Watches and Wonders 2022: Cartier unveils secrets of the Masse Mystérieuse

Cartier’s penchant for creating exceptional timepieces that highlight craftsmanship with a touch of whimsy is evident in many of its designs

Cartier Masse Mystérieuse. Photo: Handout

From the irregular silhouette of Crash de Cartier that’s been getting plenty of attention in recent years to its history producing mysterious clocks, the Maison continues the legacy year after year with new and daring designs.

With over a century of know-how and craftsmanship creating mysterious clocks, the house has, over the years, applied the same mesmerising technique to wristwatches. The hands that seemingly suspended in mid-air across the dial of the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton Watch paved the way for timepieces that challenged the convention of traditional timekeeping.

Cartier Masse Mystérieuse. Photo: Handout

This year, Cartier stuns with an all-new mysterious creation that further blurs the lines between illusion and reality. The Masse Mystérieuse gives whole new meaning to movement with a calibre that intricately doubles as the rotor. Eight years in the making, the timepiece makes a striking impact with a semi-circle movement and oscillating weight that appears to defy physics at first glance.

The oscillating weight moves inside the hour marker track with the wrist’s movement. At the dial’s centre are the hour and minute hands set on the movement yet seem to float on top of the dial. 

Cartier Masse Mystérieuse’ close-up movement. Photo: Handout

The transparent face, dial and caseback are built with sapphire crystal to lend the design its transparency. While the movement and hands look suspended inside the watch, they’re, in fact, set on six rotating sapphire disks attached to the platinum case. 

The skeletonised movement with a 43-hours power reserve is housed inside the 43.5 mm case.

A ruby cabochon crown accents the grey timepiece; the iteration featuring a leather strap is in a limited run of 30 pieces, while the diamond pave and baguette diamond pave versions are each exclusively limited to 10 pieces each.

Also see: Watches and Wonders 2022: Montblanc’s homage to Mount Everest 

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