Cartier : Window on the world

Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon
CASE : pink gold DIAMETER : 47mm

MOVEMENT : mechanical hand-wound, Caliber 9440 MC, 3-day power reserve

FUNCTIONS : hours, minutes, tourbillon, dual-time, moon phase on demand

DIAL : meteorite, white gold grid forming Roman numerals

CASEBACK : sapphire crystal

STRAP : chestnut brown alligator



A shared vocabulary, similar aesthetic effects and corresponding volumes… Both architecture andwatchmaking are about formal beauty and functionality, enabling Swiss architect Alex Leuzinger, of  Studioforma, to draw fascinating parallels between the two. When Cartier meets Herzog & de Meuron…

The watch : Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon

Buoyed by the extravagant size of the skeleton Roman numerals, a distinctive brand signature, the Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon asserts its powerful aesthetic at first sight. On closer inspection, it reveals the full measure of the mechanical creativity that the Manufacture has been displaying in recent years. This complex watch featuring a dual-time indication, a tourbillon and a moon phase, is nonetheless a model of functionality and readability. Majestically enthroned in the upper part of the pink gold case, a first polished meteorite stone dial symbolizes Earth, with a dual-time disk rotating around it in 24 hours. The lower part is home to the tourbillon and also reveals the moon phase on demand. Pressing the 4 o’clock pusher causes the Moon portrayed by a meteorite stone disk to partially or entirely conceal the tourbillon, with the resulting crescent indicating the age of the Moon. The visual strength of this splendid function is highlighted by a 3D immersion into the heart of the case.

Its architectural alter ego : 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami, by Herzog & de Meuron

In 2005, the city of Miami decided to develop a new multipurpose, mixed-use building at 1111 Lincoln Road. Designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the project was inaugurated in 2010.

Located at the heart of one of the city’s most dynamic and lively streets, the building is entirely in tune with the development and expansion of the district. Housing a car park, a shopping mall, as well as a private residence, the architecture of the building represents a complete break with all known traditional design codes and indeed totally reinvents them.

The architects offer a façade-free structure open onto the outside world and revealing the heart of the building, with majestic proportions playing across several levels. The modular areas are also designed to host temporary events. The sculptural unenclosed staircase connecting all floors is located at the center of the building and enables visitors to discover the premises, with natural circulation inevitably leading to vantage points fromwhich to enjoy panoramic ocean views. The car park is distinguished by concrete slabs serving as ramps, columns and floor plates, with the location and form of these elements resulting from a series of forces acting upon each other.

The overall architecture plays with light, chiaroscuro effects, solids and voids, radiating structural simplicity within conceptual complexity.

The same mindset can be seen in the shapes and structure of the Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon. Both of these fascinate and intrigue us, capturing our attention by superimposed elements, and showcasing inseparably entwined and complete mastery of both technology and history.


Marie De Pimodan : A specialist in watchmaking journalism, she explores theme-based approaches prividing a great means of becoming acquainted with watchmaking and also presents new models. Alex Leuzinger : The well-known Zurich architect explains how the watch submitted for his appraisal by the editorial team reminds him of given architectural work. Fascinating !

Review overview