Imagine a watch with a tourbillon frame suspended in the air, without any connection to other parts. When the tourbillon frame starts its second rotation every 5 minutes a week, this magical visual experience is finally achieved. This dual mysterious floating tourbillon watch not only combines Cartier’s bold creativity and watchmaking expertise, but also embodies the essence of the brand’s mysterious timepiece creation for more than a century.
When magic turns into technology
Behind the simple and elegant appearance hides incredible complex machinery. The biggest highlight of this Rotonde de Cartier watch is the innovative mechanical structure called ‘double mystery’. The watchmaker at the Cartier Workshop must show endless originality and flexibility in order to maximize the materials and movement and create a series of dazzling dynamic miracles. When performing tricks, magicians need to divert the audience’s attention and convince them of the visual illusions and supernatural powers they create. In the Rotonde double mysterious tourbillon watch, the designer team draws inspiration from the creativity of Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, the father of modern magic, to create a suspended vision feast.
Experts in the watchmaking industry know that the tourbillon device in the vertical position rotates at a predetermined frequency through its frame, and the average azimuth error (by passing through each point of the circle in a given time), thereby reducing the gravity to the balance (Governing mechanism). This exquisite device is placed in the center of the Rotonde double mysterious tourbillon watch, which seems to get rid of the law of gravity, giving people the impression of being unsupported and suspended in the air. At the same time, the tourbillon frame completes one rotation per minute and complete rotation in its space every 5 minutes, completely released from the constraints of gravity.
Hide invisible mysteries
The watchmaker at the Cartier Workshop uses an anti-glare sapphire crystal wafer disc and excavates a hole of the same size as the tourbillon to perfectly create the illusion that the tourbillon frame is suspended. In order to realize this illusion, they made the disc supporting the frame in a rotating state, and then set the minute wheel driving the vibrator on a rotating shaft, which was used to limit the inherent ‘resistance torque’ of the mechanism supporting the tourbillon, and thus succeeded. The power is transmitted to the tourbillon, and the entire device can complete a suspended rotation every 5 minutes. Therefore, while the tourbillon rotates every 5 minutes in a transparent open space, its frame performs 5 complete rotations. The secret to achieving this is to place a set of racks on the edge of the sapphire crystal wafer disc, connecting the disc to a large gear that runs once every 5 minutes.
Challenge the law of gravity
9454 MC double mysterious tourbillon movement is the result of Cartier’s long-term research and development. For example, determining the speed of each moving part requires countless calculations. To minimize energy consumption, the tourbillon frame completes a complete rotation in its specific space every 5 minutes, which is 25 times less energy than a revolution per minute. In order to improve the efficiency of this mobile device, the weight of each component of the movement is minimized, so as to better control the inertia of the rotating components including the disc and the titanium tourbillon frame. Although the weight of the ‘floating’ frame has been reduced to a minimum (0.28 g), in order to offset the weight of the speed governing mechanism and the frame, a part of the round frame for meshing the gear is made of gold and is installed opposite the tourbillon. Position to equalize weight on both sides, creating a dynamic balance effect.
ROTONDE TOURBILLON MYSTERIEUX
Diameter: 45 mm.
Crown: Platinum bead-shaped crown set with a convex round sapphire.
Table mirror: sapphire crystal.
Case back: sapphire crystal transparent case back.
Water resistance: 30 meters / 100 feet / 3 bar.
Dial: dark gray electroplated dial, silver-plated hollow grille, with sunray radiation effect, black transfer Roman numerals.
Hands: Sword-shaped blue steel hands.
Strap: black alligator leather strap.
Buckle: 18K white gold folding buckle.
Movement: Cartier 9454 MC workshop refined manual winding mechanical movement, engraved with ‘Geneva Quality Mark’, equipped with dual mysterious tourbillon.
Movement diameter: 35 mm.
Total movement diameter: 35.5 mm.
Movement thickness: 5 mm.
Number of ruby bearings: 25.
Number of movement parts: 242.
Balance frequency: 21,600 times per hour.
Power reserve: 52 hours.