Best of the Best 2011: Men's Watches: Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon

    Led by movement developer Carole Forestier, Cartier has exceeded expectations for its initial watchmaking efforts by not only completing the basics on its own but also creating original and compelling designs. The Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astrotour­billon (800.227.8437, www.cartier.com) might be the defining example of this achievement. In theory, by making a relatively simple modification to the basic gearing, Forestier could have transformed the cage into a sweep-seconds hand that orbits around the dial once a minute. However, engineering the $124,000 watch actually was more complicated. It involved adding a small platinum counterweight to make the rotating carriage move efficiently. The arrangement is practical, elegant, and imaginative, dramatically demonstrating the motion that the complication is capable of delivering.

    The new timepiece has a fluid-based linear timekeeping display…
    The new watch has multiple systems to ensure that its movement receives consistent power…
    Computer-aided design is allowing watchmakers to push the boundaries of innovation...
    The watchmaker puts its skill in guilloche and damaskeening on full display…
    The two back-to-back auctions will offer hundreds of unique designs…
    The new variation sports a dial crafted from a meteorite...
    Photo by Didier Gourdon
    The new watch has a tourbillon hidden by an automaton…
    Photo by Vincent Wulveryck/Cartier
    Jeweler Cartier innovative work combined Roman, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese elements with...
    The watch’s case is a mere 8.24 mm thick…
    On assuming his new position, Lambert lost little time in the development of new watches...