|Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin Mystery Clocks c.1850|
Originally inspired by the work Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, the first Mystery Clocks were designed for (Louis) Cartier in 1913 by Maurice Couet and known as the “Model A.” They featured rotating rock crystal discs to which hands were mounted to indicate the hours and minutes. The rock crystal allows the viewer to see right through the clock, which seemingly has no perceptible means for the hands to move. The mechanism by which the crystal discs turn is invisibly powered by gears hidden in the frame of the clock, while the base of the clock conceals the main body of its mechanical movement. For decades the “Pendule Mystérieuses” or “Mystery Clocks” have captured the imagination. The cost and complexity of the mystery clocks has meant that, over the years, few examples have been made and they achieve astronomical prices every time they come out in auction.
|Cartier Mystery Clock set with Citrine in Black Jade and enamel|
|Cartier Mystery Clock set in Quartz|