It is not everyday when a watch manufacture introduces a new line of watches. This SIHH, we witnessed two brands, introducing new lines. Vacheron Constantin introduced the Harmony line, and here we have Cartier with the Clé (French for key).
Cartier is the master of style. And their case design form the industry standard yardsticks where others measure themselves. Their classic Santos, Tank, Crash, are all iconic designs. And the new Clé promises to lead yet another revolution.
A rethinking of the front shape, a round, ellipse, or an oval? The press literature describes the design goal is to achieve a perfect circle. Indeed, this circle is described completely by the dial and the bezel. But there is more, the perfect circle is enveloped in a slight oval shape which defines the case proper, giving a very pleasing look.
The crown also gets some design attention. It takes the form of a key, flat on one side, rather substantial, decorated with a sapphire. To set the time, the crown is pulled, turned 90deg to access the setting mechanism. After setting, return the crown to vertical position, push in. A click signifies it is home, and the watch is ready to use.
The movement is the new caliber 1847 MC, with 42 hours power reserve and a semi-instantaneous date display.