For each SIHH show, the most exciting thing for me is visiting Cartier and seeing their new limited edition art pieces that often revolve around animals.
Cartier has a dial with a crocodile carved in relief, which is made by natural stone agate. Agate is a common but beautiful stone that I believe is similar to amethyst. It is found primarily in volcanic rocks as I understand it. Agate is often blue and further tends to have various shades of blue that lighten toward the center. By selecting the right piece of an agate rock to carve, a skilled artist can make use of the gradient ramp to their advantage. Sure enough, in this replica Cartier watch you can see how a section of agate is used to highlight the crocodile head in a lighter shade of blue, but the lower sections are a darker blue. It makes for a beautiful effect.
Although agate rock may not be that uncommon, watches with hand-carved agate dials are. It is one of those interesting artistic skills that top luxury watch brands like Cartier can make use of from time to time when impressing a very limited audience, which also makes replica Cartier industry a great challenge in copying it. As such, the authentic Rotonde de Cartier Flying Tourbillon Crocodile Motif watch will be in the hands of no more than 30 people total, more consumer pursuit a replica. I do wonder if it is the same group of people eagerly awaiting the new Cartier art pieces each year, or if Cartier is able to expand the market for these interesting niche luxury pieces.
In fact those who aren’t as familiar with the Cartier of today should know that the brand is one of the leaders in offering both very classic mainstream entry-level luxury timepieces as well as fantastic ultra high-end creations that either focus on art or haute horology to impress even the most dedicate of watch aficionados.
The case is 42mm wide offered only in 18k white gold (stainless steel for replica). The “Rotonde” is among Cartier’s more simple cases, being perfectly round with thin lugs that gently curl downwards. The polished and rounded bezel is meant to look thin so as to offer an expansive view of the dial. The most “Cartier” element about the case is the crown with its distinctive grip and pointy sapphire crystal cabochon.
Inside the Flying Tourbillon Crocodile Motif is a Cartier in-house made movement – calibre MC 9452 movement. It is a manual wilding movement, which features just the time and flying tourbillon. The movement also happens to bear the Geneva seal, which means that it follows certain decorative and performance guidelines, as well as being built within Geneva. Cartier wants to make its ownership of the movement abundantly clear, as the engraved logo is neighbored by three “C” elements on the movement including on the touribllon. You can see the movement through the rear sapphire display crystal on even the replica watch.