In the lead-up to SIHH 2013, Cartier have already released details of the new chunky and manly Calibre de Cartier Chronograph, the full-bodied and handsome Rotunde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar and this piece, the Cartier Ballon Bleu Tourbillon Dual Time Jump Hour.
There is much to admire in this unusual dial which features a trio of focal-points, each with its own island-like reserve of space, each resting atop a background of superb perlage. This is a traditionally styled, yet modern piece, and is one which is entirely representative of Cartier's self-imposed raising of the bar to Haute Horlogerie standards which, with Carole Forestier-Kasapi in charge of development has seen the continued production of in-house calibres, worthy of the Geneva Seal.
The two hour dials oppose eachother - one large, the other diminutive; one stencil-cut to its bare bones, the other snailed; one with highly recognisable bold Roman numerals, the other with Arabic numbers appearing in their most plain, basic form, and at 6 o'clock, a superb tourbillon with its elevated "C" bridge also demands attention.
The whole design is so satisfyingly rounded that nothing disrupts its form, not even the slightly quirky railtrack which curves to accommodate the circular cradle which surrounds the splendid cabochon crown. The case is large, at 46mm but promises to wear slender at just under 14mm high.
Two editions of the Cartier Ballon Bleu Tourbillon Dual Time Jump Hour will be available, white gold or rose gold, each strictly limited to 50 pieces.
More details at Cartier's official website.
Or perhaps a glimpse at the (... thoroughly gorgeous) Rotunde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronograph here.