108 Good Heavens
With a new dial in polished meteorite, the Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon is going to rock your world
The Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon rocks with a new polished meteorite dial
Contrary to popular belief, meteor showers are not rare events. Depending on one’s exact location on the planet, it is possible to spot several shooting stars in an hour. The reason why more people never get to see one is usually light pollution – a consequence of city-dwelling – and the reason why meteorites are not as abundant as the showers that herald them is they usually disintegrate upon arrival in our atmosphere.
When cut and polished, meteorites show off a structure so cold and hauntingly beautiful that it can be hard to believe that they had once been flaming balls of fire. Harnessing this innate charm, Cartier unveiled the new Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon, extending the watch’s range beyond the inaugural lapis lazuli version introduced in 2014.
Solid, cerulean lapis lazuli with flecks of white did well to highlight the celestial connection, but who’s to say that meteorite couldn’t do a better job? It is, after all, a material that hails directly from the heavens above. And where the introductory model set pristine, polished platinum against rich blue lapis lazuli, this new addition opts for a monochromatic colour palette that allows the blued steel, sword-shaped hands to stand out, pairing harmoniously with the blue sapphire cabochon set into the crown.
Cased in pink gold, this timepiece is a perfect candidate for posh dinner parties. Its mechanics remain the same thanks to the in-house manufactured Cartier Calibre 9440 MC, but for those who haven’t yet met this alluring timepiece, a delightful surprise awaits. Check out the two push-pieces flanking the crown – the one at two o’clock advances the 24-hour second time zone ring, which is coordinated with the main hours and minutes (local time), while the one at four o’clock animates the dial as it sets a circular paddle in motion.
When pressed, this paddle swings out from under the Roman numeral “four” to cover the tourbillon either fully or partially depending on the phase of the moon. If the paddle covers the tourbillon completely, this means there is a new moon, and if the paddle does not cover the tourbillon at all, a full moon is on display. The paddle can also cover only parts of the tourbillon to depict a waxing or waning moon. Releasing the push-piece sends the paddle back into hiding. Needing adjustment just once every 126 years, this on-demand moon phase display is a patent of the maison Cartier.
Thus, “Earth” in this watch refers to the second time zone while “Moon” refers to the moon phase display, and both functions are represented by polished meteorite. Due to the organic nature of the stone, every watch is slightly different even though all of them exhibit irregular patterns known as Thomson structures. Also new here is the fully skeletonised architecture revealing more of the internal mechanism than before, which only revealed the movement through the exhibition case back. With only 15 numbered pieces made, the Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon is as rare as the meteorites used to make its dial. MOVEMENT Manual-winding Calibre 9440 MC with tourbillon, second time zone, moon phase on demand, and approximately threeday power reserve
CASE 47mm in pink gold, water resistant to 30m
STRAP Brown alligator leather with pink gold double adjustable folding clasp
PRICE Upon request