The Tank Cintrée
Created by Louis Cartier in 1917, the Tank became publicly available in 1919, in very limited numbers. The Tank Cintrée was itself launched two years later, developing on the design traits of the original. Its elongated rectangular case and elegant curves quickly became a classic, having been adopted by Fred Astaire, Steve McQueen and Ralph Lauren, to name just a few. Vintage examples of the Tank Cintrée were made in extremely limited numbers, and examples that remain in original condition come up for public sale infrequently, making them as elusive, as they are attractive.
Towards the end 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. They brought back some of the most iconic Cartier designs from the past century, combined with 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.
Eventually, this would culminate in the Collection Privée Cartier Paris, which was in place between 1998 and 2008. Prior to this, however, Cartier released a few pieces which spoke to this newly found focus on heritage, mechanics and inventiveness. Combining the classic, curved lines of the Cintrée with a contemporary complication, this Tank Cintrée Dual Time is perhaps one of the most inventive pieces from this era.
A Contemporary Design
Cased in white gold, this Cintrée Dual Time is both elongated and noticeably curved, measuring 45mm by 23mm. Just 8mm thick, it serves as an elegant dress watch, fitting perfectly beneath the cuff. It hugs the wrist, in a way that is both supremely comfortable, yet distinctively elegant and characterful. Overall, the design is more angular than that found on previous Cintrée watches, which is most obvious when looking at the lugs and crowns.
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 two sapphire cabochons bringing a touch of colour. It features a closed caseback, with a brushed finish. The hallmarks are deep and crisp, with the word "MECANIQUE" reminding the wearer of the mechanical movement which lies within.
This piece presents a distinctive take on the dual time complication, with two dials sitting on top of one another, powered by two independant movements. The top dial features Roman numerals going all the way round, whilst the bottom one features a more pared back design. The "CARTIER" signature sits in the middle, with "PARIS" also appearing on the bottom dial. The dial is lightly textured, with an off white colour reminiscent of the French jeweller's vintage pieces, whilst the blued steel hands are executed in a legible sword shape.
This white gold Cartier Cintrée Dual Time is powered by two separate ETA 2412 calibres. This manual-winding movement has a diameter of 15.3mm, and was likely chosen on account of its modest size, which allows it to be integrated within the slim, curved case.
It is accompanied by its paper envelope, Certificat de Garantie International (confirming the serial numbers and that it was sold through a Cartier retailer in Italy) and hangtag. It also comes with its original Cartier strap and white gold tang buckle. It is accompanied by a custom 17mm x 16mm Stockholm strap, made out of grey grained leather.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this Cartier Tank Cintrée Dual Time will be subject to 20% VAT. Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.