It’s been a superb week for Cartier — of course it was the announcement of the Cartier ID Two “High Efficiency” Concept Watch which received the eruption of coverage from the blogosphere — but oft-overlooked was another new watch also announced by Cartier this week — the Cartier Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal Watch. Perpetuelle, of course, is here to give you the first look. Of note, this watch was born from the Cartier ID One Concept Watch which was announced in 2009. Concept watches such as Cartier ID One and Cartier ID Two — results of Cartier’s ID Program (Innovation and Development), were never meant to be marketed despite the years of research and all the investment that went into making them. Rather, their role is to express a vision of the future and point the way to future goals for Cartier. And like most concept programs, the innovations born there may in whole or in part one day become a reality. Such is the case with the Cartier Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal Watch.
Cartier’s new Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal watch is simply gorgeous, both in form and function. The piece uses some of the technological solutions tried and tested in Cartier ID One: the niobium-titanium case, carbon crystal components, and the adjustment-free and lubrication-free pallet and escapement wheel. On top of this, the watch is also based upon Cartier’s rethought the concept of the tourbillon that is the “Astrotourbillon” (see: Cartier Calibre de Cartier Astrotourbillon) — a carriage with its axis of rotation at the center of the movement; the off-center balance wheel bridge is designed as an arrow and turns once round the dial every minute, pointing out the seconds. Although this watch is “production”, it will still carry a six-figure price tag (the white gold Astrotourbillon Ref. CRW1556204 was priced at $133,000). Coming in 2013.
Thus we see the Cartier ID Program bears the fruit which was intended: from a one-off concept watch to a production piece!
Cartier Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal Watch (VIDEO)
Cartier Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal Watch
47mm titanium+niobium case in the “rotonde de Cartier” style
hand-wound mechanical manufacture Cartier Caliber 9460 MC (50 hours power reserve; 3Hz frequency), other features depicted below
adjustment-free, lubricaton-free tourbillon escapement, carbon crystal tourbillon bridges
carbon crystal anchor and escape wheel
escapement pivots in tungsten carbide: