Last January Cartier presented the new Tortue Perpetual at the SIHH in Geneva. An amazing looking Perpetual in a very impressive Tortue shaped case. The watch is in fact the same Perpetual as released in 2010,
just the dial is very different. Both share the MC 9422 movement with 52 hours power reserve. The movement however proposes a completely novel display. In contrary to conventional counter-reading perpetual calendars, a central hand indicates the date around the full dial. Another hand, jumping semi-instantaneously in the other direction, indicates the days of the week. Since the MC 9422 is an automatic movement, this Perpetual can indicate the date without any correction, until 2100, if it’s worn daily, or stored on it’s power charging case, when not in use. Quite an achievement, if you ask me.
Had the 2010 the open worked dial, that most Fine Watch Making models share, the 2011 looks more like the classic dial we know from the CPCP collection. Cream guilloché, but in two layers. Quite a change and I actually do not know which one I prefer. The watch has a large case, measuring 45.6x51mm and it handles the open worked dial very well;
the new dial looks more plain, more classic. Up till now this the largest Tortue, ever produced by Cartier. Incredible watch with lots of features.
The Tortue case has long been Cartier’s favorite case to house their complications.
Released as a time only model,
(This is the larger CPCP version from 1998)
the Tortue appeared in 1912 on the market, while the Tortue Minute Repeater
and the Tortue Mono Poussoir.
(Pictured here the first version of the Mono Poussoir that appeared in the SIHH collection, I always preferred this one, to the newer versions, because of it’s resemblance with the historic model.)
Were the first complication, presented around 1928. In the nineties the CPCP collection had quite a few Tortue complications like the Day & Night with second time zone, a watch that was released in pink and in white gold.
a Perpetual Calendar, the 8 Days Tortue, the Power Reserve Tortue and two tourbillons.
It’s obvious that Cartier always had a soft spot for the shape of the historic Tortue case, to house their complications. In Fine Watch Making the more commercial and contemporary Rotonde case steals the show at the moment. Excellent case that I like very much, but I am also glad that there is again a Tortue in the collection and I am sure there will be more to come, in future collections.