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Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME

The Magician’s Code

This year, Cartier has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, writes Evan Rast The Rotonde de Cartier Double Mystery HKGOLFER.COM



fine watchmaking collection, highlighting two mysterieuse watch models; a perpetual calendar and jumping second time zone; and an extension of its Calibre line. The Rotonde de Cartier Double Mystery Tourbillon is certainly the headliner for 2013’s novelty presentation. Inspecting the watch, you’ll see a gaping hole on the dial where a flying tourbillon turns on its own axis every 60 seconds, and a titanium cage performs a second rotation every five minutes, but with no visible connection to the movement. We’ve Innovations and flying tourbillons breakthroughs that seen before, but this one looks seem mechanically like it’s suspended in midimpossible become air; a convincing illusion of myster y timepieces even more gaspthat’s very entertaining to inducing once watch in action. What the manufacture has done is the technicalities to attach the carriage of are explained. the tourbillon to a sapphire cr ystal disc with antireflective finishing to make it seem like its floating, where the disc then acts as a large gear wheel that performs the turn every five minutes. The 45mm watch comes in platinum, with a sapphire crystal caseback for a see-through effect. Forming a figure eight on top of the tourbillon is a subdial for the hours and minutes, and on the sides of the slate-coloured dial, are Cartier’s signature Roman numerals. A simpler version of the mystery movement is the Rotonde de Cartier Mystery, which, instead of the tourbillon, has the hour and minute hands suspended. The calibre 9981MC is constructed The Rotonde de Cartier Double Mystery was certainly the headliner for Cartier’s 2013 under the same principle as the Double novelty presentation. Inspecting the back of the watch (above), you’ll see a gaping Tourbillon, with the hands driven by large crystal hole on the dial where the flying tourbillon turns on its access every 60 seconds discs that rotate. While it sounds simple, getting to the perfect dimensions, including the thickness magician never reveals his secrets, and construction of these discs to avoid friction, because letting his audience was the challenge for the watchmaking team know what’s behind the ruse tend at Cartier. In order to limit friction, the sapphire to make them lose their impact. crystal discs were made to turn on fine pivots, like For watchmakers though, it’s wheels in a gear train, instead of the traditional quite the opposite. Innovations guide grooves in mystery clocks. The discs were and breakthroughs that seem mechanically also made to be lightweight at 0.56 grams, impossible become even more gasp-inducing yet durable enough to pass certification tests, once the technicalities are explained, because including more than 500 consecutive impacts, these prove that research, painstak ing and being dropped on a hard floor from the craftsmanship and long hours of debate were put height of one metre. The manual winding watch into the creation of that timepiece. In fact, when offers a power reserve of 48 hours, and comes in it comes to great watchmaking feats, there are a 42mm case water-resistant to 30m, in options of 18k pink or white gold. no shortcuts. This year, with a theme that’s centred on magic and mystery, Cartier presents a rather dramatic




HK Golfer・MAR 2013



With these two models, Cartier emphasizes Chronograph in the Rotonde de Cartier series, that it’s a trendsetter in watch design. I wouldn’t the first in its fine watchmaking line, equipped be surprised to see more mystery watches from with its manufacture calibre 1904-CH MC. The automatic movement, with a 48-hour other brands after this intriguing collection. power reserve, features a Moving on to the other new retrograde day and column calibres, a particularly attractive one is This year’s wheel chronograph. The the Ballon Bleu de Cartier Tourbillon unveiling attests to watch comes in either a with double jumping second timezone, a unique take on the dual Cartier’s continuing 42mm 18k white gold case with silver dial, or a very time watch. The dial features a central desire to make its attractive rose gold case minute hand and two jumping hour and chocolate dial. mark in the fine counters, one for the local time, with Extending its Calibre Arabic numeral hour markers, and the watchmaking de Car tier line, the other for the home time, with Roman world and play brand presents a sporty numeral hour markers. Adjustment is chronograph featuring the magician. easily controlled through a pushpiece in-house movement 1904at 10 o’clock. Fitted with the manualCH MC. The timepiece winding 9456 MC calibre, the watch, which is regulated by a flying tourbillon at 6 retains the aesthetics of its predecessor (hours o’clock, carries the Geneva seal, which says a lot and minutes only) with the three-date aperture more about the quality of the watch now, with and prominent crown guards. The new Calibre the stricter criteria that includes the case and de Cartier Chronograph is offered in rose gold or finishing. The watch comes in a 46mm 18k white steel with the option of a leather strap or bracelet of the same material. gold case with leather strap. For its art piece, Cartier introduces the Rotonde Cartier also presents a Perpetual Calendar


HK Golfer・MAR 2013


de Cartier 42mm Panther with Granulation. Hours and minutes are shown on a golden dial with an image of a panther, which sounds quite straightforward until you zero in on how the motif was created. Using an ancient technique from the Etruscans, balls of different sizes are made using threads of 22k gold that are cut and then heated over a flame. The balls, or granules, are then assembled one by one and fused with the gold plate to create the relief. The watch is a test in patience, like a microscopic jigsaw puzzle requiring countless hours to complete, and as such will be sold only in a limited series of 20 pieces. The 42mm watch comes in an 18k yellow gold case with 306 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel. The manufacture is obviously pulling out all the stops to make its mark in the fine watchmaking world, and this year’s unveiling attests to a continuing desire to play the magician, with pieces created to astound and impress. Clockwise from above: Cartier’s Perpetual Calendar Chronograph; the new Calibre de Cartier Chronograph; Rotonde de Cartier 42mm Panther with Granulation; the Rotonde de Cartier Mystery; the Ballon Bleu de Cartier Tourbillon HKGOLFER.COM

HK Golfer・MAR 2013