Cartier continues to investigate strange difficulties by playing with illusion and the impression of time as part of their mysterious hours’ philosophy, and the Cartier Masse Mystérieuse is the outcome of that. Because their hands appear to float above the translucent body of the clock with no connection to the mechanism, mystery clocks have their chapter in Cartier’s history.
In 1912, Cartier developed their first mystery clocks. The principle is based on an original concept: the hands are attached to two crystal discs with serrated metal edges rather than directly linked to the movement.
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After being activated by the movement, these discs turn the hands, one for the minute hand and the other for the hour hand, which is normally contained in the clock’s base. The hour circle hides the edges of the discs to create a perfect illusion.
On the other hand, Cartier has gone above and beyond this time, creating a unique movement that took eight years to design to make things even more remarkable. The Cartier Masse Mystérieuse is a stunning timepiece that spins to the beat of a unique mechanism. A movable calibre shrunk into a semi-circle turned into a skeletonized oscillating weight.
The Cartier Masse Mystérieuse watch combines a mysterious mechanism and a skeleton dial with Maison’s watchmaking hallmarks. Everything is integrated with style and elegance, even down to the technology.
The clockwork has not only been shrunk to fit watch casings since the mystery clocks first emerged in the 1910s but it has also been redesigned to make the oscillating weight a true adornment for this new creation.
The Cartier Masse Mystérieuse is a limited edition of just 30 pieces, with a 43.5 mm platinum case and a crown set with a ruby cabochon. It comes with a semi-matte dark grey and a black alligator strap.
This watch is driven by the innovative calibre 9801 MC, which assures that the chronometer is unaffected by gravity. The hands of the Masse Mystérieuse watch float in the case without being attached to any gears.
To make this moving spectacle apparent, the rotor has been skeletonized. An ultra-sophisticated differential mechanism has been included in the movement to prevent the time display from entangling in the mass. A technological accomplishment that comes to life with the wearer’s smallest touch shows the time in perfect sync with the beat of the hands in the void.
The mysterious rotor on this piece, the most technical and complex item ever made by the Manufacture’s watchmakers, employs an ingenious mechanism to guarantee the balance wheel stays in the same vertical position.To do this, the rotor turns at an uneven speed in both directions, providing a 42-hour power reserve.