Cartier Privé: Tank Normale3 April 2023
Each year, a rare watch joins Cartier Privé, the collectors’ collection that celebrates and explores the Maison’s mythical models through limited edition and numbered watches. These unique and sought-after watches bridge the gap between Cartier’s watchmaking heritage and their contemporary aesthetic vision. Today, Cartier Privé reveals its 7th opus: the Tank Normale, which takes its place alongside the Crash watch, the Tank Cintrée, the Tonneau, the Tank Asymétrique, the Cloche and the Tank Chinoise. Made in 1917 by Louis Cartier and sold two years later, the Tank is one of the most remarkable creations of the Maison and indeed in the history of watchmaking. Its meticulous design and pure lines have made it an eternal watch capable of transcending time.
This year, Cartier has dreamt up an hour/minute version limited to 100 pieces that borrows the proportions and bevelled sapphire crystal of the original. It comes in yellow gold with a brown alligator strap (€. 31,000) and in platinum with a black alligator strap (€. 34,900). A first for the Cartier Privé collection, it is also available with a yellow gold (€. 46,400) and a platinum bracelet (€. 53,500), with contrasting satin and polished finishes in a clear nod to the 1970s. The case and bracelet appear as one with their satin finishes. This continuity is juxtaposed against the polished finish, which highlights the outlines of the brancards and the edges of the case.
TANK NORMALE “SKELETON”
To this iconic shape in the Maison’s watchmaking history, Cartier adds one of its signature complications with a skeleton movement. It also features a 24-hour complication marked by a sun and crescent moon, also skeletonised. While the minute hand turns around the dial in one hour, the hour hand goes round in 24 hours instead of 12 hours. As a result, daytime hours appear on the upper part of the dial and night-time hours appear on the lower part. To symbolise the transition from day to night, watchmakers have coated the skeletonised bridges with a gradation of shades adorning the two halves of the dial.
A limited edition of 50 numbered watches, this skeletonised Tank comes in yellow gold on a brown and green alligator strap with a blue sapphire cabochon on the winding crown (€. 71,000) and in platinum on a burgundy and grey alligator strap with a ruby cabochon on the winding crown (€. 80,000). A watch with a case set with brilliant-cut diamonds completes the ensemble, in a limited edition of 20 numbered pieces, featuring alligator straps in two shades of blue with a brilliant-cut diamond on the winding crown (€. 107,000).
Hallmarks of the original Tank can be found throughout all these variations: blued hands, a cabochon on the winding crown and, on the simple Tank Normale, rail tracks and a secret signature – countless signs that this collector’s watch is right at home in Cartier Watchmaking.