Three years after the Cartier ID One concept watch, the first adjustment-free watch, Cartier this week announced two models that demonstrate the results of its ongoing research and development to create adjustment-free, lube-free watch collections.
The Cartier ID Two concept watch is a totally new high-efficiency watch with 50% less consumption and 30% more energy storage than a comparable mechanical model. And the new Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal features a tourbillon escapement that requires no adjustments nor lubrication– essentially the first serialized model boasting many of the ID One’s technical breakthroughs. While the ID Two remains a concept piece, the Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal will be launched at the 2013 SIHH as a 50-piece collection.
The ID Two
The result of more than three additional years (five years in total thus far) of research and development, encompassing skills of 135 technicians, the Cartier ID Two concept watch offers 32 days of power reserve in a standard-sized case. Cartier says its designers sought solutions to three primary challenges: Maximizing stored energy, maximizing the energy transmitted from the barrels to the oscillator, and minimizing the oscillator’s energy consumption.
Among the features demonstrated in the ID Two:
For the first time in watchmaking, traditional metallic springs have been replaced with fiberglass springs. Well known by pole-vaulters, this material offers much better elasticity and rigidity properties to store and deliver increased energy. In addition, these barrels are designed on two levels, and each of the twin barrels is equipped with two fiberglass springs coated with parylene to remove the need for lubrication. The result is that 30% more energy is stored when compared to barrels of equivalent size.
Cartier has designed a differential gear train that offers a very high speed reducing ratio that is five times greater than a traditional one with the same output while maintaining high efficiency. It is manufactured in ADLC-coated silicon, which diminishes the wear of the pivots, decreases the play between the gears and reduces the weight of each gear with a very low friction coefficient.
Cartier has created 99.8% vacuum inside the watch case thanks to what it dubs Airfree™ technology. As there is no pressure inside the case, no lubrication is required. Indeed, none of the materials used for the Cartier ID Two concept watch require any lubrication.
To maintain the vacuum inside the case, the watch is manufactured from Ceramyst, a the first polycrystalline transparent ceramic. And the two-part watchcase has no caseback screws since the back is held in place by vacuum. Cartier has filed six patent applications to protect all the major innovations:
- two patents on the duo-level barrels.
- one patent for the differential gear train.
- three patents on the Airfree™ technology.
The brand-new Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon carbon crystal constitutes the first step towards the Cartier ID One industrialization thanks to its tourbillon escapement that requires no adjustments nor lubrication. And, as with the ID One, this watch also requires no lubrication at all.
Look for a detailed description of both these watches in an upcoming issue of International Watch. See below for Cartier video introduction to the ID Two.