Tank Américaine | platinum
First 30 pieces
This Tank Américaine was produced as part of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris, which aimed to bring back some of the jeweller's most iconic designs, combined with high quality manual-winding movements. It features a distinctive yet classic design, housed in a rare platinum case. This piece is among the first 30 delivered, as confirmed by the serial number on the caseback.
The Collection Privée Cartier Paris
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 Cintrée, combined 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.
The Tank Américaine
The Tank Américaine was first envisioned in 1989, intended as a more masculine interpretation of the classic Tank Cintrée. It built on the elongated and curved design of the Cintrée, whilst bringing some of the proportions more in line with contemporary tastes, making it thicker and wider, with a greater presence on the wrist. The jeweller experimented with the design for a few years, ultimately settling on the configuration visible in this piece, which arguably represents the most desirable incarnation of the Tank Américaine.
Introduced in 1998, the first year of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris, this Tank Américaine integrates a range of distinctive features. It is made out of platinum, which is the most rarely used metal across the Collection Privée Cartier Paris. The case follows the classic lines of the original Tank from 1917, which was inspired by the Renault tanks which Louis Cartier saw in use on the Western Front. Building on the legacy of the Tank Cintrée, the design is elongated and slightly curved, reaching 43mm by 25mm. The case hugs the wrist, in a way that is both supremely comfortable, yet distinctively elegant and characterful.
The polished sides of the bezel feature an arched shape, sloping down as they reaches the extremities of the case. Meanwhile, the sides of the case are brushed, which creates an interesting interplay of textures, with a sapphire cabochon bringing a touch of colour. As with all platinum pieces from the CPCP series, this Tank Américaine features a closed caseback, with a brushed finish. This piece is among the first 30 delivered, as confirmed by the "N. 002X" serial number on the caseback.
As is to be expected, the dial is signed “Cartier Paris” at 12 o’clock, a nod to some pieces from the early 20th century, which had the city’s name inscribed below the brand. The dial is made out of 18 carat gold, featuring a central rose motif just beneath the hands, which radiates into a traditional guilloché. Evidence suggests that the inspiration for this central rose came from vintage Cartier clocks, which often featured the distinctive decoration. The rail track and Roman numerals are stamped directly onto the dial in black ink, whilst the blued steel hands are executed in a legible sword shape.
This platinum Cartier Tank Américaine is powered by the Calibre 430MC, which is based on a Piaget ébauche. Piaget helped develop a range of calibres for the Collection Privée Cartier Collection, drawing on their mechanical expertise, notably in the field of ultra-thin movements. The manual winding nickel lever movement features 18 jewels, 36 hours of power reserve and a mono-metallic balance.
It is accompanied by its its Cartier Paris Collection Privée red leather box, Cartier hangtag, document holder, Certificate (confirming sale in Rome in March 1999) and manual. It comes on one of our stone grey Stockholm straps, also accompanied by a custom made alligator strap and an 18-carat white gold deployant buckle.
|Model:||Tank Américaine 1734A|
|Movement:||mechanical manual-winding calibre 430MC|
|Features:||guilloché dial, blued steel hands|
|Case:||43mm x 25mm|
|Bracelet:||grey Stockholm strap, a custom made alligator strap, an 18-carat white gold Cartier deployant buckle|
|Box & papers:||Cartier Paris Collection Privée red leather box, Cartier hangtag, document holder, Certificate (confirming sale in Rome in March 1999), manual|
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