

With Cartier, we’re sensing a very broad approach, from concept watches to fine watchmaking to commercial pieces like the Santos. What are the challenges in managing such a broad selection of watches?
I see it as a staircase which is helping people to elevate and to go up and discover, during their whole life, different creations. Sometimes you want a watch for the day, sometimes you want one for the evening. Sometimes for business or casual or sport. We want this staircase to lead you and accompany you your whole life to discover new creations.

How inspired are you by the work of Carole Forestier-Kasapi?
I’m extremely excited. This excitement is the colour of passion. To be able to make people dream because you’re coming with something that will surprise them. You’re going to have this WOW effect, this emotion, which is part of life. But to do that, you have to create something which is audacious and different, like the Mystery Clock was different. To wear a watch on the wrist was different, to have the mystery dial on a watch is different. The AstroCalendaire with the tourbillon in the middle was unprecedented. That’s what we want to do. It was never-before seen and you can keep it forever. We bringing really artistic things to the world.

So this links back to your focus on breaking new ground yet remaining timeless?
If you think of it, what we are creating has two values. One is universal, so it’s recognised the world over whatever the colour of your passport or the language you speak. The second is timelessness, so a creation 20 or 50 years ago will always be sought after. When you have these two elements, these are the two characteristics of art. It’s an art form, an applied art, a decorative art. So you shouldn’t be surprised to see our works exhibited in museums or being part of art catalogues.

At the same time, having understood the robustness of the AstroCalendaire, I’m sure watch connoisseurs appreciate Cartier’s serious commitment to quality. Is quality something you think about a lot?
It’s essential because if you want to have timelessness, you need to be sure the timepieces will work forever. The quest for super quality is why we look for super materials like gold or diamonds or sapphire, and super craftsmanship. We know that watches are a symbol of passion, friendship or love, and so we want to assure that this passion or friendship or love will last forever.

Cartier has achieved quite a fair bit in the realm of haute horlogerie, what are you exploring right now?
It’s bringing new talents and new experiences like, for example, in métiers d’art for the first time, we use floral marquetry with rose petals done in the shape of a parrot. Never before has this been done in the history of haute horlogerie. We believe it is our mission to bring something which is not the repetition of the past. This is pushing the envelope. I believe the golden age of jewellery and watchmaking is now. Why now? Because golden age refers to an accumulation of crafts and experiences. We’ve been accumulating crafts and experiences since 1847, and the more we progress, the more we are experts. The more you’re an expert at what you’re doing, the more you can push the envelope.

Interview Stanislas De Quercize Cartier 3

Métiers d’arts is now fiercely pursued in haute horlogerie. Do you look at the competition’s achievements in general?
I think we are here more to conquer the market, you know. If you look at jewellery,
only 10 per cent of men and women buy jewellery with a name. It is a mistake to buy jewellery with no name and signature because if you want to sell it at the auction, it’s worth no more than the weight of the gold and diamonds. If you give it to your children, they will be puzzled because it’s not as valuable as when you have the signature of Cartier. That’s what all these craftsmen are here to do, to leave an everlasting mark in this world. We don’t look at the competition. We only look at ourselves, our mission. To be powerful and give power to the owners of Cartier’s creations. To be a reference, like a lighthouse. To be audacious and generous because we are here to evoke love and friendship.

What element of Cartier is its most valuable asset?
The passion of Cartier. That’s what makes Cartier so special. Red is the colour of passion. That makes Cartier unique. A passionate maison about creativity, crafting, and sharing in a passionate way. This year we celebrate 30 years of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. That’s passion. Helping young artists share their talent with the rest of the world.

Can you tell us where the Calibre de Cartier Diver fits in the overall scheme of things?
The Calibre de Cartier Diver caters to men and talks to them in the same way Louis Cartier talked to Santos Dumont, who was a pilot. The Santos watch was the first pilot’s watch to be worn on the wrist. This time, we have people with an active sports life who are seeking the elegance of Cartier to be on the wrist. That’s the ambition with this new watch.

