The house of Cartier replica is, for many, the epitome of luxury, a bastion of taste since 1847, whose little red-and-gold boxes are shorthand for the very special something inside them. Not surprisingly, Cartier has major snob appeal.
It’s reassuringly expensive, with a back catalog of high watchmaking for much of that history and high jewelry (for even more of it) with prices to make a Maharajah blush. So why is it that, as it edges towards it bicentenary, that the brand also feels like something acutely modern and accessible? We talked with Cartier’s International Marketing and Communications Director, Arnaud Carrez, about the brand’s uniquely broad perspective.
“Cartier’s singular vision of watchmaking,” says Carrez, “is all about starting with the design first, ensuring that we have a purity of line, that perfect sense of proportion.” This is a notable inversion of the dominant design theory, that form follows function, and it sets Cartier apart. Deriving as it did from the high jewelry world, design would naturally come first. That ethos spawned some of the earliest wristwatches, from the Santos in 1904, and many of the pillars of top quality copy Cartier watch design are still around today, well over a century later.
Dipping into the range of new watches that emerged from Cartier two weeks ago at Watches and Wonders, it’s easy to be blown away by the Privé Collection and super-elegant, super-limited-edition watches like the Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon replica with blue leather strap, one of three different tourbillons sold as a set (price is on request). Like the other two it’s a dumbfounding riff on the classic and popular Rotonde line.
It is mind-blowing—something akin, possibly, to the effects of taking LSD and winning the lottery at the same time. The skeleton automatic movement of the Astrotourbillon does away with almost all visible means of support, instead using the roman numerals at 12 and 6, or make that XII and VI, to form the etiolated bridges on which the entire tourbillon movement rests. These are special and unique watches (just 5 sets of three) for special and unique (and very rich) clients. Which is ironic because what really jumped out two weeks ago was Cartier’s seemingly endlessly renewable talent for making even more friends at the opposite end of the market.
SIHH 2018 is just months away, but we are already hearing about some of the new watches that will be released. Today, we have a pair of Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Mysterious watches – the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night and the Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon.
The idea for these Cartier replica Mysterious Watches actually comes from the Mystery Clocks that Cartier made way back in the early 20th century. These clocks were notable because [SPOILER ALERT] their hands were fixed onto clear discs driven by gears just out of view, creating the impression that they were floating on the dial. This iconic look has been adapted for a number of Cartier’s watches and they make for interesting viewing.
The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night limited edition replica watches are available in a 40mm 18k pink gold or white gold case. Cartier fans will be pleased to know it also comes with the brand’s signature blue sapphire cabochon crown. Water resistance is rated at 30m.
The dial is divided into two halves. The top half features a day & night complication and also shows the hours in the form of a 12-hour scale that reads from six to six. In the day, a sun will appear on the dial and make its way from left to right. The hours are read simply by looking at the position of the sun in relation to the 12-hour scale. When it is night, a moon will appear and likewise will make its 12-hour journey from left to right. The bottom half of the dial features a radiating guilloché pattern in the center and a retrograde minutes display.
I’ve always had a major soft spot for Cartier replica watches for sale, especially high-end ones. The particular blend of technique, design, and a traditionally Parisian take on luxury makes them feel both conservative and full of personality. The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton is a good example of what to look for when you want a Cartier that is much fancier than the ones most people have, but not so exotic as to make it challenging to wear on a regular basis.
Cartier recently announced that their Haute Horlogerie division would significantly slow down production – as I understand it will focus instead on more practical, accessible (i.e. simple and less complicated) high-end watches. Exotic tourbillons and highly technical and original movements which the brand has received many accolades for will be increasingly uncommon as the brand transitions to mostly service existing fake watches for men and producing a smaller number of very exclusive watches that I believe will focus more on decoration than a novel movement or mechanism.
