Last week saw two big announcements from Cartier — first, the Cartier ID Two High Efficiency Concept Watch and the second, the Cartier Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal Watch. The Cartier Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal was the first production watch resulting from the first Cartier’s ID (Innovation and Development) Program, specifically based on the Cartier ID One Concept Watch. Of the many things to appreciate about these watches, the “carbon crystal” components — oscillator, anchor, escape wheel and tourbillon bridges (pictured below) — really got me thinking this time around. Stepping back to ponder the term, I (and others) couldn’t help but wonder, well, what exactly does “carbon crystal” mean? Wanting for details (and likewise amused by conjecture from other media — for example that the phrase was a “really fancy” marketing term), I decided to get some clarity (crystal clarity, you might say) from those in the know. Cartier was of course very helpful in satisfying my curiosity and helping to more clearly answer the question: “What is Carbon Crystal?” So, in case you were wondering, now you know…
What is (Cartier) Carbon Crystal?
1. Carbon Crystal is the official name for synthetic diamond.
2. The carbon crystal has exactly the same properties as the natural diamond.
3. The carbon crystal is the same hardness as diamond it is to say 10,000 vickers
4. The molecular structure of the Carbon Crystal is “FCC”: face-centered cubic.
5. Cartier chose to use the term “Carbon Crystal” in order to avoid any confusion with real diamond.