Interview Stanislas De Quercize Cartier 2

What about the other commercial men’s collections like the Tank MC?
What I love about the Tank MC is its timelessness. That’s audacity because the idea of Tank is freedom. The inspiration was the first tanks of the British and American armies in the first world war which brought their liberation to Europe at that time. This idea of man bringing freedom to the world is truly inspirational. When you have this watch on your wrist, you have to bring something to the world. The Tank MC is a new interpretation of an icon of the maison. This is timeless style.

You’ve stressed on timelessness several times. Is that your definition of luxury?
You want to express your love and friendship, and you want that love and that friendship to stay forever. You want your creations to stay forever, to survive you. At the exhibition, you can see all the jewellery of the Duchess of Windsor and Grace Kelly and many more. They survived the lives of their owners to tell beautiful love stories.

What do you wish is Cartier’s greatest contribution to this world?
To make people dream. I help them express love and friendship and passion for art.

What events in our time would you consider are strong influences to Cartier?
Social media has helped increase faire savoir. The difference between savoir-faire and faire savoir is know-how and how to make something known, respectively. We have incredible savoir-faire in La Chaux-de-Fonds and in haute horlogerie as well as métiers d’arts. It’s interesting to be able to share this know-how, and social media helps people understand and appreciate the stories better. We love when people appreciate what they are having. There is the enjoyment in sharing in the pleasure of artistic creations.

Cartier, Shape Your Time Event At Takashimaya SC

Cartier has not forgotten us men. The Shape Your Time exhibition taking place this weekend is a watchmaking event dedicated to men, and celebrates all things masculine in Cartier’s timepieces.

With a unique design concept by Rafael de Cardenas, one of New York’s top architects, the event space represents a Cartier’s man’s living environment, with the five dedicated areas highlighted by icons specific to each of them. The area showcasing the Santos, for example, has a propeller suspended above to represent Louis Cartier’s friend Alberto Santos Dumont, for whom he created the eponymous watch to tell the time while flying.

Cartier Shape Your Time 

In addition to the display of Cartier’s iconic timepieces such as the Santos and Tank, the event also celebrates the newly launched Calibre de Cartier Diver collection – an ISO certified dive watch and Cartier’s first true tool watch. Visitors can expect a close up look of over 50 of these watches, as well as insights into their historical and contemporary developments both technical and aesthetic. Of course, no expenses have been spared in tailoring the medium for the message. The area’s setup includes videos, touch and 3D screens, interactive books and tablets, through which visitors can personally discover and learn about the French jewellery- and watchmaking maison. Social media integration has also been put in place for those looking to share their discoveries.

Cartier Shape Your Time 

Readers who are keen to find out more about Cartier’s men’s watchmaking can visit Takashimaya Shopping Centre’s Civic Plaza on 24th and 25th May, between 11am and 8pm. 


Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton: Decidedly Different

We first saw the Tank MC Skeleton at Watches and Wonders in Hong Kong in September last year, so the appearance of a new version was a little surprising. You might be expecting a new finishing style or perhaps a new material for the case – this being a skeleton, there is not a dial to ‘refresh’. Well, the Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton will both meet and exceed your expectations.

In fact, this new watch introduces a new finishing style to the skeletonised plates and bridges of the otherwise familiar calibre 9611 MC – and what a finish it is! This being a skeletonised movement, there two predominant finishing touches, brushed for the flat surfaces and polished for the angles. The brushed surfaces appear to have the grey finish typical of ruthenium, while the hand-chamfered angles are coated in pink gold. The end result, as you see it here in what is now the calibre 9619 MC, is creative elegance personified.

While the Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton is not a limited edition, it takes a gentleman of refined mores to appreciate the unusual beauty of the 34x43mm Two-Tone’s looks. The watch is only available in 18K pink gold (price on application), to better match the movement finish no doubt.

Tank Mc Two Tone Skeleton

Tank Louis Cartier Sapphire Skeleton – A Levitated Movement?

