We study the styling of the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Chronograph and test its in-house movement in this review from the WatchTime archives. Original photos are by OK-Photography.
The 1904-CH MC is made so that the chronograph’s Replica Watches UK central elapsed-seconds hand can also be used as a running seconds hand. The two barrels maintain a constant level of drive torque independently of the winding status of their mainsprings, which ensures rate stability and precision. Our rate measurements show that the good rate continues when the chronograph is running. The results remain more or less identical after the watch has been allowed to run for 24 hours without additional winding. If the Rotonde de Cartier Chronograph is worn regularly, it will usually have fully wound mainsprings. The rotor, which turns smoothly in a sturdy ceramic ball bearing, winds the movement in both its directions of rotation. Bidirectional winding is achieved using an alternator with an innovative pawl-click system, which accelerates the winding speed.
The zero-return function is blocked while the chronograph is running. Cartier achieved this by installing a linear heart lever inside the movement. The lever ensures the simultaneous return of all elapsed-time hands to their zero positions independently of the pressure exerted on the push-piece. The vertical coupling ensures that the chronograph starts and stops precisely. But despite the high technology, Cartier hasn’t ignored aesthetic finesse. In addition to Geneva waves and satin finishing, circular graining embellishes even the hidden sides of various components. The fine adjustment system for the balance is an eye-catcher, too: the C-shaped regulator with eccentric screw not only facilitates ultra-precise setting; it also underscores the brand’s identity.
Roman numerals on the dial and “Cartier” in signature type above the two subdials emphasize the brand’s identity, too. (It’s rather challenging to neatly print the brand’s name on the silver-plated and guilloché-embellished brass background.) A sunray pattern adorns the main dial, while concentric circles decorate the subdials. The minutes are counted along a railway-style circle using Arabic numerals at five-minute intervals; the hours are shown by Roman numerals and index strokes.
The watch has a high-quality leather strap that inserts without stops from both sides into a folding clasp that pivots on one side only. This lets the wearer customize the fit of the strap, which has a certain lightness and is comfortable to wear. It takes a bit of force to open the clasp, which responds to a strong tug on its bow, which is shaped like the “C” in the “Cartier” name.
Manufacturer: Cartier SA, Chemin des Alisiers 10, 2300, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Reference number: WSRO0002
Functions: Hours, minutes, central elapsed seconds, counters for 30 elapsed minutes and 12 elapsed hours, date display
Movement: In-house Caliber 1904-CH MC, automatic, 28,800 vph, Glucydur balance, Incabloc shock absorption, fine adjustment via eccentric screw in a C-shaped spring, 48-hour power reserve, diameter = 26.8 mm, height = 5.7 mm
Case: Stainless steel, sapphire crystal, sapphire window in caseback, water-resistant to 30 meters
Strap and clasp: Alligator strap with folding clasp that pivots on one side only
Rate results (deviations in seconds per 24 hours, fully wound/after 24 hours)
Dial up +7.6/+4.6
Dial down +7.8/+2.7
Crown up -2.0/+0.8
Crown down +5.3/+5.7
Crown left -1.7/0.0
Greatest deviation of rate 9.8/5.7
Average deviation +3.4/+2.8
Flat positions 316°/296°
Hanging positions 264°/253°
Dimensions: Diameter = 40 mm, height = 12.2 mm, weight = 82 grams
Variations: With rose-gold case ($23,700); with white-gold case ($25,400, limited edition of 300 pieces)
If you’d like to see more Cartier watches, have a look at these 5 Notable Cartier Watches under $10,000!