Planned to be revealed early next year during the much-awaited SIHH 2013 show, the upcoming Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (refs. W1556226 & W1556225) luxury automatic watch shares its underpinnings with the gorgeous Calibre de Cartier Chronograph model that was revealed around a month ago, but has the base 1904-CH MC caliber upgraded with a perpetual calendar module.
The movement in question is, of course, their new self-winding Caliber 9423 MC. Manufactured “in-house” (as I have already tried to explain in my brief review of the aforementioned Calibre de Cartier Chronograph wristwatch, the base mechanism is manufactured by ValFleurier: a brand that is, too, owned by Richemont SA, so Cartier can indeed call the mechanism “in-house” without being deceptive,) this massive engine is now 7.70 millimeters in height gaining almost two millimeters in thickness thanks to the aforementioned calendar module.
Since there is apparently not enough space inside the mildly oversized case, it, too, become thicker by 2.30 millimeters making the watch not especially comfortable, but still bearable. Also, some may actually like the ‘reassuring heaviness’ of the gadget on their wrists.
Predictably, the new watch features a highly complicated face that features four sub-dials and whole nine hands (one of them, showing current day of week, is retrograde) and will clearly require some time to get used to it. However, if you are familiar with this class of timekeepers, the process of adaptation will probably be very quick and even, um, enjoyable.
Turning all these numerous indicators requires a great deal of energy, but the Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronograph still features a more than decent power reserve of 48 hours thanks to the pair of spring barrels supplying it with juice. Since both springs work in parallel and produce an impressive amount of torque, there is also a good chance that the watch will also be quite accurate.
The French-based jewelry brand also reports in its press release that the watch will be delivered in two versions. There will be one in white gold that, thanks to its combination of polished and guilloched surfaces on the body and dial, as well as blued hands matching the blue sapphire cabochon in the crown, looks the most exciting to my taste.
And, of course, there is going to be a more warm-looking variation that combines polished roe gold body and elements with chocolate brown dial and alligator leather strap. Well, to each his own I suppose.
As for the pricing, it will probably be revealed later next year when the watches will start arriving to Cartier dealerships throughout the world.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronograph watch specification
Price: $69,500 (MSRP, ref. W1556226)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 9423 MC (base 1904-CH MC), in-house, 32 x 7.70 mm, 445 components, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 44
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Movement decoration: Skeletonized oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, perpetual calendar, chronograph
Case material: 18-carat white gold (ref. W1556226) / 18-carat rose gold (ref. W1556225)
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 14.90 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Silver-toned / Brown galvanized guilloche
Hour markers: Black / Gold
Hands: Blued steel / Rose gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black or brown alligator leather strap
Case back: Sapphire