In Cartier’s history, the mysterious clock has occupied a pivotal chapter, and it is also a really difficult puzzle: What makes the hands hover in the center of the completely transparent dial? Where is the operating mechanism and movement?
As the top fashion magazine ‘LaGazettduBonTon’ of 1925 called it, it is a ‘miracle in the history of watches and clocks’, the crystallization of the sincere cooperation between Louis Catier and outstanding watchmaker Maurice Couet. Maurice Couere was inspired by the clock invented by Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin, the great French magician who also pioneered modern magic. The principle that Coué borrowed and carried forward was based on a wonderful concept: the pointer was not directly linked to the movement, but was fixed on two serrated metal-framed water crystal discs. The water crystal disc is driven by the movement (mostly located at the bottom of the clock) and rotates at the speed of the hour and minute hands, respectively. To make the illusion more realistic, the disc’s metal frame is hidden under the time scale circle.
At the 2014 “Clocks and Miracles” exhibition, Cartier continued this miracle of watches and clocks, and replaced the crystal clear crystals with dazzling natural topaz 2. Cartier uses iridescent obsidian, onyx and opaque ruby. Through the contrast of different materials, it further highlights the abstract beauty of the design and makes this unique timepiece. (Picture / Text Watch House Xie Xin)