Mystery Watch #2: Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours, calibre 9981 MC

Written by Kidist Amanuel


 One of the oldest jewelers and watch makers in the world, Cartier recently unveiled two “mystery” watches in Geneva – the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon (see yesterday’s post) and Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours. The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Double Tourbillon, as the name implies, is a double tourbillon with two axes of rotation. The tourbillon titanium carriage has no visible connection to the rest of the movement and thus appears to float free at the heart of the watch. Similar to this double tourbillon, Cartier’s second “mystery” watch, the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours, has great lightness and is part of the Cartier Fine Watchmaking collection.


The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours comes in two versions: a white or rose gold case. The case measures 42 millimeters in diameter and is 11.6 millimeters high. While both versions are numbered they are not limited edition. Jeweler versions will also be available with either diamond-set bezel or both dial and bezel. Inside this case is the in-house movement that is the heart of this watch. The movement comprises 158 parts and has 48 hours of power reserve. The 9981 MC movement has hands mounted on a clear sapphire disc with a toothed rim. The metal teeth are deposited on the sapphire by DRIE for precision. Each disc is driven by gearing around the discs and both discs have a central pivot where the hands are attached. The gearing is hidden by the dial, which is where the name “mysterious” comes from.


Technical Specifications


Case – 18k white gold or rose gold; 42 mm diameter and 11.6 mm thickness

Crown – circular-grained in 18k pink gold set with sapphire cabochon

Dial – Sapphire crystal, white galvanized guilloché dial, silvered openwork grid with sunray effect, and transfered black Roman numerals, sword-shaped hands in rhodium-coated steel

Strap – Alligator-skin with double adjustable deployment buckle in 18k white or rose gold

Water resistant to 30 meters (3 bar)

Caliber 9981 MC – mechanical manufacture movement with manual winding; 158 parts with 27 jewels

Movement – 31.3 mm diameter, 4.61 mm thickness; 21,800 vibrations per hour; 48 hours power reserve

Mysterious hour and minute display complication


The rose gold version of the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hours will retail for approximately 36,000 Euro while the white gold version will retail for 38,500 Euro. The jeweled version of this timepiece will retail from approximately 51,000 Euro to 71,000 Euro.