Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rare Find: Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon Now at Cellini

Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon

Make a clean break with the past to give total freedom to new ideas and develop them: for Cartier, Fine Watchmaking is pure exploration, with each creation a blank page in its own right.

The originality of this mode of expression is captured in the Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon watch with mystery and the perfect mastery of the space contained within the dial which showcases its reversed tourbillon.

By freeing up the space on the dial, by limiting the functions to just the hours, minutes and seconds, by concentrating the caliber beneath minimalist bridges, Cartier’s watchmakers have enabled the flying tourbillon to be majestically displayed, creating, with the Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon watch caliber 9458 MC, a radiant and graphic timepiece with incredible aesthetic power.

The challenge surrounding the form as well as the content of the watch led Cartier to condense the movement into the narrow space provided by the bridges.

The C-shaped flying tourbillon cage doubles as a seconds hand.

The luminous dial of the Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon watch upholds the tradition of guilloché work, of which the radiating motif is one of the maison’s great signatures.

Ever since Pierre Cartier’s first journeys to Russia and the discovery of Fabergé’s creations, guilloché work has been carried out at the Cartier workshops. The metal is engraved with lines and dots, creating a geometric design. It can then be enameled or left unadorned. At Cartier, the inspiration for guilloché work draws on a variety of motifs: rays engraved from a central point for dials, frames and small clocks and moiré or scale motifs for desk sets and pens.

For the Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon watch, Cartier has combined sunray guilloché with the shine of white gold. This is an inspired combination because non-rhodium-finished white gold is a wonderful source of light. The graphic motif thereby radiates all the more, creating an array of beams of light. Depending on the position of the dial, the rays capture and enhance the reflections in a broad range of sparkling colors.

The eye immediately understands the hierarchy of different ways to read the dial because within the case of this Rotonde de Cartier watch everything makes sense. The radiance of the guilloché, the sophisticated arrangement of the flying tourbillon and the bridges, the half-curve of the seconds aperture and the signature presence of blued-steel hands that complete the ensemble.

Cartier's hand-wound movement is expertly finished.

Fully mastered, the refined space of the dial stripped of numerals boasts a range of signature Cartier features: a Rotonde de Cartier case that is today the emblematic shape of the maison’s Fine Watchmaking creations, a cabochon sapphire on the winding crown, the Cartier C indicating the seconds numeral.

To reinforce the dial’s graphic identity and enhance the perspective of the guilloché, the dial is arranged off center, proving that watchmakers are not slaves to symmetry. Thus, nestled in the hollow of the seconds aperture, the flying tourbillon, the center of this entire composition, beats like a heart.

Whether it is a tour de force or a demonstration of elegance, this Reversed Tourbillon caliber, carefully developed in the Cartier Manufacture’s workshops, displays all the symbols of a watchmaking tradition with an established and renewed heritage.

Cartier chooses to reveal to the eye what often remains hidden. This construction is both aesthetic and very technical and led the watchmakers to pay particular attention to the finishing of its 167 components. As for all Fine Watchmaking movements at Cartier, the component parts making up this mechanical movement with manual winding, equipped with a 52-hour power reserve, are all hand-finished.

Each of the movement’s parts received a specific finish: chamfering on the bridges, drawn flanks, polished screw heads and côte de Genève decoration, the parallel ridges of which echo the guilloché on the dial. This array of highly regulated finishes that meet the criteria for obtaining the “Poinçon de Genève” are a testament to careful work carried out with respect for tradition.

Rotonde de Cartier Reversed Tourbillon
Technical Specifications

Movement: Cartier’s hand-wound caliber 9458 MC

Power Reserve: approximately 50 hours

Case: 18-karat white gold

Diameter: 46mm

Crown: Beaded crown in 18-carat white gold set with a blue cabochon sapphire

Caseback: Sapphire

Water-Resistance: 30m

Strap: Black alligator

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