Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Cartier’s ultra-complicated models, such as this year’s Grand Complication, have garnered much of the watch industry spotlight in recent years, but not to be overlooked is the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, introduced at SIHH 2013, the first timepiece in the Rotonde de Cartier family to combine these two popular complications.

The watch, which comes in a 42-mm-diameter case of rose gold (pictured) or white gold, is powered by Cartier’s automatic manufacture caliber 9423 MC, which includes a new, in-house, dial-side module for the perpetual calendar functions. The calendar mechanism, which is designed to compensate for the irregularities of the Gregorian calendar, such as 30- and 31-day months and leap years, is a complex system of snails and cams that has at its heart a wheel that completes one revolution every four years. The wheel has 48 indentations of various depths on its circumference that indicate, via a feeler, the length of the current month (30, 31, 28, or 29 days). A retrograde hand, mounted on the dial at 6 o’clock, indicates the days of the week, and another center-mounted hand indicates the date by pointing at the numerals 1 through 31 along the edge of the dial. All the calendar displays are easily controlled — and, if necessary, reset — by quick-correction pushers in the case middle. (Click on photos for larger images.)

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier QP Chrono- front

The Perpetual calendar Chronograph is built on the base movement (Caliber 1904-CH MC) of Cartier’s existing Calibre de Chronograph watch and includes all of its functions, including a skeletonized rotor and two barrels that provide the watch a power reserve of 48 hours. The movement also incorporates an in-line, flexible lever that reduces stress on the bearings of the hand shafts when the chronograph counters are reset to zero. It also boasts the latest generation of vertical clutch, which helps the chronograph to start with no hand jump and to run continuously without affecting the torque.

The dial features openworked areas and guilloché and sunray patterns, both Roman and Arabic numerals, and sword-shaped (for the hours and minutes) and hammer-shaped (for the date and day) hands in blued steel. The caseback features a sapphire window offering a view of the movement. The beaded gold crown is accented by a sapphire cabochon. The watch comes on a black or brown alligator strap with a gold double-adjustable folding clasp. The rose gold model is priced at $74,000, the white gold at $79,000.

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier QP Chrono - back

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier QP Chrono - angle

This article was originally published on March 22, 2013, and has been updated.


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  1. MrTissot

    Hi Wes,

    Sorry, forgot to add that the cabochon would definitely look better on the white gold model

  2. I have a few comments regarding the design of this model. Firstly, why did they place the word Cartier in a position where it will be permanently partially obscured by the day if the month hand? Couldn’t they have placed it below the centre point of the hand where there is vacant space? The logo looks needlessly crammed up the top of that sub dial. Secondly on a face as crowded as this one, why bother with squeezing in Roman numerals? Single markers would have looked nicer and given more symmetry and balance to the dial without reducing legibility. Thirdly, I know Cartier is very partial to cabochon crowns but I’m not sure the sapphire is a good match with the browns. Solid gold may have looked better.

    • MrTissot

      Hi Wes,

      I agree with you 100% with regards to the placing of the company name. Having it at the bottom of the 6 o’clock sub-dial would have made much more sense and also given the dial a more balanced appeal. It would have also been quite rare and unique to have the company name so low on the dial. Who knows? Maybe this is why Cartier did not want to do it. Or is it a very silly oversight? IMHO it would lose my sale. Having the company name PERMANENTLY obscured any any way at all is a no-no! Hard to tell from the pics but it does seem silly that two letters of the Cartier name will probably be obscured most days except on the Thursday when the pointer is ninety degrees to the company name. I’m already guessing that Cartier will correct this in their next model as I believe we have strong valid points. Just imagine if this watch suffered from poor sales. It could become rare and sought after, bumping up the prices. In regards to the Roman numerals; well I don’t think it is so bad. There are many other watches that have done this much more miserably. In regards to the cabochon; well that’s just a Cartier trait and that’s just Cartier wanting whoever sees it to know it’s a Cartier watch.

    • I fully agree. Overall this piece makes no sense to me as it lacks design and beauty.

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