SIHH 2012: Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon
For the uninitiated, a ‘minute repeater’ is a complication that allows time to be represented by soft chimes. The concept is believed to be an English one, often used in fine pocket watches from the late 17th Century. Releasing the movement at, let’s say, six thirty-five, would elicit six mellifluous peals for the hour, two slightly different notes for the quarters and five sharper strikes for the remaining minutes.
Cartier has achieved this having spent five years researching harmonics and the tonal sounds of different case materials and striking hammers. The 45mm diameter of the case was the optimum for the most perfect tone, for example, as the company found that the loudest sound came from low weight (hence titanium for half the production, rose gold is an alternative) and large diameter. The striking hammers can be viewed through a semi-skeletonised face.
Powering the watch is a Cartier 9402 MC movement, comprising 447 parts and 47 jewels, and the tourbillon ensures the most perfect timekeeping whatever the angle of the watch. For special customers, the watch can be set with baguette-cut diamonds.