The ID-TWO was presented at the Cartier Manufacture, just four day ago and the watch hits every paper or news site. Thierry Lamouroux, ‘International watch marketing development director at Cartier International’ welcomed the more than 100 journalists, from all over the world, with a speech/presentation, followed by a presentation by ‘Product and Service Director, in charge of Cartier Watchmaking Innovation’, Edouard Mignon.
I must say that I am still puzzled about the news we heard about this new time piece and in particularly the possible effect, that it may have on the future collection of Cartier’s Time pieces.
Let’s first recap;
what is the ID-ONE and ID-TWO exactly and why is all the fuzz for watches that only remain
The ID-ONE was the first Concept watch, that did not require any regulation or adjustment,
during assembly or at any time during the life of the watch and was presented to the Press in 2009. It created a lot of publicity and many people wanted to buy this new technical wonder that was packed in a Nobium titanium ‘Ballon bleu’ case. Besides it’s unique movement, it was also an incredible good looking Ballon bleu.
But the watch was and is a prototype was only build for research and will not go on sale.
Same for the ID-TWO, also this watch is a prototype that will not go on sale. So we do not need to discuss it’s appearance, since it will never be available to the public. (Wish it was, since I find it very, very attractive)
Both watches are in fact brand defining concept pieces, developed for research and testing of new techniques and new materials.
The ID-TWO is the logical successor of the ID-ONE and it takes us a few steps further,
in Cartier’s new way of ‘high tech’ watch making. The Time piece is capable to store energy much more efficiently than conventional watches, it uses less energy and it distributes the energy in a much more effective way. It needed to proof that the reliability, efficiency and accuracy of a mechanical or automatic caliber could be improved.
Any conventional mechanical watch is wasting about 75% of the energy.
So bringing back the wasted energy to a lower level, was the main target for this new Concept watch. Therefore three important challenges had to be over won;
First challenge : Store the maximum energy Second challenge : Maximize the energy transmitted from the barrels to the oscillator Third challenge : Minimize consumption of the oscillator
By using different materials and different techniques Cartier was able to reduce the energy
consumption with 50%, compared to traditional mechanical & automatic watches.
All metal parts in the case, like the bridges for instance are made out of titanium and are
ADLC coated. (Amorphous Diamond Like Carbon) This coating creates a layer, that is unaffected by constant wear, self-lubricating and shock-resistant. This technique is already in use in aerospace and armament. Cartier used ADLC coating first for the ID-ONE and used it commercially on the outside of the cases of the Santos 100 and the Santos Squelette.
Coating the bridges with ADLC makes them stronger and reduces friction.
The differential gear train with ultra-light components, works without any lubrication,
minimizes friction and offers an optimized reduction ratio. A large model was used to demonstrate the woking of if.
The barrels of the ID-TWO have double fiberglass springs and are, for the first time in watchmaking history not made in metal but in glass microfiber, which gives quite an increase in power.
Unique is the DRIE technology (Deep Reactive Ion Etching) This technique makes it possible to produce micro mechanical components with an extreme precision, besides that it lends itself particularly well to carbon crystal.
Like the ID-ONE, the oscillator and escapement bearing of the ID-TWO are made in carbon
crystal while the pivot axes are in black ADLC coated titanium.
When looking at the watch, we’ll see right away that the 42mm case of the watch is crystal clear, completely without any screws to hold the case back since is sucked into the case by sucking the case vacuum. Pardon my words.
This clear material is a Cartier premiere and it’s called ‘Ceramyst’ and is a kind of very hard
and strong ceramic. The case of the ID-TWO that is made by the French company St. Gobain, is moulded from powder and liquid and is opaque when it comes out of the mould.
After polishing the case with various techniques, it becomes shiny and transparent.
By creating a vacuum of 99.5% in the case, so in other words, by taking the air out of the case, friction of moving parts is reduced enormously. Airtightness is reinforced by using gaskets, doped with nano particles.
Cartier did a cool demonstration with a transparent tube with a little piece of paper in it.
When the tube was turned up side down, the paper fell slowly from the top of the tube,
to the bottom of the tube. Then the air was sucked out of the tube and the tube was turned up side down again. Now the paper fell to the bottom instantly. Quite a cool demonstration to prove what an influence air pressure has, on moving parts.
So if the ID-TWO will not be commercially available, what will the consumer see in the near
future, one may ask. Well for sure there will be the ‘Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal’, that uses some of the technical solutions that were tried and tested extensively in the ID-ONE.
When we look at the innovations made during the ID-ONE and ID-TWO, I can imagine that
in the future for instance, a watch with a ‘Ceramyst’ case could be introduced or models with the new Zerodur hairspring, but this is all guessing. Clear is that the ID-ONE and ID-TWO were created to bring the Cartier’s watch collection to an even higher level in the very near future; I can’t’ wait for January, when new models will be presented.
I would like to thank Cartier for their tremendous hospitality during the presentation,
that was só well organized (thanks Katharina!) and kudos to the whole team in Paris, Geneva and of course La-Chaud-de-Fonds, for this incredible achievement in Fine Watchmaking!