Watches: Rotonde de Cartier Second Time Zone Day and Night Collection (+live pics & video)

By Thierry Ané on October 15, 2014

What is really refreshing with Carole Forestier-Kasapi, Cartier’s Director of Movement Creation since 2005, is that you can expect the same level of inventiveness in the creation of small complication timepieces than the ingenuity she dedicates to the presentation of grand complication models.

Not everybody can afford the masterpieces unveiled each year by the big names of Haute Horlogerie. It does not mean, however, that these less deep-pocketed aficionados are happy with a simple time-only model: many of them enjoy the thrill of having a well-crafted watch featuring less expensive but sometimes more useful complications and all sorts of original displays.

The new Rotonde de Cartier Second Time Zone Day and Night collection is Cartier’s way of showing that the needs of such seasoned watch lovers are never disregarded by this great Maison. Not surprisingly, the three newcomers belong to the “Rotonde de Cartier” line that perfectly blends the classicism of a round case with some strong design cues referring to the unmistakable world of brand: the presence of bold Roman numerals, a railway-style minute track or the choice of apple-shaped hands, but also the presence of a beaded crown set with a cabochon-shaped gemstone.

Available in stainless steel, pink gold or in a 200-piece white gold limited version, this 42 mm watch houses the fully integrated 1904-FU MC calibre entirely developed and produced at the Cartier Manufacture in La-Chaux-de-Fonds. This self-winding movement visible through the sapphire crystal on the back of the case beats at the frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers 48 hours of power reserve when fully wound.

Apart from the usual central hours and minutes, it features a small seconds at 6 o’clock facing the large date window located at noon. A sub-dial placed at 10:30 disturbs this symmetry to provide a second time zone with a retrograde hand on a 12-hour scale. The overall equilibrium of the piece is not entirely offset as a window located at 3:30 is used to provide a day-night indicator for the home time. All in all, the layout is original enough to keep you interested but sufficiently classic for an every-day formal wear.

All three dials are decorated with a beautiful flinqué motif but with different finishing touches depending on the version. The stainless steel and pink gold models are more traditional with a silver-coloured dial featuring black Roman numerals and flame-blued steel hands. The former is mounted on black alligator while a brown hue of the same leather is used for the more luxurious pink gold version. The cabochon on the stainless steel watch is a spinel while the two gold models feature a blue sapphire.

The Rotonde de Cartier Second Time Zone Day and Night in white gold looks clearly less classic with its stunning blue guilloché dial paired with black alligator. Here, the Roman numerals are white for more contrast and the hands are rhodium-coloured. Each model is secured by a double adjustable folding buckle in the same material as the case.

Whatever version you prefer, you are certain to acquire a very refined piece of Fine Watchmaking with useful complications presented with a lot of originality and elegance. The watch looks like the perfect companion for a day at the office if you want to assert your love of Fine Watchmaking without overdoing it. It would look equally great with a pair of jeans for an after-work drink or a getaway weekend.

The stainless steel version will retail for US$ 9,560 and the pink gold counterpart costs US$ 26,000. The limited white gold iteration will make you spend a little more at US$ 27,800.

For more information please visit the Cartier web site.