Back in 1907 when most watch brands used thick movements in their design, Cartier came up with a 1.32-mm-thick movement, a major breakthrough in watchmaking. Designed much like jewellery pieces, Cartier watches immediately gained success not only for their super-thin movements, but also for their elegant watch design. That year marked the emergence of Cartier as an important – and innovative – watch brand.
Today, Cartier continues to improve and renew its designs. At SIHH 2009, its watch factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds came up with many innovative watch movements. The brand new Santos 100 Squelette watch contains the 9611 MC calibre movement, which perfectly united the mechanical and skeletal parts of the movement. An amazing feat of techniques, this is a first in the world of watchmaking. To integrate an escapement and balance wheel into the movement structure is a real challenge. Not only is the calibre now a registered patent, it is also an accomplishment that proves Cartier’s own unique style of aesthetics.
The Rotonde de Cartier Chronographe Central is also noteworthy. One thing that stands out immediately is the isolated chronograph display in the centre of the dial. This allows us to appreciate the complications and display of chronographs a lot more. Calibre 9907MC is Cartier’s yet another own manufacture movement, substituting the traditional horizontal release system with a vertical coupling system. This involves fewer components, and fewer components mean a longer lifespan for the watch. It is apparent that, when development new movements, Cartier considers not only precision but also endurance of the watch. This is something that many brands neglect. At SIHH 2009, we can see a brand’s true commitment to watchmaking simply by seeing how much work goes into each innovative movement. Over the years, Cartier has evolved from emphasizing its styles as the selling point to manufacturing beautiful watches with technically perfected movements.
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