The Cartier dive watch is here: the Calibre de Cartier diver. Well, almost here — coming in 2014! But here’s your first look at a new piece for Cartier, one of four new pieces I am previewing today. I must say the Calibre de Cartier design works very well as an ISO 6425 diver’s watch. This watch is rated to a robust 1,000 feet water resistance, with unidirectional DLC-coated bezel, lumed indices and small seconds chapter ring. The 42mm steel case has a nice mix of brushed and polished surfaces (The watch will also be offered in a pink gold case). And at 11mm thick, it’s safe to say this watch will retain a bit of elegance as well. Still, I’m not a big fan of the tri-date window. Not a limited edition by any means, the Calibre de Cartier diver will price at 5500 EUR on rubber (about $7,500), 6000 on metal (about $8,250) and will surely be a big seller for Cartier.
The automatic mechanical caliber 1904 MC is not visible.
First look…lapis lazuli dial + moon phase “on demand”…
As I mentioned minutes ago, here is one of the new 2014 pieces from Cartier: the Earth Moon. Like the Astrocalendaire, this piece is cased in platinum (47mm). The watch has a unique “on demand” moonphase shown by way of a moving stone lapis lazuli disc positioned over tourbillon aperture. That is, by pressing a pusher on the case, the disc descends over the tourbillon such that it reproduces the proper crescent moon in the sky (lapis luzili the dark/shadow, the remaining tourbillon, the white/visible portion of the moon). You can see that the rest of the dial is also lapis lazuli. There is also a second time zone indication, set via a second pusher at four o’clock.
This creative concept reportedly came from Cartier’s head of technical development Carole Forestier with execution by none other than Renaud & Papi (a group that Cartier works with often for its high complications). The back of the movement (Calibre 9440 MC) is equally beautiful — openworked and nicely finished:
Only 50 pieces of the Rotonde de Cartier Earth Moon will be made, priced at 200,000 EUR or about $275,000 apiece.
First Look…concentric perpetual calendar in platinum case…
Just hours ago Cartier unveiled four watches that will debut in 2014: the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire (perpetual calendar tourbillon), Rotonde de Cartier Earth Moon (an unusual moonphase design), the Tank MC Two Tone Skeleton (a new version of the Santos 100 skeleton), and a Cartier Calibre diving watch (!). Of course I’ll treat you to a first look at all four of them, starting with this Astrocalendar, a creative implementation of the perpetual calendar via the Caliber 9459 MC (designed by Renaud & Papi).
The Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire has a 45mm x 15.7mm platinum case, with a concentric perpetual calendar, you might say: the day/date/month displayed by means of rotating apertures which are slightly stepped, as you can see in the below photo. The leap year indicator is on the back of the watch on one of the movement bridges. At the center of it all is a flying tourbillon with the Cartier “C”. Each of the perpetual calendar displays are marked by blue brackets. The calendar functions are conveniently set via the crown except for the day which is advanced by a pusher in the case.
Only 100 pieces will be made, and will price at 150,000 EUR, or about $200,000 apiece.
More to come! All my SIHH 2014 Preview, HERE>>>
A few of my favorite things…
I’m not big on “top 10″ lists and the like, but if you are still looking for gift ideas for someone, I will throw out a few suggestions that I’ve curated through my experiences over the years. With the exception of the Vacheron Calibre 1731 book, I’ve read and/or tried all these items hands-on and can vouch for their beauty, elegance, and/or WOW-ness and know that they would likely be well received by any watch enthusiast.
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Below is a nice video walk-through of HYT’s fluid-time technology which, among other details, uses a liquid-filled capillary and bellows. I’ve also included some photos of HYT watches that I took at Baselworld 2013 earlier this year.
Bringing such unconventional timekeeping technology to market has not been easy for HYT but they have a solid product – functionally and aesthetically – that they continue to improve upon. Keep in mind that this is still a small-scale technology — HYT is shipping around 40 watches per month. As I see it, the opportunity is substantial if larger scale production (and lower price points — current models sell around $45,000 – $50,000) can be brought to bear on their fluid-timekeeping methods.
Super-cool watches, no doubt!
First Look…Piaget merges case with caliber for record setting thinness of 3.65mm…
In 2014 Piaget will celebrate its 140th anniversary with a new record in ultra-thin mechanical watchmaking: the Altiplano 38 mm 900P. Simply said, this is a WOW watch – all 3.65mm of it! While clearly geared towards cutting-edge innovation, it is also a nod to history, since it gets the 900P part of its name from Calibre 9P, which was the first ultra-thin hand-wound movement made by Piaget in 1957. In a fascinating bit of engineering, the watch case and watch movement have become one as Piaget has seemingly shaved every last hundredth of a millimeter from the total depth of the watch. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Last week I received an update from Thomas Carey’s Minuteman watches last week and wanted to pass along the highlights. Please do read my prior articles on the Minuteman effort (2012 and 2013) if this is the first you’ve heard of it and want to get the full context of what this startup brand stands for. Most importantly, the genesis of this whole project was Carey’s desire to do something to support U.S. military veterans and to support job creation here in the USA. The project has not been an easy undertaking but he is persisting and I continue to wish him well in his effort. If you’d like to support this cause, please pre-order now as the pre-sale discount pricing ends on Dec 31, 2013. You can keep up on MM news here as well. Anyway, below are some of the notable points from the update I received.
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One of three new models that Glashutte, Germany-based A. Lange & Söhne will unveil in 2014, the Grand Lange 1 is getting a moon phase indicator. The new Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase is a refined looking watch cased in pink, yellow or platinum (with matching hand & numeral appliques) that measures a slender 41mm x 9.5mm. The moon phase is integrated with the hour/minute sub-dial for a nice look. The question (decision?) for A. Lange aficionados, however, is this — the 41mm Grand Lange 1 show here, or the 38.5mm Lange 1 Moon Phase with moon display on the seconds subsidiary dial? It is a matter of preference, sure to be highly debated. But for now, get your close-up looks at this new Grand Lange 1, below.
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First Look…pink gold case and chocolate-toned dial…
For 2014 Jaeger-LeCoultre will again draw inspiration from its archives and add this chocolate-toned beauty to its Grand Reverso Ultra Thin collection. This watch makes a trilogy of colors in as many years — it follows the Grande Reverso Rouge with a deep red dial (2012) and last year’s Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Blue.
A closer look below
A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of joining the owner and head watch designer from Armin Strom SA at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Austin, TX. We dropped into Team Marussia’s hospitality suite in the prestigious Formula One Paddock Club for the Friday practice session which afforded many great looks at the cars coming in and out of the pits all day. And of course, plenty of quality time with Armin Strom’s latest watches. And there was also a superb tour down into the garage Team Marussia (Armin Strom is one of the sponsors of the team) for a rare behind-the-scenes look at how the teams operation. Yes, it was a phenomenal day. Below are the photo highlights (LOTS of pics!) along with some video I shot. Enjoy.
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