If you know anything about Cartier, you will know for certain that round watches cannot fully dominate the show, and it is so in 2014. The Tank Louis Cartier Sapphire Skeleton demonstrates this with a powerful aesthetic display that confirms Cartier’s fondness for shapes, volumes and a little bit of mysterious magic. The reference, if a link to the past is to be drawn, is clearly to the famous Cartier mystery clocks, the first of which was made in 1912.

Like most skeletons, you can literally see right through calibre 9616 MC, but this very transparency conceals some essential truths. In fact, part of the main plate has been executed in sapphire crystal, resulting in the impression that the manual winding movement is simply suspended in the air. Achieving this result was more complicated than you might think, and Cartier has patent pending for this particular use of sapphire crystal.

Despite being skeletonised and looking quite airy, calibre 9616 puts out a lot of power, three days worth to be exact. This is in fact a standard feature of the 9600 movement series. Currently available only in 18K white gold (price on application), the 30x39mm watch is part of the regular collection.

Tank Louis Cartier Sapphire Skeleton

Rotonde de Cartier AstroCalendaire: The Collection’s Flagship

The standard-bearer for Cartier’s fine watchmaking collection in 2014 was shown to the press late last year and has been receiving lavish praise since then. Truly, this is such an impressive watch that it will surely be the subject of much musing amongst watch journalists, perhaps even after the sheen of novelty has worn off. Needless to say, we thought it apt to briefly revisit the watch here even though we have already written about it extensively, online and in print.

Rotonde De Cartier Astrocalendaire

First of all, it is fitting to point out that Cartier classifies this watch and the Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon under the banner of ‘technical creativity’. Some of the other watches in the Fine Watchmaking collection, including the Rotonde de Cartier Tourbillon Chronograph with 8-day power reserve, Rotonde de Cartier Day and Night, Tank Louis Cartier Sapphire Skeleton and Tank MC Two-Tone Skeleton, fall under the label ‘creative elegance’.

So, why are these two terms in play when all the watches are part of the Fine Watchmaking imprint anyway? From what we gather at the Cartier presentation at the SIHH 2014, the idea is that the Rotonde de Cartier AstroCalendaire and the Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon represent the Cartier vision of timekeeping. Cartier presents these as timekeeping innovations that have never existed in this particular style, hence the use of ‘technical creativity’. For our part, we are certain that both watches present time in ways never before attempted.

As you may recall, the platinum-cased 45mm AstroCalendaire is a perpetual calendar, meaning that it keeps track of the day, date and month of any given year, as mapped out by the Gregorian calendar. Unlike any other perpetual calendar though, this one has had its mechanical movement reimagined and reinvented from the ground up so that it functions and displays its indications in a way never before seen in a wristwatch. The nett effect is a watch with improved timekeeping stability – a gain of 85 per cent over conventional perpetual calendars we are told – and a highly intuitive display.

If you remember nothing else about the AstroCalendaire, keep this in mind: While the typical perpetual calendar uses either sub-dials or apertures with discs for its calendar displays, the AstroCalendaire uses the movement bridges paired with rotating blue PVD wheels. Calibre 9459 MC actually uses a mechanical memory to keep track of the progress of time through the year. Despite the patent-pending complexity of the system, you can easily see how it works by looking at the watch pictured here. In fact, the single crown adjustment system (except the day, managed by the corrector at 2 o’clock) makes operating the watch a breeze and quite safe, compared with most other perpetual calendars. The AstroCalendaire is limited to 100 pieces (price on application).

Rotonde De Cartier Astrocalendaire 

Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon: Lunar Phases On Demand

The Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon watch makes a virtue of being enigmatic. You would think it was a tourbillon that somehow got cased into what was meant to be chronograph, but this is of course wrong. Basically, the watch shows the phases of the moon on demand, thanks to a pusher at four o’clock. The pusher at two o’clock, in fact, controls the second time zone, hinted at by the 24-hour ring around the representation of the Earth.

Rotonde De Cartier Earth And Moon

As far we can tell, this is the only commercially available on-demand moon phase wristwatch in the world; it is certainly one of the few watches that cheekily and selectively obscures the tourbillon, making it an integral part of a far more humble complication… Although Cartier does not explicitly say so, such an on-demand feature typically requires the presence of a mechanical memory of some kind.

