PeterLippman
Roughly 90 years after the first Mystery clock was presented by Cartier
La Maison proudly presented  two Mystery watches and two Mystery clocks, during the last SIHH in Geneva, January 2013.
Mystery
There has been said a lot about these timepieces and especially about the watches.
Enthusiastic remarks, nice remarks and also silly remarks.
Personally I have never been só enthusiast about a Cartier product,
as I am now about these two watches.
When Carole Forestier-Kasapi presented the watches during a press meeting and explained about the working of these watches, I was thrilled.
My friends and other watch enthusiasts around me however,  ask me quite often; why?
What’s the magic of these watches, what is it,  that doesn’t stop you from rambling on ?
Well it is not that easy to explain,  I will try, but do see it as my very personal view, based on the way I see watches and my personal taste in watches.
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Watches from the ‘Fine Watch Making Collection’ have an ‘in house’ caliber and all are newly developed by the Cartier watch makers, in La-Chaud-de-Fonds and Geneva, with the exception of the Calibre de Cartier Grande Complication  that was produced by
Renauld & Papi.
The same is the case for these two Mysterious time pieces. These movements where designed, developed, tested and build by Cartier from scratch.
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Since the vintage Mystery clocks from the very first years, are known not to be that stable,
it was very important that these new watches also had to go trough all the rough testing stages, like any other complication, from the Fine Watch Making Series, to prove that they are not created as ‘museum pieces’ that have to be handled with care. Even the drop-test on a hard surface, is part of the extensive series of tests, which make these Rotonde Mysterious watches as wearable as,  any other watch in the ‘Fine Watch Making Collection’.
That is important, I know. Very important actually, since these watches are worn on the wrist, during meetings, parties etc. and they should be reliable and behave like any other watch does.  And they do!
That’s all superb, but the attraction of these two watches for me, is this time not so much the fact, that they are incredibly good and reliable time pieces, but the fact that Cartier was able to translate a historic complicated and sensitive clock caliber, into a strong watch movement, that can be worn on the wrist, as a daily watch.
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The first Mystery table clocks were build and presented in 1922, were the center stage in the home and a milestone in the history of Cartier watch and clock making.
That was a very major development, since Cartier was always THE only company when mysterious timepieces concerned.
The Mysterious hours watch and the Mysterious Tourbillon watch, fit smoothly in between historic creations like the Tortue, Tank or Tonneau.
And while these mystery clocks may originally have been created as a table clock for the home;  since people are more on the move these days and have breakfast in Paris and dinner in New York, it is great that this important part of Cartier’s history, can now be worn on the wrist of its owner, wherever he goes.

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