2009 brought a big surprise from Cartier. They pulled back the curtain to reveal the ID1, their first concept watch. In a Ballon Bleu case made of the alloy Niobium Titanium, the ID1 used carbon crystal for the balance wheel, anchor and escape wheel as well as the going train–all in the horological effort to increase precision by eliminating the problems of friction and regulation of energy.

What makes the concept watches even more remarkable is that Cartier is the brand behind them. Yes, Cartier, the company that started off as a jeweler. Of course they sold watches, and some awesome ones at that. They practically invented the wristwatch industry when Louis Cartier created the Santos watch for his buddy Albert Santos-Dumont, a pioneering aviator who needed a more practical timepiece than a pocket watch so he could keep both hands on the “wheel” while flying the friendly skies.

However, despite designing such iconic pieces like the Tank, Cartier sourced movements from other companies like Jaeger-LeCoultre. Within the last few years in particular, Cartier has been on a roll. They’ve created a manufacture and presented some incredible innovations like the Central Chronograph and Minute Repeater with Flying Tourbillon under the leadership of superstar head of Fine Watchmaking Carole Forestier-Kasapi.

Cartier isn’t just a one concept wonder. They have proved their commitment to continue to push the boundaries. Just last month presented ID2, a continuation of the endless quest to harness watch mechanics to measure precise time. They created a vacuumed environment in a Calibre case made of an interesting material called Ceramyst that is completely clear. There’s no better person to breakdown and explain all of the innovations in a clear way than Jack Forster.

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