Speaking of that tourbillon, the execution is quite different to Cartier’s signature style. This is because Renaud and Papi helped create the watch to Cartier’s specifications. Interestingly, this is one of two Fine Watchmaking pieces from Cartier featuring a dash of outside flavour this year.

Limited to 50 pieces, the Earth and Moon clocks in at a hefty 46mm in platinum (price on application), which makes for quite a massive proposition.

Rotonde De Cartier Earth And Moon 1

Rotonde de Cartier Tourbillon Chronograph with 8-day power reserve

In this watch, the eagle-eyed will spot Cartier’s confessed love of shape and volume, and also, the tourbillon at 9 o’clock. While the watch is Cartier through-and-through as far as style is concerned, the lack of the trademark ‘C’ on the carriage and the bridge indicates that calibre 9438 MC is the handiwork of the masters at Renaud & Papi.

Rotonde De Cartier Tourbillon Chronograph 8-day power reserve

The horological hothouse has served Cartier well in the past with a grand complication or two and indeed, Cartier watchmaker-in-chief Carole Forestier-Kasapi herself once worked there. Of course, an 8-day power reserve paired with the energy-hungry tourbillon and chronograph is no small matter.

This aside, it is remarkable that calibre 9438 MC is making an appearance finally in the Rotonde shape, the go-to style for high complications in Cartier Fine Watchmaking. Cartier has used this movement before, notably in the Pasha range and leads one to think the finish will be lovely, if quite different from Cartier’s own more contemporary aesthetic. In its current form, Rotonde de Cartier Tourbillon Chronograph is available in 18K pink gold, in a 45mm case (price on application) limited to 50 numbered pieces.

Rotonde De Cartier Tourbillon Chronograph 8-day power reserve

Calibre de Cartier Diver: Cartier’s First True Tool Watch

Finally, it is not all about complications and creative technicality on the masculine side this year at Cartier. Away from the lofty heights of the Fine Watchmaking collection, this diver plunges into the depths and is arguably Cartier’s first proper professional tool watch. While the Calibre de Cartier collection, exclusively masculine in nature, has been making waves since 2008, this all-new watch finally reveals its true potential. ISO 6425-certified as a proper diver’s watch, the Calibre de Cartier Diver turns what was already a sporty offering into a proper sports watch.

Calibre De Cartier Diver

Still powered by the now-famous in-house manufacture automatic calibre 1904MC, the new Calibre de Cartier Diver features a unidirectional ADLC-coated bezel, luminous elements on the dial, hands and bezel, and an impressive water resistance of 300m. These new elements in the collection amount to much more than an aesthetic change because this level of functionality means the Diver qualifies completely as a professional tool. Overall, the case retains its 42mm diameter and clocks in at 11mm in thickness, which is still quite thin for a diver’s watch. It is currently available in pink gold, steel and pink gold-steel (prices on application).

Calibre De Cartier Diver 

Rotonde de Cartier Day and Night: Bifurcated

 Sihh Rotonde De Cartier Day And Night

Just looking at a picture of the Rotonde de Cartier Day and Night, you might think it is a more traditional moon phase watch, but you would be mistaken. In fact, the dial is split between upper and lower halves, with the lower portion showing the phases of the moon via a retrograde hand, as is clearly shown in the picture.

In the upper half, time itself is split into day and night, hence the name of the watch, by way of a disc that makes a complete circuit every 24 hours; only the top part of the disc is exposed, with the hours during the day marked by a symbol for the sun and night time hours marked by a stylised moon. According to Cartier, this day/night indicator is amongst the largest ever made.

Sihh Rotonde De Cartier Day And Night 2 

Longtime followers of Cartier watchmaking might recall a movement similar to the automatic calibre 9912 MC at work here. Minus the retrograde moon phase, there was once a Collection Privée watch with much the same characteristics, powered by calibre 9903. Unlike that watch, where the minutes were in retrograde form, the new Rotonde de Cartier Day and Night shows the minutes conventionally.

