The Rotonde de Cartier is one of the newer models (or better to say not vintage models) in the Cartier collection and dates back to 2006, when Cartier introduced this new mens model, as a ‘Time Only’ with Grande date.
At the time it was introduced, the collection needed a universal case for the men’s collection.
Something that was not too eye catching, less outspoken, discreet and masculine looking, a case that would also appeal to the more formal or business dressed man and a case that would fit complicated movements. The Rotonde was the answer. A smooth, slick pretty flat round case, that works well in different sizes and that could handle all kinds of movements, from a simple time only, to complicated tourbillons or perpetual calendars. But that’s something we only found out recently. Back in 2006 we had no idea where this design, would be going to. The Rotonde collection started with the first two watches, mentioned here and has become a collection of about 25 different watches now, plus the various Rotonde models from the limited edition ‘Art series’. Most watches were added to the collection during the last three years, when Cartier presented one complication after another and almost everyone, with a new In House developed caliber.
Let’s picture some of the very early and some of the newer Rotonde watches.
– ROTONDE GRANDE DATE –
So this is the ‘Rotonde Grande date’ that was the first watch launched in the new Rotonde case, that came out in 2006. Sleek business watch with Grande Date, 42mm Case available in white- or pink gold and a mechanical hand wound 9602 caliber. It was quite a different look for Cartier and for the first time La Maison presented a watch in a case that was definitely created with for their men’s clientele in mind. The watch has also been available in a 35mm case, which looked very handsome too, but both sizes are not available anymore.
The Rotonde Day & Night became one of my favorite Rotonde watches. White- or pink gold 42mm case and mechanical hand wound 9903 MC caliber. This model was produced in 2006 also but in a small number, less than 200 pieces in each colour and is also sold out now.
Now a days in early 2013, there are many different models to choose from the current collection, from the more simple dress watches to very complicated pieces, like tourbillons or a minute repeater, or less complicated like the Jour et Nuit or a chronographe and all of them are available in the current line up.
– ROTONDE de CARTIER MYSTERIOUS WATCHES –
Very eye catching models and top in Fine Watch Making, are of course the new ‘Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours Watch’ and the ‘Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch’. Both watches were, without any doubt, the high light of this years SIHH presentation. We have discussed these models earlier, you can find the link HERE, so I leave it for now and just post these two pictures. Look out for the upcoming issues of Revolution Magazine, that will hit the shelves very soon now, since there will be extended and technical articles about the Mysterieuse watches.
– ROTONDE 8 DAYS –
Superb dress watch with mechanical movement Caliber 9910MC and a 42mm case. The asymmetrical dial, to me, looks so different and stunning. It’s actually something Cartier also did with the Ballon bleu Chronograph and it made that watch, a chronograph with unusual and impeccable looks.
– ROTONDE JOUR et NUIT, TWO TIME ZONE –
An important watch in the Mainstream Collection of 2012, is the ‘Rotonde de Cartier Large Date Two Time Zone’ in pink gold! Really cool 42mm ‘Rotonde de Cartier’ model with the 8011MC automatic caliber. Classic guilloche dial, with a hand for the 24 hour indication, grande date and ‘Day & Night’ indication. The movement is the automatic 8011 MC, a reworked JLC caliber, that Cartier also uses for the ‘Pasha de Cartier, Large Date Two Time Zone’.
Please note that the date window has changed, from a square to a round window, since the watch was introduced at the SIHH and this picture was taken, which is in my opinion, a very nice improvement! So this one is the final version.
– ROTONDE QUANTIEME PERPETUAL CALENDAR –
Perpetual Calendar with In House with 9422 MC In House mechanical caliber.
The watch is available in a 45mm case in white- or pink gold.
– ROTONDE MINUTE REPEATER TOURBILLON –
It’s actually since quite some time that Cartier is presenting again a Minute repeater and this time it’s in combination with a flying tourbillon. The new developed in house movement calibre 9402 MC, Geneva Seal, is housed in a 45mm Rotonde case, with a sapphire glass bottom. Extremely smart looking watch, with a fantastic wrist presence. Sure 451mm quite a watch, but the Rotonde case fits also a smaller wrist very good.
