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Cartier puts magic in the air
New Models

Cartier puts magic in the air

Monday, 25 January 2016
By The FHH Journal editors
The FHH Journal editors

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1 min read

What is the secret of the Astromystérieux as it free-floats at the heart of the Rotonde de Cartier?

An ingenious conjuring trick? An unfathomable illusion? Cartier continues to appeal to our sense of wonder with another demonstration of mechanical magic. Since 1912, the year the very first mystery clock left the Cartier workshops, mystery watches have been a hallmark of the brand. Whoever observed the Model A clock could only gaze in awe at the sight of the platinum and diamond hands as they floated in the centre of the dial, seemingly disconnected from the movement. Today’s watch enthusiasts are equally astounded by the sidereal void between the mechanism, visible at the heart of the dial, and the 43.5-mm palladium case.

As with a conventional tourbillon, the principle behind the Astromystérieux 9462 MC calibre lies with a rotating cage whose movement is governed by a fixed wheel that is connected to the barrel. Unlike a conventional tourbillon, the Astromystérieux is distinguished by the central rotation which its mysterious flying cage performs in one hour, and which contains not just the escapement and the balance, but also a gear train and barrel. This cage comprises a lower bridge in the form of a large-diameter sapphire disc, and two upper bridges, one of which holds the balance, and the other the escapement, gear train and barrel. This rotating cage indicates the minutes to impose its rhythm on this limited series of 100 pieces. Surprising, remarkable, mechanics pave the way for magic. And now a small part of the mystery has been revealed…

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