With a diameter of 43.5mm, the watch is available in 18K pink gold and, remarkably, in palladium. Neither version is limited (prices on application).

Sihh Rotonde De Cartier Day And Night 1 

Cartier reveals new bags

The Louis Cartier bag

The French luxury label has unveiled two new bags, their first since 2007.

Named after two of the house’s most iconic figures, CARTIER has designed the Jeanne Toussaint bags for women, and the Louis Cartier for men.

Jeanne Toussaint was a bag designer and head of jewelry for the Parisian brand. Pet-named ‘Panther’, Toussaint dreamed up the famous Cartier Panther brooch in the Duchess of Windsor in 1948.

The bag line named after her mixes artisanal techniques with luxurious crocodile skin and leather to devastating effect. There’s a choice of cream, black and bordeaux color schemes.

The Louis Cartier men’s line is named after the grandson of Louis-François Cartier, the brand’s founder. Louis is perhaps best known as the designer of brand’s famed Baignoire and Tortue watches which were introduced in 1912.

The collection in his honor includes a document holder, which comes in a choice black leather outer with a bordeaux lining, or caramel leather with an ebony lining. There’s also a caramel leather weekend bag.

Prices for the women’s bags range from €1700 to €7500, and from €1200 to €3150 for the men’s models.

Louis Cartier bag

China’s most popular watches are European

Omega Store Causeway Bay

According to the World Watch report, a new survey from the Digital Luxury Group, China’s most popular watch brands are all European.

Omega, Cartier and Rolex come top in the survey of the watch market in the Asian powerhouse, which boasted 59 percent market growth in the luxury watch category.

The top three models are Omega’s Constellation and De Ville models, and Cartier’s Ballon Bleu (from €3,410 up to over €50,000).

The report was based on data shared for the first time by Baidu, China’s leading search engine. According to Baidu Vice President, Liang Zeng, “Watches are part of the fastest growing luxury segments in China right now.”

It’s luxury watches which get the most attention, with prestige category brands leading with 23% of global interest, as well as accounting for 41.5% of total demand in China. Baselworld 2014 takes place March 27-April 3.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Tourbillon watch

La Panthere by Cartier

Cartier Launches La Panthère Fragrance

Long a symbol of the Cartier brand, the panther served as a source of inspiration for the luxury house’s latest perfume.

La Panthere by Cartier

Created by Cartier nose Mathilde Laurent, La Panthère is centered around gardenia, whose floral character will contrast with notes of musk and chypre.

The bottle features an inner layer, within transparent glass, that reveals a cubist panther’s head.

Erin Wasson has been chosen as the face of La Panthère, appearing in a campaign video shot by Sean Ellis and a print campaign by Peter Lindbergh.

The eau de parfum will be available beginning March 15. Prices: €59 for 30 ml, €84 for 50ml and €105,50 for 75ml.

chinese yuans

Top luxury brands for China’s millionaires revealed

China’s super-rich might have cut back on spending by 15% last year, but the country has not lost its appetite for luxury brands.

chinese yuans

According to the Hurun Report Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2014, Chinese millionaires prefer to wear Cartier jewelry, Patek Philippe watches and Hermès accessories, while the wardrobes of the wealthy are stocked with Armani outfits for the men and Chanel for the women. Burberry was the children’s clothing brand of choice among the privileged demographic.

When it came to choosing a car, the Rolls Royce Phantom and the Mercedes-Benz S-class are the top choices for executive vehicles, while the Audi Q7 and the Land Rover Range Rover are deemed the best SUVs.

Top sports cars are the BMW M3 and the Porsche 911 Carrera, and the most popular ‘roadster’ is the Mercedes SLK.

Around 40% of the super-rich now own a yacht — a 10% increase since last year. The favorite brand is Ferretti. Meanwhile Gulfstream, the Embraer Legacy 650 and the Dassault Falcon 7x are the most popular business jets.

