October 25, 2015
Debuting in 2015, the Clé (“key”) is the newest collection from Cartier. Though first models were simple, time-only pieces, Cartier has stepped up the collection with this new model, the Mysterious Hour. The watch combines Cartier’s new Clé case design with its in-house caliber 9981 MC which was has been around since 2013 when it debuted in the “Rotonde de Cartier Mysertious Hours” watch, i.e. a very similar watch except in the round/Rotonde style Cartier case. The Clé, or “key”, style crown is intended to mimic the feeling of winding a traditional clock winding key.
As its name suggests, this is a “mystery watch” which I could probably define as a small sub-genre within the high watchmaking world (several manufactures have done their own takes on the mystery dial, though the genre seems to me to be particularly suited to Cartier, for reasons hard to put my finger on). The hands appear to float in space, though in reality they are set upon transparent rotating discs. The effect is simultaneously pleasing and intriguing.