16 Jan 2012

Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton W1580017

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By: Kevin Hatton

This sizable men’s watch from the French jewelry and watch maker is extremely limited with only 30 pieces being released. Coming in at a rotund 43.5 mm in diameter and 16.25 mm thick the case to this Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton W1580017 is made of 950‰ platinum with circular grain crown set with a sapphire cabochon. The gold dial with snailed counters is marked by apple shaped blue steel hour and minute hands. The crystal is sapphire as is the case backing. The dial is skeletonized revealing all the 457 parts and 37 jewels of the tourbillion movement with individually numbered mechanical manual winding via the 9362 MC caliber producing 21,600 vibrations per minute and approximately 8 days of power reserve. All of that power to run the single push piece chronograph with perpetual calendar complications. The black alligator leather strap is secured with a double adjustment deployment buckle that is also made of 950‰ platinum. Also, this watch is water resistant to 30 meters or 99 feet.

This is a remarkable watch by a remarkable watchmaker. With features like the intense power reserve, immensely complex tourbillion movement and the precious gems and metals used in the manufacturing of this timepiece it is no wonder they’ve only made 30 of them. It is a big sexy watch with gorgeous design and the skeleton dial adds a fantastic mechanical allure with so many moving parts powering the beast. The only issue with this design decision is because of the complexity of parts having a skeleton design with three calendar sub dials makes the watch remarkably difficult to read. The central position of the sub dials and the thinness and shape of the hour and minute hands make the markers hard to track. The blue steel just isn’t enough of a contrast and the very thin second hand only complicates by getting in the way.

There can be no understating the absolute elegance and class this watch exemplifies. The luxury of this timepiece is adequately reflected in the limited edition of only 30 pieces. But, as one can imagine, so is the price. Cartier does not publish the list price on their website but a potential buyer can request more information on the watch. This is a very special watch that belongs in the upmost echelon of extravagant luxury watches. If you’re looking for a one in a million piece of jewelry that is also a watch it might be wise to go ahead and request more information from Cartier. Remember, there are only 30 of them in existence so it’s not technically one in a million. A purchase is sure to be worth it. I wonder what the box it comes in is made from and looks like.

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