Chinese millionaires are most likely to drink Royal Salute whisky, Martell or Hennessy Cognac XO, although Macallan is the single malt whisky of choice and Louis XIII is the most popular imported spirit.

Moutai is the Chinese spirit of choice amongst luxury consumers. When it comes to champagne they’ll take a glass of Perrier-Jouët over Moët, and smokers will opt for a Chunghwa cigarette or a Davidoff cigar.

The top choice of private members’ club is the Chang’an Club in Beijing and the preferred luxury hotel brand is the Shangri-La. When flying business or first class, the country’s millionaires chose Air China for domestic trips and Singapore Airlines for international travel.

The Hurun report surveyed 393 mainland Chinese millionaires between June and December 2013 with a wealth of RMB 10 million or more ($1.6 million).

Scuba Libre: Calibre De Cartier Diver Watch

Scuba Libre Calibre De Cartier Diver Watch 2


Reliability, legibility and functionality are the three main requirements every diver has of his dive watch, and the Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch fulfils, no, it exceeds, all of that and then some. This watch also brings in a good dose of elegance to the combination. Indeed one simply wouldn’t expect less of a Cartier timepiece.


Scuba Libre Calibre De Cartier Diver Watch 3


Must-haves for all dive watches include a secure bezel, at least 100m water tightness, luminosity and resistance to thermal shock. This all-new dive watch has been through such tests as to leave even the most hard-nosed professional diver nodding in approval. In full compliance with ISO6425 which lays down no fewer than eight criteria of reliability through a series of extremely rigorous tests, the Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch had been tested to 300m, immersed in a sodium chloride solution for 24 hours at temperatures of between 18 and 25 degrees centigrade, plus another 50 hours at 30cm at the same temperature. Despite all this, it continued to perform flawlessly. Thanks to the superluminova applied to its dive-time indicators, hour and minute hands, pre-selection device, and small seconds counter, it remains legible in all kinds of conditions – night dives or murky water will not stand in its way.


Scuba Libre Calibre De Cartier Diver Watch 5


Its secure ADLC (amorphous diamond-like carbon) bezel is unidirectional and designed with exactly 120 notches (40 teeth and three points) to enable adjustment to a half-minute with crystal clear ‘clicks’ that could only mean immaculate engineering. For greater visibility, the markers signalling each 5 minute period are clearly indicated. The sapphire crystal used in this watch is also thicker than usual, at 2.2mm.

Making the Calibre de Cartier case dive-worthy is no small task especially when the manufacture was determined to maintain its signature touch of elegance. For 300m water resistance, the entire watch needs reinforcement inside and out. But compared to the regular Calibre de Cartier case, this timepiece is only marginally thicker by 1.2mm at 11mm. Classical satin-brushed and polished finishing add depth (pun intended) to its design while the oversized Roman numeral XII is a clear sign of its pedigree.


Scuba Libre Calibre De Cartier Diver Watch 4


The Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch is boosted on the inside by the manufacture movement Calibre 1904 MC – the first self-winding movement developed and assembled in-house – which provides 48 hours of power reserve. Three different references will be released from pink gold, bicolour pink gold and stainless steel, and stainless steel models on a rubber strap. Prices begin from €6,100 (stainless steel) to €19,000 (pink gold).


Scuba Libre Calibre De Cartier Diver Watch

Above: Cartier Calibre 1904 MC view from the back

Scuba Libre Calibre De Cartier Diver Watch 1

Above: Cartier Calibre 1904 MC view from the front

Blue Moon: Rotonde de Cartier Earth & Moon

Blue Moon Rotonde De Cartier Earth Moon 

The other traditional complication that Cartier had completely rethought is the moon phase display. Imagine, once again, this complication and you will imagine a crescent-shaped window with a rotating disc with a little picture of the moon inside. But Cartier’s new moon phase watch cannot be more different. In fact, at just one glance, you might not even suspect it could show you the phases of the moon. Nonetheless, the Rotonde de Cartier Earth & Moon does have a few tricks up its sleeve.

