Tortue Monopoussoir | 2396 | white gold

Collection Privée Cartier Paris

Regular price

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Tortue Monopoussoir | 2396 | white gold

Collection Privée Cartier Paris

Regular price

The classic Tortue Monopoussoir was introduced in 1999, as a part of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris, in three differing case-metals: white gold, yellow gold, and pink gold. Each bears its own vintage-inspired dial, with a mechanical movement developed by some of independent watchmaking’s finest.


In the last decade of the 20th century, the industry was still recovering from the impact of the quartz crisis, with consumers just starting to redevelop an interest in mechanical watches. In the midst of this, Cartier aimed to reestablish its credibility as a true watchmaking manufacture. From 1998 to 2008, the Collection Privée Cartier Paris brought back some of the most iconic Cartier designs from the past century, from the Crash to the Tank Cintréecombined with high quality mechanical movements. In many cases, these distinctive designs hadn’t been produced for decades, speaking to the jeweller’s desire to place an increased focus on its heritage.

All the Collection Privée Cartier Paris - or CPCP for short - pieces housed high-quality mechanical movements, at a time when the jeweller was mostly associated with quartz. Not possessing the mechanical knowledge in-house, Cartier relied on a range of external suppliers, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, Frédéric Piguet, Piaget or THA Ébauche - a collaborative movement manufacture between Vianney Halter, Denis Flageollet and François-Paul Journe. All the movements were manual-winding, rather than automatic, emphasising the traditional nature of this project.

All the Collection Privée Cartier Paris watches feature small, distinctive details, intended to set them apart. With the exception of the Cintrée, all of them are signed “Cartier Paris” on the dial, a subtle nod to their vintage pieces. They also display a central rose motif just beneath the hands, which radiates into a classic guilloché. Even the subtle engravings on the caseback are reminiscent of what they used to do in the early 20th century. As for the manual-winding movements, these were finished in-house by Cartier, with their interlaced “double C” pattern appearing across the collection.

Despite the brand’s global reach at the time, the Collection Privée models were produced in small quantities, with many explicitly limited to 50, 100 or 150 pieces. As for those that weren’t marked as part of a numbered series, evidence suggests that production often remained between 200 to 500 pieces. Eventually, partially due to difficulties and delays in getting parts from their various suppliers, the CPCP program came to an end.

A product of collaboration

Created by Louis Cartier in 1912, the Tortue was only Cartier’s third wristwatch design, after the Santos Dumont and Tonneau. With its unmistakable DNA and Cartier’s timeless style, the model's tortoise-inspired case quickly became a classic.

A reference point in the history of modern watchmaking, the Calibre 045MC that powers the Tortue Monopoussoir was produced by THA Èbauche. Founded in 1996, THA was a collaborative movement manufacture by Vianney Halter, Denis Flageollet, the founder of De Bethune, and François-Paul Journe, before their respective brands became household names. With this illustrious collection of watchmakers involved, there is little surprise that the Calibre 045MC is both technically and visually impressive. Reminiscing on the collaboration during a recent interview, Dennis Flageollet said,

"We were young, we had no doubts and we created incredible objects together that would be difficult to make today."

Having worked closely with the jeweller on some other projects, the watchmakers suggested the project to Cartier, on the basis of re-creating a monopusher chronograph from the 1920s. According to Flageollet, the heads of product at Cartier at the time did not have extensive knowledge of their heritage, yet the watchmakers behind THA Èbauche felt compelled to realise the project. 

A Contemporary Design

Used only for the various Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir models, the Tank Monopoussoir and De Bethune Monopoussoir, the Calibre 045MC uses a lever escapement. With a clutch system, the motion of the second wheel to the chronograph’s central wheel is activated by a double swivel pin, removing the "jolt" of the seconds hand which often occurs in chronographs operated by a lateral clutch. The resulting operation allows the hand to smoothly glide across the dial.

Beneath the curved crystal, a modern-style guilloché dial replaces the design of the original model from the 1920s, with the blued steel Breguet style hands and matching inky-blue minute track. An oversized "XII" numeral sits at 12 o'clock, with its dramatic proportions imbuing the design with a more contemporary feel. This is balanced by the "Cartier Paris" signature at 6 o'clock, which is also rendered in the same blue tone. Overall, the dial design blends the best of vintage Cartier, with bolder colours and proportions, combining the past and the present.

The white case measures 43 x 35mm, with a thickness of 10mm. The is gently curved, such that the watch hugs the wrist in a way that is both comfortable and elegant. On the side of the case, the octagonal crown serves to start, stop and reset the chronograph.
The Set

This Cartier Monopoussoir comes with its white outer box, red inner CPCP box and the original red document holder, which includes a "Discover Cartier Watches" DVD and stamped paperwork from sale, confirming the watch was sold in July 2000. It’s accompanied by one of our Stockholm grey grained leather straps, its burgundy Cartier-signed alligator strap and 18-carat white gold deployant clasp.

To find out more about the the Collection Privée Cartier Paris, you can read our in-depth article on the topic.


Brand: Cartier
Model: Monopoussoir Ref. 2396
Movement: mechanical manual-winding Cal. 045MC
Functions: chronograph, hours, minutes, sub-seconds
Features: guilloché dial, display back, blue steel hands
Case: 43 x 35 mm 18-carat white gold
Crystal: sapphire front and back
Bracelet: Stockholm grained leather strap, burgundy Cartier alligator strap with white gold deployant clasp
Year: 2000 (sold)
Box & papers: outer and inner boxes, leather document holder, stamped paperwork, Cartier DVD
This Cartier Monopoussoir reference 2396 is in excellent condition, with light superficial marks visible on the case throughout, consistent with light wear. Both model engravings and hallmarks remain deep and legible on the underside of the case. It is guaranteed for authenticity and comes with a two-year warranty from A Collected Man.

All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough mechanical inspections, including being ultrasonically cleaned, serviced and resealed if appropriate and tested for at least four days, to ensure they meet our highest timekeeping standards. Our pre-owned and vintage watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. For example, due to their age, some vintage watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when they were new. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. 

All of our new watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer. Please contact us for further information.

We offer complimentary worldwide delivery on our watches. If ordering from overseas, delivery will depend on the value of the timepiece and the destination. All import taxes and duties are the responsibility of the buyer.

If ordering from the UK before 1 PM, your watch will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working day.

Please note that pre-owned goods (in the United Kingdom) are subject to a marginal rate of VAT, which can not be reclaimed. For further information, please see here

You can cancel your order without giving any reason, within 14 days from the day the watch has been delivered to you.

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