A COM­PLEX ENIGMA

The Peak Selections: Timepieces - - The Brief / A - List -

Pow­ered by a move­ment that seem­ingly floats in midair, the Ro­tonde de Cartier Astromys­terieux takes in­spi­ra­tion from Cartier’s vin­tage mys­tery clocks. But in­stead of just mys­te­ri­ous hour and minute hands, the en­tire move­ment of the Astromys­terieux seems com­pletely un­con­nected to the case.

Nearly all the mov­ing parts of this novel move­ment – and the minute hand – are mounted on a bridge that ro­tates once an hour: The move­ment lit­er­ally tells the time.

The se­cret lies in four clear sap­phire discs in­side the watch. Three carry the move­ment, hour hand and wind­ing mech­a­nism re­spec­tively, while the last disc is fixed.

They are trans­par­ent and toothed on their edges, con­nect­ing to gears hid­den un­der­neath the chap­ter ring (which bears the nu­mer­als) of the dial and, hence, seem to move in­vis­i­bly.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, it takes a lot to keep up the il­lu­sion that dis­tin­guishes this 43.5mm pal­la­dium time­piece. For in­stance, 188 ball bear­ings are needed to keep things run­ning smoothly be­cause of the move­ment’s large num­ber of com­plex mov­ing parts.

But, of course, it’s all worth it.

Cartier Ro­tonde de Cartier Astromys­terieux, price upon re­quest

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