Blue Moon Rotonde De Cartier Earth Moon 3

Apart from the white gold Roman hour numerals and the etching of the planet, the dial seduces you with the mysterious beauty of lapis lazuli. However, curiously, on both sides of the crown you find two pushers – but this is not a chronograph. Pushing the button at two o’clock allows you to set the second time zone (24-hour rotating disc around the planet motif) while the button at four o’clock yields a delightful surprise. A paddle attachment swings out from under the four o’clock numeral, stopping just above the flying tourbillon but its exact orientation depends on the exact phase of the moon – full, half, crescent, gibbous, or new. Release the button and the paddle goes back in hiding.

Blue Moon Rotonde De Cartier Earth Moon 2

Like the Rotonde de Cartier AstroCalendaire, this timepiece is also extremely robust and the risk of mishandling the moon phase mechanism is next to zero thanks to a Maltese cross system that only advances the moon phase when it should be advancing. With an open-worked back, Calibre 9440 is the result of a close collaboration between Forestier-Kasapi and complications specialist firm, Renaud & Papi (hence the tourbillon carriage is three-armed and not C-shaped). This watch is released in platinum (limited edition 50 pieces) and platinum with diamonds (limited edition 10 pieces), priced at €230,000 and €490,000 respectively.

Blue Moon Rotonde De Cartier Earth Moon 5

Perfectly Perpetual: Rotonde de Cartier AstroCalendaire

Rotonde De Cartier Astrocalendaire W1600 H1600


As it uses neither sub-dials nor apertures, this stunning timepiece turned the traditional perpetual calendar layout on its head and went for a central display of the calendar, yielding a unique three-dimensional aesthetic. Encircling the flying tourbillon, the day, month and date indications are, as a matter of fact, layers of movement bridges one atop the other. This is obviously no mean feat, as Cartier would have to redesign this movement from ground up in order for the bridges to function also as part of the dial. Reading it cannot be easier as three PVD-coated blue wheels trace their own individual courses with windows that single out the essential day, date and month. Leap year indication is found on the back.

Perfectly Perpetual Rotonde De Cartier Astrocalendaire 2

Amazingly, this perpetual calendar movement, Calibre 9459 MC, uses no star wheels for the calendar mechanism save for one reserved solely for the day indication. According to Cartier’s head of fine watchmaking, Carole Forestier-Kasapi, this is because day and date can never be synchronised and thus need to be driven by separate mechanisms. In this movement, it is driven by a star wheel and can be manipulated by a secure corrector at two o’clock.

In addition, Calibre 9459 MC eschews the use of springs and levers, preferring to incorporate extra wheels because the latter yields higher chronometric stability. But that’s not all. Forestier-Kasapi revealed that the ‘secret weapon’ in this movement is what she terms ‘the brain’ – an intelligent system (patent pending) that replaces all the springs and levers. This mechanism consists of a wheel with 31 teeth, of which three are retractable. The wheel rotates once every 31 days and these teeth retract every end of the month. A two-cam system ‘informs’ the brain how many teeth to retract.

Says Forestier-Kasapi, “Normal perpetual calendars have very complex works with large yokes and are generally very susceptible to shock. We want to get rid of this problem. At the same time, the movement need lots of energy to advance the calendar so there are many ways to store energy for this purpose. Each time the date changes, there will be negative impact on chronometric stability. The change from February to March, especially on non-leap years, are the worst.”

Perfectly Perpetual Rotonde De Cartier Astrocalendaire 3

By replacing spring-and-lever system with an innovative wheel driven system, the movement yields a whopping 80 per cent gain in chronometric stability. The entire movement consists of 382 parts, of which 67 are wheels. It is also more robust than ordinary perpetual calendars as, instead of correctors, the calendar is adjusted through the crown (with the exception of day of the week). Basically the possibility of over-winding or mishandling this perpetual calendar has been greatly reduced. More astoundingly, the Rotonde de Cartier AstroCalendaire bears the prestigious Poinçon de Genève and both its movement and case are individually numbered. With a 50-hour power reserve, this watch is limited to only 100 pieces in platinum and retails for around €150,000 (to be confirmed).