Brand new Manufacture chronograph movementSIHH 2013: The Calibre de Cartier chronograph watch
With its strong lines and robust case, the Calibre de Cartier watch, created in 2010, has made its mark as a distinguished timepiece whose balance relies on a contrasting combination of satin-brushed and polished finishes.
In 2013, Cartier will equip it with its brand new Manufacture chronograph movement, the calibre 1904-CH MC, and will redesign the sporty look of this watch with a strongly defined character.
The strong aesthetics of a 100% Manufacture chronograph
Armed with the first Manufacture self-winding chronograph movement created by Cartier, the Calibre de Cartier chronograph watch inaugurates a collection of eight models on leather straps and metal bracelets, from the all-steel version to the version in gem-set white gold. They are sporty versions that toughen the Calibre de Cartier watch’s provocative spirit and encourage the wearer to excel.
It is a watch with strong design codes: two counters, at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, a graduated rail-track in the fluted bezel, positioned in pride of place on the dial, and above the counters, an oversize XII numeral. This dynamism is reinforced by the presence of the two chronograph push-pieces integrated into the crown reinforcement.
Regaining lost time: an intelligent, precise chronograph
The 1904-CH MC is a concentrated combination of ingenious systems that guide and coordinate the chronograph functions. The column wheel, the real nerve centre of the movement, precisely and accurately coordinates the three functions of the chronograph (start / stop / return to zero). This system, characteristic of finely crafted chronographs, is visible on the back thanks to the openwork of the upper bridge.
Furthermore, to ensure the high precision of the chronograph functions, the calibre 1904-CH MC is fitted with a vertical coupling that allows the traditional jumps of the seconds hand to be eliminated during the start and stop phases. This coupling system also means that the energy consumption of the chronograph is minimised while it is functioning without altering the timepiece’s power reserve or chronograph stability.
The simultaneous return-to-zero of all the chronograph functions is a delicate, complex step requiring perfect coordination. Cartier has chosen to integrate a linear return-to-zero hammer into the calibre 1904-CH MC in order to guarantee the instant, simultaneous and precise return of all the chronograph hands, whatever the force exerted on the push-piece.
An innovative system for exceptional timekeeping
This new 11 ½-line calibre is designed to ensure perfect chronometric stability, however much the watch has been wound. The movement is equipped with two barrels that guarantee the perfect constancy of the mainspring torque over a long duration and allow the chronometric precision to be mastered and stabilised. The calibre 1904-CH MC is fitted with a precise setting system, guaranteeing the movement’s perfect timekeeping. This operation is carried out by the Cartier master watchmakers who meticulously adjust the C-shaped index pointer.
The movement’s self-winding system is regularly subjected to strong pressure that could affect its ability to function correctly. In order to compensate for this weakness, the calibre 1904-CH MC is fitted with a ceramic ball-bearing system situated at the centre of the rotor, which ensures extreme durability.
Cartier has also cast aside the traditional reversers present in self-winding mechanisms in favour of the even more innovative click system. It allows the watch’s winding comfort to be optimised thanks to its increased winding speed. Finally, thanks to a two-directional winding system, the oscillating weight automatically winds the movement, whatever the direction of its rotation.
Fine watchmaking finishes that go beyond what is visible
The decorators’ endless quest for beauty produces the most impressive results in fine watchmaking movements. Visible through the Calibre de Cartier chronograph watch’s transparent sapphire-crystal case back, the upper bridges and oscillating weight are adorned with traditional Côtes de Genève decoration.
The bottom plate, masked by the movement’s components, is circular-grained. The care lavished on the finishes of the calibre 1904-CH MC is a fine example of Cartier’s extremely high standards when creating a movement, with excellent craftsmanship that even goes beyond what is visible.