SIHH 2015: Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication

Cartier Grande Complication thumb 150Cartier’s headliner at SIHH 2015 was a new ultra-thin grand complication that showcases the brand’s technical watchmaking prowess. The Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication has an automatic movement measuring just 5.49 mm in height. Its three major complications are visible on the skeletonized dial: a flying tourbillon, perpetual calendar, and minute repeater. These functions, coupled with its ultra-thin skeletonized form, make it the most complex Cartier timepiece to date.

All of the watch’s inner workings can be seen through the skeletonized dial. The subdials are framed in an openworked white-gold lattice. Most prominent are the displays for the perpetual calendar: subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock tell the day and date, respectively. A smaller subdial at 6 o’clock has two hands to show both the month and the leap year (signaled by a small L on the interior of the dial). All hands are made of blued steel. Centered hands for hours and minutes point towards the minimalist track at the edge of the dial.

Cartier Grande Complication soldier 560

At the top of the dial is the flying tourbillon, fully visible without a bridge. Its cage is made of titanium in order to be extra lightweight. The bottom of the dial showcases the minute repeater, with hammers and gongs on display thanks to the openwork. The repeater function has an inertia-free fly wheel.

Cartier Grande Complication Perp Cal Minute Repeater CU 560

The case, 45 mm wide, is made of platinum. The total thickness is a spare 12.6 mm. The crown, with its beaded ring for improved grip, is also in platinum, and has the characteristic Cartier sapphire cabochon. The watch has a sapphire crystal caseback as well.

The watch features Cartier’s 9406 MC caliber. This self-winding movement is 39.3 mm in diameter. It has a 3-Hz frequency and runs in 47 jewels. In total, the movement has 578 components. Its power reserve is 50 hours. The movement is wound by an off-center micro-rotor, which can be seen turning through the skeletonized dial. The micro-rotor is in platinum; engraved with the Cartier name, it features both guilloché and Geneva wave finishing.

Cartier Grande Complication Movement Verso 560

For the quality of its craftsmanship, the Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication has received the Poinçon de Genève. The hallmark is visible through the caseback, just below the rotor. Cartier says that the watch took 5 years to develop. Just making the watch is a process requiring nearly 8 months: 15 weeks are spent on producing the components, 10 weeks for decorating and finishing, and 5 more weeks for assembly.

The watch is water resistant to 30 meters. It comes on a black alligator strap with an adjustable double folding clasp in white gold.

Cartier Grande Complication Dial CU 560

For more images of the Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication, see the following page.


Cartier Grande Complication 3-Quarter 560
Cartier Grande Complication Back 560
Cartier Grande Complication Movement Recto 560
Cartier Grande Complication Micro Rotor CU 560


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