During a presentation, Carole Forestier-Kasapi explained, and showed us the difference between the various materials that could be used for the case. When one decides for a high end watch like a minute repeater, the obvious choice for the case, is quite often platinum, but we learned during her presentation, that actually for the tone intensity, this is not the best option. Yellow gold sounds much better than white gold, but titanium sounds best of all! Amazing to hear the difference in a room full with people. Cartier decided to use a push button, which is not common for minute repeaters at all, but otherwise the case would have been thicker.
– ROTONDE TOURBILLON CADRAN LOVÉ –
Cartier Cadran Lové Flying Tourbillon A large Flying Tourbillon watch in a Rotonde case of 46mm and as we are used from Cartier the crown is set with a cabochon sapphire, the crystal is sapphire and the double adjustable deployant buckle is in 18 carat grey gold. The movement is the in house developped, Calibre 9458 MC flying tourbillon, Geneva Seal, we know from the Pasha Crocodile Flying Tourbillon, that was presented last year. You remember that stunning ladies watch with the Crocodile set in diamonds on the dial. This Cartier Cadran Lové Flying Tourbillon, is actually the mens version of the ‘Tourbillon et Crocodile watch’, the two form a stunning couple. Both share the same movement and have a same dial layout. The Cartier Cadran Lové Flying Tourbillon, is also a limited edition of only 100 pieces and was officially presented in Geneva in 2012.
Some tech. specs.: movement: Manufacture mechanical movement, manual-winding, diameter: 17 ½ lines (39 mm), thickness: 5.58 mm, number of jewels: 19, number of parts: 167, balance: 21,600 vibrations/hour, power reserve: Approx. 50 hours and of course an individually numbered movement.
– ROTONDE ANNUAL CALENDAR –
Handsome looking annual calendar with grande date and automatic In House Caliber 9908 MC, based on the 1904 Caliber. All corrections via the crown, one per year only.
– ROTONDE TOURBILLON 40mm –
Cartiers famous flying tourbillon caliber 9552MC, finally housed in a smaller Rotonde case! For me a winner, because it’s so discreet and wearable in a daily office situation. With a case size of 40mm it is currently the smallest Rotonde and Cartier’s smallest tourbillon!
Ref. nr. W1556215 pink gold
Ref. nr. W1556216 white gold
– ROTONDE ASTRO REGULATEUR –
The Rotonde Astrorégulateur is being produced in a limited edition of just 50 pc. and powered with the 9800MC mechanical caliber. This movement is a new highly original caliber that compensates for the effects of gravity, on the timing mechanism in vertical positions. The object of four patent applications, this movement is the fruit of five years of development within, the Cartier Manufacture, in La Chaud-de-Fonds, where it was designed, developed, produced and assembled!
The Rotonde Astrorégulateur, Grand Complication timepiece testifies to Cartier’s deep-felt commitment, to fine watchmaking.
– ROTONDE SKELETON FLYING TOURBILLON –
Cartier’s skeleton Flying Tourbillon was first presented in 2010 in white gold and sold out pretty fast. The year after the watch was shown at the SIHH in pink gold, which gave it a rich look. Both versions are limited editions of just 100 pieces. In House mechanical Caliber 9455 MC, bearing the Geneva Seal and a Rotonde case in 45mm.
– ROTONDE CHRONOGRAPE –
A Chronographe with a very clever concept; I really like the idea of the two hands that are partly covered by the center piece of the dial, but personally I find the execution not optimal. In my opinion it is too hard to see the difference between the two hands, which makes it hard to see the exact time. Mechanical caliber 9907 MC and water resistant to 30 meter. Pink- or white gold case in 46.6mm. Sapphire crystal (front & back)
The ‘Rotonde de Cartier Collection’ has developed in about six years, into the most important mens watch line, within the total watch collection of Cartier and it provides excellent and elegant housing for the many new complicated movements.