Cartier Tortue Worldtime

Cartier Tortue Worldtime: Meet the traveling turtle

by Olivier Müller
Cartier, Over $30,000

January is not that far away any more. That’s a fact : watch nerds don’t care about December and Christmas : they care about January and the SIHH, International Fair of Haute Horlogerie ! Before the next edition opens its doors in a couple of weeks, let’s have a glance at what Cartier recently unveiled about its old-time best seller, the Tortue.

Cartier Tortue Worldtime: back on its best-sellers

It’s a pretty good news that Cartier takes again a serious look at its Tortue. For quite a while, the brand focused on its Tourbillon, especially on the Mysterieux ones. This was a necessary step to take, the time for Cartier to let the whole world know about its skills and capacities. This job done, Cartier comes back on its historic pieces. The SIHH will be the place to admire, again, some good old timepieces such as the Crash or, our focus today, the Tortue (‘turtle’ in French).

Cartier Tortue Worldtime - Red Gold (Dial)

Cartier Tortue Worldtime – Red Gold (Dial)

As its name understates, the Tortue multiple time zone watch is dedicated to world travellers. Their priority is to see the time in the place they are going without losing track of the time at their starting point and, above all, to be able to read this information without performing a tortuous series of operations. At that game, the Tortue multiple time zone watch is an imposing timepiece that discreetly shows its interesting sophistication.

Cartier Tortue Worldtime: Take a walk on the Turtle side

At first sight, this watch does not obviously display its strengths.

Cartier Tortue Worldtime - Red Gold

Cartier Tortue Worldtime – Red Gold

The Tortue belongs to the family of “World Time” watches. It has a dial incorporating a mobile disc carrying the names of major cities which each represent a time zone. But in order to lighten the design of the watch’s face, Cartier chose to have these names appear in a window cut into the side of the Tortue.

Cartier Tortue Worldtime - Red Gold (sideview)

Cartier Tortue Worldtime – Red Gold (sideview)

To avoid mental gymnastics, the time at the current location is clearly displayed by the principal hands. The time at the journey’s starting point is indicated in a semi-circular aperture in the lower half of the dial centre by a day/night hand incorporating symbols for the sun and moon. This mechanism, controlled by a push button at 2 o’clock, allows the wearer to see the time, displayed in 24-hour mode, in cities corresponding to the 24 most commonly used time zones. Last but not least, the caliber takes account of the change from Summer to Winter time in the countries involved. It is indicated on another reference scale in order to keep the time zone correct during the seven months in which Summer time is in effect.

Cartier Tortue Worldtime: Good ideas, but…

The whole system, powered by the 9914 MC caliber, is therefore full of great ideas. It embeds the complete set of information travellers need. The side aperture is note seen enough in haute horlogerie and it’s a great idea from Cartier to have one on its Tortue.

Cartier Tortue Worldtime - Red Gold (Caseback)

Cartier Tortue Worldtime – Red Gold (Caseback)

However, the lateral disc of cities seems quite far away from the case : too close from the movement, too far from the aperture. Moreover, the indications placed on each side of it would have been more elegant engraved than just written. Last drawback, the dimensions of the Tortue : 51 x 45.6 mm. Kind of a huge turtle !

More resource about the Cartier Tortue Worldtime on Perpetuelle Blog, and Official Cartier Website.

    Author Bio

    Articles by Olivier Müller


    Olivier Müller is a professional journalist specialising in horology. He divides his time between Geneva and Paris, covering horology-related topics for a dozen or so magazines and specialist websites in Europe. He is also a regular speaker at various events. In 2008, Olivier Müller set up Delos Communications to manage the writing side of his business, spanning five European countries. Delos Communications also provides consultancy services for horological communication, helping brands as they define and implement their strategy in terms of positioning, messages and audience. In addition to the world’s two largest watchmaking groups, Delos Communications’ clients include a broad range of emerging independent brands, as well as public-sector bodies keen to promote their local watchmaking heritage. Five people work for the agency, including a journalist, a photographer, a community manager and a translator, all with expertise in the world of watchmaking.