In 1912, Cartier’s first mysterious clock was born, exclaimed by the media as ‘a miracle in the history of watches and clocks.’ Its hands seem to float between transparent crystal clock bodies without any connection to the movement, which is amazing.
At this year’s SIHH watch exhibition, Cartier once again launched two watch series to continue writing this legend. From mystery to fantasy: When the appearance is no longer confined to one frame, it conceals the delicate and subtle time; when the tourbillon escapement of the Rotonde watch floats like a weightless suspension on the transparent dial, The mystery and elusiveness of time.
The mysterious and ethereal Rotonde de Cartier watch, with its pointer psychedelic vision suspended in the air, makes the audience hold their breath and stare. The extremely concise appearance design often makes people forget its mysterious and magical time display method, which actually comes from the sophisticated and extraordinary complex clock structure. To create a mysterious watch, the watchmaker at Cartier Watch Workshop must do everything in his power to overcome all inherent limitations, and make the connection between the hands and the movement even imperceptible. In order to reduce the friction between the sapphire crystal wafers, the watchmaker decided to rotate it around the thin axis, which is similar to the operation of the gears, instead of the traditional way that the mysterious clock usually operates through the guide groove.
This new structural concept is combined with the pointer wheel, which avoids friction and reduces the energy consumption of the movement. When friction is reduced to a minimum, the inertia of these large-sized sapphire wafers with a total weight of 0.56 grams needs to be optimized by a gear unit made with deep reactive ion etching (DRIE). This advanced technology can use three-dimensional construction to make metal parts, thereby creating integrated gears that are highly compatible with sapphire crystal wafer discs, making assembly geometric accuracy to the micron level.
In order to greatly simplify the final assembly process of different parts, Cartier has specially adopted a modular solution, which divides the movement into two independent parts: the movement part of the movement, occupying the crescent-shaped space on the main splint; and the independent display module , Occupying the circular space that was intentionally set aside. The whole is made up of four anti-glare sapphire crystal wafer trays, which are assembled one by one in a laminar flow environment to avoid any dust. When the watch is finally assembled, the hands hover in the air like magic. By using 58% of the movement’s diameter for sapphire crystal wafer trays, Cartier broke through the limitations of the mysterious display and raised legibility to a whole new level.
Due to the use of sapphire crystal wafers, mysterious display timepieces are generally considered more fragile than traditional complex movements. The innovative design of the 9981 MC movement allows it to pass a series of rigorous tests and tests, including resistance to 500 consecutive impacts and a drop from a meter to the ground. This dazzling transparent movement has a high degree of stability and precision, with a balance frequency of up to 4 Hz (28,800 times per hour) and a 48-hour power reserve.
The balance of the Rotonde de Cartier’s mysterious watch is fascinating, and it penetrates the transparent charm into every detail. In fact, the individually numbered manual-winding mechanical movement part of the watch exposed on the back is just the side that Cartier is willing to present to the world. In the past, Louis Cartier has refused to explain to the sales staff how the mystery clock works in case the secret is leaked. Today in the Rotonde de Cartier mysterious watch, the mechanism that connects the movement and hands is hidden in the structure of the movement through ingenious design.