Monopoussoir | 2396B | white gold
Collection Privée Cartier Paris
The classic Tortue Monopoussoir was introduced in 1998, as a part of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris, or CPCP for short, 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.
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.
As a series of mechanical watches based on historic Cartier designs, the Collection Privée Cartier Paris demonstrated what Cartier was capable of producing during a period where the brand was more closely associated with quartz-based timepieces. Most of the models within the CPCP collection were available between 1998 and 2008, in limited numbers, using mechanical movements from external suppliers, until the Fine Watchmaking Collection was introduced using movements developed in-house. Nowadays, collectors look back on some of CPCP pieces as some of the most interesting ones from Cartier's modern history.
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 combination of Cartier design and the Calibre 045MC movement, explains the appeal of this Tortue Monopoussoir amongst independent watch collectors of today. It’s accompanied by one of our Stockholm grey grained leather straps, its navy Cartier-signed alligator strap and 18-carat white gold deployant clasp.
|Model:||Monopoussoir Ref. 2396B|
|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, Cartier alligator strap with white gold deployant clasp|
|Box & papers:||-|
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