Cartier Calibre Astrotourbillon Watch

Cartier Calibre Astrotourbillon Watch

Over the last few years my interest and respect for Cartier has really grown. Sure, a lot of their timepieces are mass produced, but they have a penchant for good, lasting design. No doubt I am not a fan of all of their watches, but little escapes from their manufacture without being really good for at least some people. Good design - as I am learning more and more - is not easy. Designing something to look outstanding and really cool for 5 minutes is really not that hard. Executing a design that looks good each time you look at it, for years, isn't so easy. In this department, Cartier has succeeded for a long time. I find myself wondering what their secret is.

Interestingly enough, watches with "good" designs don't affect you right away. You might look at them a bit ambiguously at first. Then, after paying attention to them for a while, the quality of the design grows on you. I have never looked at a Cartier watch once and been like, "Winner!" It takes me a while to appreciate them. Sure enough, though, I have grown to really respect almost each timepiece by Cartier from a design perspective.

Now there are the new super high-end manufacture watches from Cartier. Haute Horology now gets Cartier worthy designs. While these super high-end pieces are not all keepers, there are enough outstanding ones. My favorite from last year was the Cartier Rotonde Astrotourbillon watch. The mechanism placed the escapement on a hand that functioned as the seconds hand. The dial has a special "trench" that gave space for the astrotourbillon complication.

For 2011 Cartier will use the same Astrotourbillon movement and put it in a Calibre case. The Cartier Calibre was released last year as their newest men's watch collection. This year, I suspect the Calibre collection will see new models (such as a Chronograph) and this astrotourbillon version is one of them. This is the same Cartier MC 9451 manually wound movement as in the Rotonde version.

The watch case will be 47mm wide in titanium, water resistant to 100 meters, and with a sapphire crystal. Note the large blue sapphire cabochon in the crown. The design of the dial has been done in a very intricate manner as to sustain the look of the basic Calibre dial as well as incorporate the astrotourbillon complication. A stunning piece that, for me, is even more desirable than the original Rotonde Astrotourbillon. The Calibre Astrotourbillon will be limited to just 100 pieces and will be very expensive.

See Cartier watches on eBay here.

See Cartier watches on Amazon here.



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  • kris c

    It is a nice, beefy men’s watch with an interesting take on the toubillon, even if it does just look more like a wierdo open heart.

    The best part though is the depth of the dial; that wrist shot you posted tells a very interesting story, and it is that view that makes this one a real winner. I’m no Cartier fanboi, but if I ever find myself in a position where I have sold my first born, a kidney, and my eyes, then I might use it as a down payment for something like this. Or, maybe by then Cartier will have come back down to Earth with pricing.

  • IS3515

    Congratulations to Cartier for trying to gain back some of its heritage with an in house movement. This is an impressive watch but I don’t like the oerall watch design.

  • Dangeruss

    I like this a lot (which is surprising since most Cartier leave me cold). I love the depth of the dial, the contrasting finishes, and the Astro-doohicky-second-hand. All very cool and completely unique. Though barring a Mega-Ball Lotto win, it’s off-list for me.

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  • Simeon Weinraub

    This might sound picky, but the painted 12 that extends of the guilloche bothers me. I really like this watch, but I feel like the hour markers could have been done in a way that is just a little more special. Still, if I had that kind of money, this is a dress watch I would seriously consider.

  • Ulysses

    I too have been impressed by several of their latest offerings. This one is no exception, although it looks like it would weigh a lot, and the depth of the watch though tolerable seems excessive.

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  • Mr. Champ

    47mm? Way too big. I thought Cartier had more class and taste than that.

  • http://www.rubberb.com Grey

    I recently ran into my good friend with a Rolex, but the surprising part was that it had a rubber strap. I thought it was a great idea, because he is very active and sometimes doesn’t like wearing his watches when playing sports. These straps came in handy.

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