That leads me to believe that for the most part, outside of “piece unique” creations for special customers, watches like the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton copy watches might very well represent the top-of-the-line products Cartier makes for men. The watch is actually a combination of three existing items at Cartier, and that includes the Rotonde-style case, “mysterious” movement which has the hour and minute hands on a transparent plane, and on top of that, skeletonization of the in-house made caliber 9981 (which then becomes the caliber 9983) manually wound movement.
We’ve substantially seen all this before, and this watch more or less represents Cartier wanting to make the most out of its movements by offering them in a variety of cases. For instance, if you love the Mysterious Hour Skeleton but prefer the Cartier Cle case, they have a watch for you in the Cle de Cartier Mysterious Hour watch.
Such designs have a long history going back to early 20th century table clocks produced by Cartier. At the time, it was en vogue for some brands (Cartier included) to produce mystery dial clocks. Many of these Art Deco style creations celebrated the intriguing optical illusion created when the hands were not mounted to the dial via a stem as is the case in a traditional watch, but rather mounted on a transparent plate, which itself features hidden gearing used to move it around the dial.
Of all complications, the minute repeater remains one of the most coveted. It is so complicated to make that it will always remain a rarity. While tourbillons have enjoyed increasing popularity, also because it is available at a much lower price point, the minute repeater remains a precious expression of the art of us.
A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater.
Places in a platinum case, the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater is a master piece in every way. One of the most complicated things in every watch is the regulation of power, as there often is simply not enough of it. This Zeitwerk not only sported large jumping hours and minuted but also a minute repeater, making it an example of micro mechanical ingenuity!
Blancpain Carrousel Minute Repeater
Blancpain is another brand that is not content with making “just” a minute repeater. They combine it with a flying, one-minute carrousel, a device that minimizes the effect of gravity on the precision of the watch, somewhat similar to a tourbillon. That is not all because the minute repeater is also equipped with cathedral chimes, giving it three gongs instead of the two that are the standard.
Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon
Cartier also combines their minute repeater in the Rotonde de Cartier replica watches with another complication, in this case a flying tourbillon. With the hammers prominently visible on the dial side, it leaves little to the imagination with what complication this watch is fitted. The blue guilloche dial adds further to the captivating qualities of this watch.The back of the watch further reveals how complicated it is to create such a watch, giving you an insight into the mesmerizing inner workings of this grande complication!
Ever since its introduction in 2008, the Fine Watchmaking Collection has been Cartier‘s cheap replica watches calling card when it comes to complicated pieces. Many of them unique and never done before. For the SIHH 2017 Cartier is expanding the collection with new models, as well as some varieties of existing models. It is not a surprise that many of them are focussed on the brand’s unique, mysterious movement, that has become one of the pillars of the Fine Watchmaking Collection.
The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour leather strap watches now joins the Fine Watchmaking Collection as a skeleton. Fitted in a Palladium case it now reveals part of the mystery behind that watch, being the movement that is normally hidden behind the dial on the right side of the watch. They do this in true Cartier style, with skeleton bridges designed as Roman numerals. Although behind it, you can see part of the movement, how the hour and minute hand move remains a secret and rightfully so!
Most impressive is the Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon. This watch is transparent in multiple ways. Not only does the one-minute flying tourbillon seems to be suspended in space, but also all the other movement parts are visible. Among them are the parts needed for the minute repeater. For this watch, Cartier uses a titanium case. This is a surprising material for such a classic and high-end watch as this. Cartier spend a significant amount of time and effort in perfecting the sound of the minute repeater, making it loud and rich. Titanium proved to be the perfect material to make the case out of and help accomplish this.
The Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire replica watches that has already been part of the Fine Watchmaking Collection for quite some time. It was available in different versions, among them this stunning version featuring a blue enamel guilloche dial. For this year Cartier gave the unique circular perpetual calendar a rich, classic look. The dial features a deeply rigged guilloche, while the Rotonde case is now made from rose gold. The result is a masterpiece, almost baroque in style, yet undeniably Cartier.