For many years, the ultra-thin self-winding perpetual calendar watch has always been one of Patek Philippe’s most popular super-complex watches. Today, the company is re-launching a style that highlights the brand’s traditional complication: the Ref. 5940 watch with a cushion-shaped case in 18K gold.
Perpetual calendar watches are undoubtedly the most practical in the super-complicated watch series including tourbillon, minute repeater and two-second chronograph. It will always display the correct date according to the change of specific months. As early as the 19th century, Patek Philippe’s complication pocket watch with perpetual calendar function was popular. After the watch became popular, Patek Philippe took the lead in reducing the original calendar device to a size suitable for implantation in the watch case. At that time, the size was even smaller than it is now.
In 1925 Patek Philippe introduced the world’s first perpetual calendar watch. Reference number: 97’975 The small seconds dial at 9 o’clock with the center hour and minute hands, and the moon phase display at 3 o’clock. The date is displayed through the center hand, the day of the week is at 12 o’clock, and the month is at 6 o’clock. The leap year factor is also taken into consideration, although the 4-year cycle is not used, as is the customary design today. However, the instant-jump calendar function was implemented—a very difficult challenge at the time.
Ref. 5940 Ultra-thin Perpetual Calendar, Unique Case
At the time, Art Deco was all the rage in Europe. Its clear, creative style has had a powerful and significant impact on art, architecture, furniture, and product design. Patek Philippe also uses this style. Not to cope with the fleeting trend, but as a long-term design concept, and long-standing in the Gondolo collection. The special-shaped watch series covers all chronographs with non-circular cases. The case of a special-shaped watch may be square, rectangular, triangular, or diamond, bucket, and cushion. These youthful and distinctive watches soon gained a place in the art and design field; they still prevail today. Patek Philippe’s cushion-shaped watches were all the rage, and some models were also collected in the Patek Philippe Museum. In addition, the classic round Calatrava model, the unique Golden Ellipse and the unparalleled casual elegance watch Nautilus, all highlight the timeless beauty of Patek Philippe design.
In 2010, Patek Philippe launched Ref. 5950, a stainless steel ultra-thin double-second chronograph single-button chronograph watch, which made its cushion-shaped case return to the gorgeous stage for the first time. , It will once again become the focus of attention. The case of this watch is 44.6 mm long, 37 mm wide and only 8.6 mm thick. Patek Philippe’s watchmaking workshop uses traditional cold-molding technology, uses large-tonnage stamping machines to process 18K gold small billets, and then builds them through numerous continuous mechanical processes. Finally, after several hours of manual polishing, each case has a bright mirror effect. The graceful curved sides fit perfectly with the lugs attached to the strap. This watch has a sapphire crystal caseback, which can admire the extremely delicate movement, and it also comes with an interchangeable gold back cover.
This watch with excellent timekeeping accuracy focuses on the dial, which is classic and elegant no matter where it is. The creamy white grained surface complements the golden case perfectly. The black edge of the dial features a black track-type transfer minute scale that perfectly fits the contour of the bezel. Slender Breguet three-dimensional blocks and gold leaf-shaped hands for time, as well as three auxiliary dials. 9 o’clock: Day of the week and 24-hour dial. 3 o’clock position: month and leap year cycle. 6 o’clock position: date and moon phase. All display functions are reasonably laid out, legible, and easy to read, and they uphold the quality of Patek Philippe as always.
With the introduction of the new Ref. 5940, Patek Philippe opened a new chapter for the return of the cushion-shaped perpetual calendar watch, just like the art deco style watches of the 1920s and 1930s in the Patek Philippe Museum are still very popular today. This elegant watch is paired with a hand-stitched matte black square scale crocodile leather strap and 18K yellow gold pin buckle.
Astrotourbillon astronomical tourbillon was first created by Cartier in 2010, and since the advent of it, it has caused competitive research in the watchmaking industry. Combined with the magnificent dial, this model has now become one of the most representative complications in Cartier’s fine watchmaking series.
The birth and evolution of Astrotourbillon
In 2010, Cartier brought a new concept to the traditional tourbillon structure through the Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon astronomical tourbillon watch. For the first time, the tourbillon is no longer limited to its single functionality, that is, to reduce the effect of gravity to ensure more accurate travel time performance, but also to become a part of the aesthetics of the watch. In fact, unlike the classic tourbillon that only rotates around its own central axis, the Astrotourbillon astronomical tourbillon is unique in its extended frame, which allows the balance wheel to rotate around the dial once a minute to indicate the second, It works like a planet.
In 2012, Cartier launched a series of innovative research projects around the Cartier IDONE concept watch and Cartier IDTWO concept watch, aiming to explore new materials with excellent performance that have never appeared in the field of watchmaking. In the end, Cartier decided to use the carbon crystal material to build the Astrotourbillon astronomical running tourbillon, making it the first Cartier mass-produced movement to benefit from this technological innovation.
2014: The Mystery of the Astrotourbillon
Cartier reinterpreted the Astrotourbillon astronomical tourbillon in the form of sculpture. It is completely exposed and not connected to any other mechanical parts, so that it can be seen more clearly. Its design and production are all reconsidered and follow the strictest rules of proportion, harmony and balance. The aesthetic concept behind this highlights the structure of the movement with a bold and innovative design, making it ‘disappear’ behind Cartier’s iconic Roman numerals XII and VI on the dial, thus leaving a wide range for watchmakers. Space, showing the spectacular beauty of the Astrotourbillon celestial rotating tourbillon, and at the same time making it move more widely.
Roman numerals XII and VI: Cartier’s iconic design
The main splint of the 9461 MC movement is completely hollowed out, supported only by two Roman numeral hour markers. In this unique architecture, these bridges form a strong movement, define its appearance, and support the entire mechanical structure.
Astrotourbillon’s volley rotation
Not only in the mechanical structure, the celestial design also exists in the tourbillon frame. In fact, its extended shape can increase the amplitude of rotation, reminiscent of the trajectory of celestial bodies in space. Combining the innovative evolution of technology with a bold artistic perspective, the Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon skeleton tourbillon skeleton watch shows the brand’s ambitions-both from a technical and aesthetic perspective, it is full of imagination and Creativity is a breakthrough in Cartier’s fine watchmaking collection. It achieves a double feat—simplifying the components while giving the movement a sculptural appearance, and at the same time creating a wider operating space for the unique complexity of the Astrotourbillon astronomical tourbillon.
Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon skeleton tourbillon skeleton watch
Case: 18K white gold case, 47mm diameter
Crown: bead-shaped crown set with a convex round sapphire
Hands: Sword-shaped blue steel hands
Strap: Black alligator strap
Buckle: 18K white gold folding buckle
Case back: sapphire crystal case back
Case thickness: 15.5 mm
Water resistance: 3 bar (~ 30 meters)
Numbered and limited to 100 pieces
Cartier 9461 MC workshop refined manual winding mechanical movement
Equipped with Astrotourbillon celestial rotating tourbillon, the tourbillon frame rotates once a minute and consists of 233 parts, including 23 ruby bearings
Movement diameter: 16 ¾ legal minutes, or 38 mm
Movement thickness: 8.89 mm
Balance vibration frequency: 21,600 times per hour
Power reserve: about 48 hours