Extremely rare and attractive, this well preserved Cartier desk clock is a highly unusual timepiece which is thought of as a prized possession amongst aficionados of fine Cartier clocks. In two parts, the solid onyx ball sits atop its jade base. The red enamel bezel and triangular-shaped diamond-set accents are in harmony with the coral and diamond-set corners of the base and together they sit in proportion with elegance.
Made most likely in the Coüet workshop, the clock is masterfully manufactured in true Cartier style. There is no key for setting and no crown to turn, rather the clock is wound and set through lifting and turning the entire bezel clockwise. This is the second generation of the Cartier Sphere Clocks, the first was wound by turning the bezel as well, but had to be set by turning the bezel at the same time as pressing a small pin in the back. The second generation, the present clock, took the pin away and this design called for a complicated mechanism to allow the setting by pulling out the bezel.
On further inspection, the clock is even more delightfully surprising. The movement is stamped "Zenith" in addition to "European Watch and Clock Co.". Only very select and special Cartier clocks have movements which were commissioned to be made by Zenith and are double signed, the present example falling into that very select group. Furthermore, the present clock is offered in excellent overall condition and is an incredible example of Cartier style during the Art Deco period. A similar clock, also with a Zenith movement is in the Cartier collection, inventory number CDS 05 A26.