A few weeks ago, at Watches & Wonders 2015 in Hong Kong, we went hands-on with the Cartier Clé de Cartier Mysterious Hour replica watches – Cartier’s way of bringing the Clé to its next, probably ultimate level, both in terms of design, as well as sheer mechanical complexity.
It happens with cars all the time. A nice new mid-range model comes out (think of the ever-latest Audi A4, BMW 3-series, etc.) – and it looks great! But then, the “RS” beefed up sports version debuts, and everything looks sharper, better defined, and somehow more cohesive in its design… and you think, “could this be how they originally intended it?” The original Clé I found to be beautiful (in a clever, intelligent, not necessarily immediately-obvious way) when Cartier released it earlier this year as an all-new, relatively affordable line of watches in January at SIHH 2015. I was happy about the moderate size, the interesting and various ways that the case is curved – it just looked and wore right.
The Cartier Clé de Cartier Mysterious Hour takes everything the Clé is, and turns it up to 11. While it may not have been blindingly obvious at first, what made the Clé really stand out was its balanced, beautifully proportioned look – and the Cartier Clé de Cartier Mysterious Hour further evolves on that by playing with the rule of thirds and other basic (but difficult-to-master) rules of design and geometrics. Long, sloping curves are met with two perfect circles – the larger and the smaller dials – and before it appears to all be melting off your wrist, Cartier’s trademark bold Roman numerals and the rectangular cabochon in the crown add some strength to the overall appearance.
As we always do, we tried to capture the essence of the design with our photography – there really was not an angle from which the Cartier Clé series copy watches appeared to lack cleverly chosen proportions and that overall, positively overwhelming aesthetic.
As its name implies, the Cartier Clé de Cartier Mysterious Hour features Cartier’s “mysterious hours” indication which may have been around for a long time, but somehow, here, just utterly fails to show its age. The funny thing is that when compared to the – rather numerous – other pieces from the brand which comprised this funky time indication, this may be the first piece where it feels and looks as though it was an integral component of the design, and not a gimmick that stands above every other part.