Cartier likes to create show stopping haute horlogerie pieces, and headlining this year’s offerings at SIHH 2014 was a perpetual calendar tourbillon known as the ‘Astrocalendaire’. Housing a variant of the in-house automatic Calibre 9459 MC, this complication comes in a 45mm x 15.7mm platinum case.
The day, date, and month are displayed via three concentric levels of rotating apertures. The leap year indicator is placed on a movement bridge, on the back, with a blued hand indicator.
The flying tourbillon, with the Cartier “C”, is placed in the middle, which will appeal to those with a preference for visual symmetry. The relevant part of each of the calendar displays are highlighted by blue brackets, which makes them quick and easy to identify. The calendar functions themselves are set via the crown, with the exception of the day, for which there is a pusher. The calendar functions can be corrected both forwards and backwards, which isn’t always the case with perpetuals.
The Astrocalendaire’s dial is wonderfully easy to read. There are no sub dials to look at, and you can see everything at a quick glance. A very attractive functional timepiece with a good solid feeling to it; you don’t feel as though you have to be overly precious about wearing this piece.
The Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire watch is certified “Poinçon de Genève”, its movement assembled and adjusted in the new Cartier Fine Watchmaking workshops upstairs in the Cartier boutique on the rue de Rhône.
It will come in a limited edition of a hundred pieces and priced at 150,000 EUR.