Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch

Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch

Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch Watch Releases

Cartier is rarely the first name that comes to mind when it comes to the annals of fine watchmaking, but the French maison has quietly and consistently been bolstering its catalog of super-interesting, high-end models. Case in point: the recently announced Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon – an ambitious, Geneva Seal-certified creation, characterized by its tourbillon complication at 10:00, seemingly floating in space.

Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch Watch Releases

The rhythmic illusion of this special Cartier is made possible by its round “rotonde” series case – a lithe, curvaceous new stage for Cartier to showcase its best complications. In this case, we get two in the Calibre 9407 MC: a minute repeater with hardened steel gongs, and the "floating" tourbillon, held in place by a rotating sapphire disc that rotates every five minutes, with the tourbillon itself completing a rotation each 60 seconds. The floating effect is inspired by Cartier’s "mystery" clocks first created in 1912. Perhaps most impressive about the whole package, though, isn’t just the finely tuned auditory notes or visual spectacle, but the sheer technical feat of fitting 448 individually finished components into a case measuring only 11.15mm thick, by 45mm wide.

Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch Watch Releases
Cartier 9407 MC Caliber Minute Repeater Mechanism
Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch Watch Releases
Cartier 9407 MC Caliber Tourbillon Mechanism

Minute repeaters and tourbillons represent two of watchmaking’s most challenging feats, so getting them together on a shared and surprisingly wearable stage is a feat in and of itself. But what really just works with the Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon (try saying that five times fast) is how damned cohesive it all looks – no small task, especially given the levels of complication we’re dealing with. Here, we have black rhodium-finished movement bridges employing contrasting circular graining and Geneva stripes – all collective hallmarks of the Geneva Seal – an ultra-exclusive certification of exemplary quality that fewer than 0.01% of all Swiss watch exports see (you can read all about the Geneva Seal in our in-depth report here). Even in all its complexity and lack of symmetry (notice the de-centered hour and minute hands), however, the dial still finds surprising balance in the negative space occupied by the floating tourbillon.

Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch Watch Releases

Activated by a push-piece trigger at 4:00, the minute repeater has been designed around optimizing the four principles of sound to deliver the most pleasing acoustic experience possible. Those considerations start with volume and richness – engineering the Rotonde de Cartier case from ultralight titanium while building the square striking gongs out of hardened steel and maximizing the surface area for the transmission of powerful sound vibrations. The timbre, or clarity, of each note was also considered; with the hourly gongs tuned to a B (the 5th octave), and the minutes to a D (6th octave). Lastly, the duration or resonance of the sound itself is preserved through a silent inertia flywheel (visible at 7:00), which regulates the striking speed of the hammers to ensure every strike is as consistent as the last.

Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch Watch Releases

If it weren’t for the wordmark on the dial at 12:00 or the signature sapphire cabochon set into the crown, there’s nothing about this watch that screams "Cartier" – which is probably a good thing, particularly for those not yet convinced that the watchmaker is becoming increasingly capable of going toe-to-toe with the likes of the haute horology elite. At the time of writing, the price of the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon watch is $449,400. cartier.com

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (2)
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  • Good that it has a minute repeater because there’s no way you can read the time on this thing.

    • IG

      You can have a servant who reads it to you.

      • I already have a servant. I don’t think she could figure it out either. But you can’t trust those Goddamn Y-Genners!

  • MEddie90

    Cartier really are masters of the poetic and dramatic complications, especially over the last few years they have been upping their game in regards to technical watchmaking with the ID concept watches and mystery tourbillons. Plus it seems that their run of the mill watches (santos, tank ect) are improving significantly.

    I love the effect of the floating tourbillon though the fact that it puts the main hands off centre is made worse by the lack of colour contrast and a any markers/indices. A partial dial and blued hands would have really helped out here. Having the hammers on top is a nice feature, much nicer to view the hammers and regulator in action than the racks and snail. Would be nice to have a video of this in action.

    • 2sly

      wait another month or so, you will see it in action =)

  • Raymond Wilkie

    “Cartier is rarely the first name that comes to mind when it comes to the annals of fine watchmaking “,……………you cannot be serious !
    Would it have killed them to make the hands a little more legible ?.

    • 2sly

      While not being the most legible watch ever obviously, the hands in the flesh are more legible than the packshot lets it seem 😉

  • The tourbillon is easier to read than the hands.

  • SuperStrapper

    Interesting. The floating tourbillion is a unique achievement on a classic (and useless) complication. The dial-less appearance showing off a depth of parts and workings wth a largely monochromatic palette gives it a somewhat industrial appearance, which I think is attractive. As others have mentioned, the hands are a bit shy. Having blued them would make a big difference, and matched the watch nicely.

    • 2sly

      They were initially tested out in blue hands. And when blued they come out too dark and even less legible. The final aspect of the hands will be satin-finished, which will make it slightly more legible that polished hands. Obviously, never as readable as black hands on a simple white dial, but hey…

      • SuperStrapper

        Sauce?

        • 2sly

          I work on the project 😉

          • SuperStrapper

            M hm. So do I.

          • How do you two not know each other? 🙂

          • SuperStrapper

            Maybe we do? I created a profile with my real name and an actual photograph, but everyone else seems to be usinging aliases… so who can tell?

          • 2sly

            I was simply looking to bring additional information to your remark within the overall discussion ^^ I will not force you to trust me or take my word for it, nor am I going to go out of my ways to prove the veracity of what I’m saying. I’m always happy to discuss about watches with fellow aficionados

  • ??????

    Does it have any hands? Superb tourbillon, but you need to put a legible watch on another wrist. Cartier should throw a 20$ Casio in the box as well.

    • Nope. No dial, either. Very avant-garde.

    • Cartier would charge you 100 euros + VAT for that Casio.

      • ??????

        Lol 🙂 Casie de Cartier

  • Shirley Furby

    This watch would have me entranced by the mechanical circus that would be happening all the time. Watching the tourbillion spin and the hammers strike would keep me enthralled. I like the naked appearance of the mechanics, more to study. What a shame that all this can only occur at distance. Once again the reality of the price of admission raises its’ ugly head. Kudos to Cartier and thanks to the blog for presenting one of the best.

  • Luke S

    Renders rarely do a watch justice as I imagine there will be several nuances to the construction of the watch that will give it depth and make it more legible:

    – The red jewels will probably stand out more with real lighting
    – The tourbillon is obviously the focal point and will provide a through-the-watch depth
    – The skeleton-face seems almost as flat as a true face
    – The dials will be on a higher plane as will the gongs

    I would really like to see a hands-on of this watch to see if my points check out.

    • 2sly

      Trust me, they do 😉 The most striking aspect being the contrast of the finishes under natural light. Also, the gongs and hammers being polished, while the rest of the plate is mat reinforces the impression of depth. And as you said, the constant movement of the tourbillon is the focal point. Only until the repeater is active that is ;p

  • BNABOD

    it is mysterious alright right down to the crown. why why why do they insist putting on that ridiculous jeweled crown. it looks so tacky and out of place.

    • SuperStrapper

      That cabochon is as much a logo for this brand as the word Cartier is.

      I don’t always enjoy it, but I won’t argue it’s removal.

  • Marius

    “Cartier is rarely the first name that comes to mind when it comes to the annals of fine watchmaking.”

    Speaking of annals, what I would like to know is this: will this watch make a good impression in Bangkok, Thailand. More specifically, will it attract the fairer sex — i.e. Thai ladyboys? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/24e9c86575bca134bc14ed39cc262153377acbd10c6816cabf41885b7f7c95f7.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/97d5faee5e534afbe4c1f0631ce9e4e21f0c2985b8f9678a61c498a23b8e8b07.jpg

  • Roman

    To my mind, this watch lacks a dial, which would make it look better. The movement is a little messy. However I like the way Cartier has chosen in horology. In recent years the brand changed for good.

  • Wow. Need to see this in the metal.
    The slightly off-centre dial is a bit of a handful. I wonder what this would have looked like with the escapement at 6 and the axis of the hands at 12?

    • ??????

      Better. But you’ll also find the crown at 12 as well. Like ZRC Grands Fonds but upside down 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95a50845989fa5e5d9570f26b1b201e5130a7ea798bd8f9f1b9e709f913facb2.jpg

      • Unfortunately they would need to completely re-engineer the movement to achieve any kind of symmetry.

        • 2sly

          True, and besides, the asymmetry was also a creative choice since the start, to offer something different and complementary to the 9454 MC and 9402 MC movements

      • LOVE the ZRC by the way, and the bezel action is fantastic.

        • ??????

          Never seen one in flesh. But I find them very attractive in photos.

    • 2sly

      It would look similar to the existing mysterious double tourbillon in their collection. Yet doing that would have moved the minute repeater hammers to another part of the case, and having them symmetrical at 6 o’clock is also somewhat of a soft signature in their current fine watchmaking collection

  • IG

    Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon Every word adds another 0 to the price, that’s why Swiss watches have bloody long names.

    • The Victorious Boogur T. Wang

      It certainly seems that way.

  • Bert Kanne

    An incredibly expensive, complex trinket for the very wealthy watch collector. Would appreciate comments from actual owners.

  • Jon Heinz

    Now we’re talking. And at half the price of the million dollar Swatch.

  • BrJean

    Crazy stuff!

  • David J Greenspun

    Holy Schnikes!

  • DanW94

    Great looking design. As someone else mentioned, blued hands would have worked well, giving the dial some contrast, Zach, nice write-up but I have to disagree with you when you state “If it weren’t for the wordmark on the dial at 12:00 or the signature sapphire cabochon set into the crown, there’s nothing about this watch that screams Cartier” That floating tourbillon has become something of a hallmark in recent years for Cartier and IMO readily identifies it as so.

    • Fair point – I think it was more in reference to their bread-and-butter design signatures (Tank, Santos, etc.), and not their more haute offerings in recent years. I definitely could have clarified that better though – appreciate the comment either way!

  • How in the…where’s the pallet fork?! How in the world does the flying tornado-thingy connect to the rest of the movement?

  • AW

    – What time is it?
    – Eleven twelve-ish. Wait,I’ll run my minute repeater.
    – Forget I’ve asked.

  • Yanko

    The brood hen sits on a heap of straw and clucks and cackles; this watch clucks and cackles about something, too, but I have zero interest to listen.

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