Jan 24, 2014

Introducing The Rotonde de Cartier Earth And Moon, A Tourbillon With On-Demand Moonphase Display (Live Pics, Details, & Pricing)

Over the last few years, Cartier's Fine Watchmaking department has...


Over the last few years, Cartier's Fine Watchmaking department has been consistently pushing out some of the most creative and technically impressive haute horology around. Just a few weeks ago we showed you the new Astrocalendaire and today we've got another stunner for you. The Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon uses its tourbillon and a moving Lapis Lazuli disc to display the phase of the moon on demand and there is a second timezone display as well. The Earth and Moon is as much a mechanical sculpture as it is a timekeeper and here we've got all the details.

The Earth and Moon is not a subtle watch – far from it. The platinum case comes in at 47mm across and 16.65mm thick, with robust arching lugs. The dial is bright blue lapis lazuli with a white gold Roman numeral grid over the top that also features a map of the earth at the center. The bright blued steel sword hands match the dial nicely and below all of this is a tourbillon. The finishing on the dial and case, from the brushing to the polishing to the beveling is nicer than what you'll find on most high-end movements. Cartier really hasn't pulled any punches here.


What makes this watch special though is a little Lapis disc that you can see peeking out from behind the "IIII." This disc can be deployed with the pusher at 4 o'clock, brining it down to partially cover the tourbillon. This displays the current phase of the moon, with the still-revealed part of the tourbillon representing the shining moon. The new calibre 9440 MC tracks the moonphase in the background and only displays it when you want it. Otherwise you can just admire the tourbillon in its entirety. 


That other pusher at 2 o'clock is for adjusting the second timezone indicator, which is an hours disc floating around the main time display. This gives you a second timezone readout in a simple display that is there when you need it and unobtrusive when you don't. That it's easy to adjust only adds to the convenience.


Turning the Earth and Moon over reveals the absolutely incredible calibre 9440 MC. Anyone who has doubts about Cartier's watchmaking ability and how seriously the maison takes its watchmaking will be shut up instantly. The sheer variety of finishes, all well executed I might add, is overwhelming. The starburst effect of the skeletonizing really fits the theme of this watch and helps make this a movement you can get lost in. There are 362 total components, including 40 jewels, and the manually-wound power reserve can store approximately three days worth of energy. 


Is the Earth and Moon a watch that everyone is going to want to wear? Probably not. But if you love watchmaking, including the intellectual pursuit, the mechanical complexity, and the artisan crafts associated with high watchmaking, you're going to be impressed by this watch. 

Only 50 numbered pieces will be made, all in platinum and priced at $271,000, with an additional 10 pieces being offered with baguette diamond set bezels at $665,000. For more, visit Cartier.













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tagged cartier, sihh 2014