As the watch world gears up for the 2017 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), Cartier has quietly begun to announce their plans for the luxury timepiece exhibition held in Geneva every year. While they certainly aren’t strangers to the fine watchmaking arena, Cartier is typically known for their rich history as a company that produces and distributes a wide variety of luxury goods. Still, we all know that there’s always more to the story when it comes to their watches. For 2017, Cartier has announced a series of three highly ambitious watches including the Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton Watch we see here. It’s a piece that pushes a generally conservative watch concept into new territory while showcasing Cartier’s classical mystery clock design elements.
At first glance, we see that the watch is built upon the brand’s established Rotonde de Cartier design. You’ll find no tourbillon, no minute repeater, and a wealth of crafty skeletonization work that’s sure to wow anyone that manages to get their hands on it. Although the watch isn’t necessarily sporty, Cartier has announced that the palladium case will be 42mm in diameter, which makes it quite generous and comfortable for most wearers. Also, at 11.9mm thick, the watch should have no issue in terms of balance. Inside of the watch beats Cartier’s caliber 9983 MC hand-wound movement, which is quite visible thanks to the extensive skeletonization that also makes up a set of Roman numeral hour markers.
Over at 9 o’clock, we have a large sub-dial that’s proudly built in the style of Cartier’s mystery clock design that started over a century ago. It’s comprised of two small sapphire discs with fitted white hands and nothing else. Each disc is affixed to the movement and tracks independently of the other to indicate hours and minutes. Although the idea may appear simple, Cartier seems to have kept the specifics behind the mechanics a secret. So although a great deal of the movement is visible, the connection to those mystery sapphire discs is relatively obscured. It’s this aesthetic combination of secrecy and openness that really sets the watch apart from the others in their SIHH 2017 announcement.
Another feature worth noting is the cabochon sapphire crown, which is just classic Cartier. In a way, it ties the whole design together and serves as a subtle way of reminding the wearer that this is an ornate, high-end watch from a brand that really dominates in the world of jewelry. The watch comes on a black alligator strap and at the time of writing is priced at $75,000. cartier.com