SIHH 2011: Cartier Astroregulator
February 21, 2011
This is a short video that demonstrates Cartier's new Astroregulator, which was introduced at SIHH 2011 in January. The Astroregulator features a complication, that like a tourbillon, offsets the negative effects of gravity on the movement. Cartier spent five years developing Calibre 9800 MC Astroregulator, a mechanical movement that was designed, developed, produced and assembled in-house.
Cartier has designed an innovative anti-gravity system using the rotor (oscillating weight that is powered by inertia). The escapement, the oscillator and the pendular seconds have been positioned on the rotor to maintain the center of gravity in a single position. By adjusting the oscillator in this single position, it ensures that the platform of the Astroregulator movement avoids the effect of gravity on timekeeping in all vertical positions.
The movements of the wearer's wrist apply different amounts of force on the entry lip of the escapement, and these forces must be corrected in order to maintain the escapement at a constant speed. So Cartier's watchmakers had to invent a system of two differentials that change the speed transmitted by the wrist to the micro-rotor into a constant speed. This ensures the advance of the seconds is accurately regulated. The micro-rotor has a platinum inertia block, which makes the rotor heavy enough to return to the same position each time it winds. Winding is bi-directional, as opposed to uni-directional like most rotors.
Cartier chose a case with a very large diameter of 50 mm, to showcase this exclusive movement. The case is massive, but it is made of a niobium-titanium alloy that reduces the weight to just 55g, which makes it very comfortable to wear, regardless of the size.
Cartier watchmakers devote almost 60-hours to hand-finishing the Calibre 9800 MC. The main plate is circular grained. The bridges are bevelled, drawn and decorated with Côtes de Genève. A total of 43 jewels and 281 parts make up each movement. Power-reserve is approximately 80 hours. The balance runs a 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz).
A sapphire crystal protects both the front and back of the Astroregulator. The dial features a galvanic guilloche finish, a slate gray color, silvered openwork grill with sunburst effect, and black transferred Roman numerals. Hands are sword-shaped in blued steel. The strap is black alligator with a double adjustable folding clasp is 18k white gold.
Each movement is individually numbered. This is a limited series of 50 individually numbered timepieces.