The French jeweler Cartier slowly, but steadily builds itself a reputation of a serious watchmaking brand, which is capable of developing and producing movements that are not just complex, but also innovative. The 2011 Calibre de Cartier Multiple Time Zone (ref. W7100026) is among their latest masterpieces.
As the company stated in its press release, the Multiple Time Zones is equipped with the Cartier Caliber 9909 MC self-winding movement that takes the concept of a GMT watch a step or two higher.
The movement displays not only local and home time, but adds to the picture a “jet lag display” that tells time difference between the two time zones, and a multiple time zone (MTZ) indicator, which is located not on the dial, but on the left side of the chunky case.
The idea behind the positioning of the MTZ display is simple: to make the multi-layered dial look less cluttered. However, I suppose that using this thing with the watch secured on the wrist will be rather difficult.
Pressing one of the small pushers, you can also make adjustments for summer or daylight saving time.
Surprisingly, if you don’t take into account the lack of luminous substance even on the main indicators, the dial here looks easy to read and is, well, legible enough as soon as you read the freaking manual and get used to the whole display.
Perhaps, the only thing that I miss here is a central seconds hand since it would not only animate this monumental device but would also inform its owner instantly in case the timekeeper runs out of power.
The movement itself is not large (according to official specs, it is only 25.58 in diameter and 6.68 mm in height,) but the case, which is available both in white and yellow gold, looks bulky. Mainly, thanks to the lateral magnifier at 9 o’clock that eats precious millimeters and makes the Calibre de Cartier Multiple Time Zone look almost as huge as a professional diving tool.
Measuring 45 millimeters wide, the Multiple Time Zones also takes a great deal of space on a normal wrist, although its relatively short integrated lugs somehow compensate for the excessively large diameter making the timepiece more or less wearable by an average man.
Frankly, I don’t know why Cartier’s watchmaking division decided to make this (otherwise absolutely beautiful) timekeeper so huge. As I have already mentioned, neither dimensions of the mechanism, nor the layout of the dial required making such a monstrosity. Well, perhaps someone in the marketing department decided that the trend of constant supersizing of luxury watches will continue at least until the end of this decade. Well, if so, I truly hope that they are wrong: these things get larger year after year.
On the other hand, there is a good chance that the MTZ was designed with die-hard collectors in mind who, immediately after buying the trinket, would put it into a (presumably huge) safe in an extremely well-guarded bank or some other facility of this sort.
Well, there is a good thing about its size, too. As you can see, the nut-shaped setting/winding crown with an inevitable blue cabochon is large enough for even to persons with thickest fingers to easily manipulate the timepiece.
Calibre de Cartier Multiple Time Zone specification
Price: $57,000 (MSRP, ref. W7100026 in white gold)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 9909 MC, 25.58 in diameter,6.68 mm in height, 287 components, in-house, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, second time-zone, jet lag display, daylight savings time
Power reserve: 48 hours
Size: 45.00 mm
Case height: 17.40 mm
Dial: Galvanic guilloche and silvered
Numerals: Arabic and Roman
Hands: Blued steel
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator skin with a double adjustable folding clasp in 18-karat gold
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective