The mystery clock concept dates back well before 1913 and introduced a clock which appears to have floating hands at the center of a translucent dial. The mystery being what drives the hands since no gear train is visible. Only a horological expert could provide the answer to the mystery clocks, and of course it all lies in concealment. Cartier introduced their mystery clocks around 1913 and the brand has continued to inspire and astound around the globe with each new mysterious watch.
Unlike other clocks there is no central canon pinion driving these hands, but instead these are fixed upon two large sapphire discs, and the discs are driven by invisible teeth that are powered by hidden gears. While the concept is simple, the concealment is quite the mystery. The watches are designed with this same foundation, but reduced dimensions which make it so much more impressive. The brand has not only created some amazing timepieces with this concept but they continue to set the bar higher with each new piece.
Cartier has become the brand that is a go to for mysterious timepieces. So for 2018 the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day and Night Watch, as well as the Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch has graced their presence in the arena. The brand calibre 9982MC powers the day and night timepiece and while it is a time only watch, it is impressive and has tremendous character. The timepiece is laid out with the lower portion of the dial devoted to the minutes and a hand that resets to zero every hour. The upper portion of the dial displays 6 to 12 to 6 and provides the lead for the mystery hand to indicate. In the central sector of the timepiece a large aperture is cut and a sapphire disc set with both moon and sun indicators that rotate once every 24 hour period, indicating the passing time and day/night. The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Watches feature a 40mm 18k pink gold or white gold case, the trademark sapphire cabochon and a brown radiating guilloche dial with blued steel minute hand. The timepiece has a power reserve of 48 hours.
In 2013 the Mysterious Double Tourbillon was presented, but now in 2018 we have the exquisite timepiece with skeletonization. The watch unlike the earlier clocks have the regulatory organ suspended in the air, a flying tourbillon sitting on a sapphire disc, and then propelled by the gears which are somewhat hidden by the skeletonized framework, which in those timepiece double as a radial roman numerals. The rotating tourbillon moves around the mounted fixed wheel once every five minutes and around its own axis once every minute, which establishes the double rotation which qualifies this as a double tourbillon. Available in a platinum 45mm case, with sapphire cabochon, blued hands and a power reserve of 52 hours.
Cartier is not a mystery to anyone who appreciates excellence. These new timepieces are just another step in the creation that exceeds the previous collections. The future might be a mystery to some, but to this brand it is merely another challenge.