In 2009, Cartier launched its Innovation and Development program with the stunning Cartier ID One Concept Watch, a Ballon Bleu-style timepiece enhanced with high-tech details that would render regulation and adjustments, either during assembly or the life of the watch, unnecessary. Its balance wheel, escape wheel, and lever were produced in Carbon Crystal, a diamond-like material that allows the escapement to function without a drop of oil. And the case was made of titanium-niobium, a wear-resistant, hypoallergenic alloy with better shock absorption than steel. The concept watch filled its intended purpose, wowing audiences and demonstrating the staid watchmakers' engineering prowess, but sadly, with no intentions of bringing its brilliant design to the market. That is, until now.
Those technologically advanced flourishes have been incorporated into the Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal, a new model Cartier announced last week that also features a distinguished spinning escapement mechanism as its second hand. Its official debut is scheduled for the 2013 Salon International Haute Horlogerie, Geneva's world-renowned luxury watch fair. An extremely limited edition of 50 titanium-niobium pieces will be available, and priced accordingly with a six-figure sum.
Watch a short video on the Cartier Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal watch below: