This year at the Salon International de l'Haute Horlogerie, Cartier presented two new watchmaking complications that push the frontiers of the mysterious yet further, continuing the tradition of the Maison.
The ﬁrst is the Rotonde de Cartier Mystery which mysteriously displays the hour and minutes with two hands that seem to ﬂoat in space. The second, the Rotonde de Cartier Double Mystery Tourbillon, focuses the attention on a mysterious double tourbillon whose ﬂoating cage performs a delicate and spellbinding dance.
For the Mistery, the watchmakers of Cartier had to overcome all the constraints inherent in perfecting a display by hands whose connection to the movement is completely invisible. Thus, in order to limit friction between the sapphire crystal discs, it was decided that they should turn on ﬁne pivots, like a wheel in a gear train, rather than in guide grooves, the traditional technique adopted for mysterious clocks.
By allocating 58% of the diameter of the movement to the sapphire crystal discs, Cartier has pushed back the limits of the mystery display and achieved record legibility.
Timepieces with a mystery display have always been considered more fragile than other traditional complications, due to the presence of the sapphire crystal discs. The innovative design of the manualwinding calibre 9981 MC enabled it to pass all the certiﬁcation tests, including the requirement that it should resist over 500 consecutive impacts, as well as being dropped on to a hard ﬂoor from a height of one metre. This movement with its spellbinding transparency, slimness and accuracy, with a balance oscillating at 4 Hz (28,000 beats per hour), has a power reserve of 48 hours.
The 42 mm case is available in pink or white gold and it is water resistant to 30 metres.