Skeletonized mechanical watches are enjoying a sort of new golden age because the visually very satisfying decoration process also happens to help watch lovers justify why they spend the big bucks on luxury timepieces. It isn’t always enough to have a mental reminder that your high-end timepiece contains a nice movement – sometimes you want a constant reminder on your wrist. Moreover, the skeletonization process offers a very real view into the operation of these tiny machines which track the time. The emotional enjoyment one receives from Best Replica Cartier Watches Uk viewing the moving gears, beating regulation system, and hand-finished surfaces should never be underestimated.
Ever since Cartier released the 41mm-wide version of the Cartier Clé watch with the “mysterious hours” complication (hands-on here), I’ve been quietly in love with this still newer case design as the foundation of interesting, more high-end models that are nevertheless simple in their presentation (the Cartier Clé collection as a whole was introduced at SIHH 2015). SIHH 2016 sees the debut of the Clé de Cartier Automatic Skeleton, which takes Cartier’s now popular in-house-made and distinctly skeletonized watch movements a step further by adding automatic winding – a first for a movement of this type produced by Cartier.
The challenge in offering a skeletonized movement is in making it both visually attractive, as well as legible and practical. Sometimes movements that were never meant to be skeletonized receive the decorative process and aren’t that amazing-looking as a result. Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more movements designed from the ground up with skeletonization in mind. Cartier isn’t shy about the fact that it meant for the in-house calibre 9621 MC to be cut up and decorated. In fact, the signature Roman numeral hour markers are actually part of the movement bridge structure itself.
With that said, the challenge in maintaining a high degree of legibility in the Cartier Clé Automatic Skeleton is due to the fact that the face is really a skeletonized dial that sits on top of a skeletonized movement. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this from Cartier, and the result is something that does feel beautiful albeit impractical from the perspective of daily utility. Granted, this isn’t going to be the most precise-to-read timepiece you’ll probably own, but the blued steel sword-style hands over the full scale of Roman numeral or baton hour markers make the Cartier Clé Automatic Skeleton watch convenient to live with, at least.