2014 is set to be a year of launches for Cartier who unveiled four watches that will makes its debut next year – the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire (perpetual calendar tourbillon), Rotonde de Cartier Earth Moon (an unusual moon phase design), the Tank MC Two Tone Skeleton (a new version of the Santos 100 skeleton), and a Cartier Caliber diving watch. First on the list is the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire, a creative implementation of the perpetual calendar via the Caliber 9459 MC, designed in-house by Cartier.
The timepiece features a 45mm x 15.7mm platinum case, with a concentric perpetual calendar, marked by blue brackets, wherein the day/date/month is displayed by means of rotating aperture. The leap year indicator is on the back of the watch on one of the movement bridges. At the center is a flying tourbillon with the Cartier “C”.
The calendar functions are set via the crown except for the day which is advanced by a pusher in the case. According to Cartier’s head of fine watchmaking, Carole Forestier-Kasapi, this is because day and date can never be synchronized and need separate mechanisms. In this movement, it is driven by a star wheel and can be manipulated by a secure corrector at two o’clock. By replacing spring-and-lever system with an innovative wheel driven system, the movement yields a whopping 80 per cent gain in chronometric stability.
The Rotonde de Cartier AstroCalendaire bears the prestigious Poinçon de Genève and both its movement and case are individually numbered. With a 50-hour power reserve, this timepiece is limited to only 100 pieces and retails for around €150,000 or $200,000 apiece.