Recently in New York City, I got first-hand looks at some of the most exciting new timepieces destined to make their way to the US market next year. I’m speaking about the new Cartier watches that were shown as a sneak peek at the upcoming SIHH 2016 in Geneva.
While there are some spectacular new women’s watches coming your way, the brand also takes the opportunity to demonstrate its mastery of the art of skeletonization — for both men’s and women’s watches. Creating a skeletonized watch is no easy feat. In fact, the master artisans must work tirelessly to find the correct balance of open-worked metal and strength, of breathtaking movement views without compromising power. Only the finest brands excel in this art and Cartier has long been one of them.
The newest Cle’ de Cartier Skeleton watch brings the collection (that was just unveiled earlier this year at the 2015 SIHH) to new heights. It is the brand’s first automatic skeleton movement, the Caliber 9612 MC. Creating an automatic skeleton movement instead of a manual wind movement is truly a challenge because of the rotor — typically a solid mass. In this new watch, Cartier skeletonized the rotor in such a way as to not only integrate it into the concept of the skeletonized bridges forming the Roman numerals, but also in a manner that can still maintain the winding efficiency of the component. The brand’s expert watchmakers accomplished this by balancing the thickness and the diameter of the 22-karat gold oscillating weight to achieve the optimum weight to keep it continually moving at the right speed t. The 165-part automatic Caliber 9621 MC with skeletonized bridges forming the Roman numerals offers 48 hours of power reserve. This watch is crafted in palladium.
Also this year, Cartier releases a new Crash Skeleton watch with a mechanical manual-wind movement in 18-karat rose gold. The unusually shaped Crash was originally developed in 1967 and has remained a coveted icon ever since. Now, with the new skeletonized version housing the 138-part manual wind Caliber 9618 movement, Cartier has again pushed the limits. In this watch, too, the skeletonized bridges form the Roman numerals of the watch and allow a dramatic view inside. You can read much more detail about the timepieces in a recent article our editor, Roberta Naas, wrote on her Perfect Timing Column on Forbes.com.