When most people think of Cartier, the Fine Watchmaking collection might not be the first thing that come to mind. Their Santos and Tank models are more famous amongst the crowd. Due to our friend Geo (owner of the Troisanneaux website and moderator of the Cartier forum over at Revolution) I became a bit more knowledgeable about this collection myself.
In short, the Fine Watchmaking collection is Cartier’s showcase for their watchmaking skills. This collection was introduced in 2008 (as a successor to the Collection Privee Cartier Paris (CPCP) collection) and since then a lot of new in-house developed movements and complications have been presented to the watch loving crowd. The focus of the Fine Watchmaking collection is on complications (annual calendars, perpetual calendars, jumping hours, chronographs, multiple timezones and tourbillons) as well as exceptional finished watches (e.g. skeleton watches).
The tourbillon is a complication that I’ve discussed here many times and showed several watches here on FW with that complication. The interest and demand for tourbillon watches is (still) quite high and watch manufacturers also often see it as a crown on their work. Within the Cartier’s Fine Watchmaking collection, there are several tourbillon timepieces.
In this article I show you some of the Tourbillon timepieces that Cartier introduced during the SIHH 2013 in Geneva last January. All exceptional timepieces with superb finish and designed with the utmost attention for details. Because that’s Cartier is about in the first place for many of their customers, King of details.
The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon watch (pictured above) for example is a timepiece that I found to be really stunning. The double tourbillon floats in the lower half of the dial whereas the hands in the upper half indicate hours and minutes. Cartier refers to it as a mystery clock (when hands seem to float free on the dial) and has been part of their history in clock making for more than 100 years.
The hand-wound movement of the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon is caliber 9454 MC and consist of 242 parts. All housed in a 45mm platinum case. As you can see, a very elegant timepiece despite its large diameter. The thing that worried me a bit was the fact that you can look right through the watch and see your wrist underneath it. However, when trying it on my wrist it didn’t bother me at all. Somehow the focus is on the floating tourbillon anyway, not on your flesh.
Another interesting Fine Watchmaking piece with a tourbillon complication is the Ballon Bleu de Cartier Flying Tourbillon 2nd time zone. Based on the famous round case Ballon Bleu collection, this Fine Watchmaking piece houses a Flying Tourbillon as well as a jump hour 2nd time zone indicator. The regulator dial is there so you can read the hands (also in the 2nd time zone) at all times. The lay-out of the regulator dial is somewhat different than I’m used to (referring to the Chronoswiss Regulator Automatique, the first wrist watch with a regulator dial) but it is beautifully done. The Cartier caliber 9456MC hand-wound movement consists of 304 parts and is housed in a whopping 46.4mm gold case. This timepiece is available in 18 carat pink gold as well as in 18 carat white gold.
Last but certainly not least for my short overview is a watch from the Cartier d’Art collection. I love the hand carved cameo Crocodile formed from stone in this Rotonde timepiece. This white gold timepiece with a Flying Tourbillon hand-wound movement has caliber 9452 MC and has a modest 42mm case. This watch is limited to 30 pieces only.
The craftsmanship on the Crocodile is just stunning and pictures won’t do any justice to this marvelous piece.
More information on the 2013 Cartier Fine Watchmaking collection can be found here. The Cartier d’Art collection is quite interesting as well and the official Cartier website has a nice overview on all their timepieces here.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more