A COMPLEX ENIGMA
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