The name Cartier needs no introduction. As one of the most influential and celebrated jewellery and watch brands of the last 100 years, it has always stood as a mark of luxury and desirability. Without taking away from its historical significance, I would say that when it comes to watches, Cartier has always been predominantly known as a ‘design’ brand rather than a pure watchmaking one, with stunningly iconic models such as the Tank, the Crash, and the Santos all seen as important due to how it looks. In fact, to this day, it is the beautiful and unconventional designs that attract collectors and allows it to hold a unique position in the watch brand hierarchy that no other possesses.
Exceptionally elegant, majestic and revered by many for its timeless allure, we have for you today a Cartier Privé Tank Cintrée in platinum. While there are many iconic models from Cartier, it would be hard to dispute that the Tank Cintrée sits atop as one of the flagships of the brand. For historical context, the Tank Cintrée made its debut in 1921, a mere two years following the introduction of the original Tank and has intermittently held its place in the brand's repertoire ever since. One special thing to note about the Tank Cintrée, in general, is that it has always been either made to order or in very small quantities, making the model itself, irrespective of variant, a very special one.
Designed as a more refined and graceful iteration of the Tank, the Tank Cintrée boasts a distinctive case profile characterized by a seemingly broad, elongated yet slender design (this example measuring 46.3mm x 23mm) with a subtle arch, seamlessly embracing any wrist it graces and effortlessly fitting under the cuff. As with all Tank Cintrées, it is hard to describe in mere words just how elegant and thoughtful the case design actually is. It is only once after one wears a Tank Cintrée, that they truly understand what the hype is all about. I have never seen a watch sit so perfectly flush against my wrist, and that is a true testament to the masterful design of the Tank Cintrée.
When it comes to the dial beneath its mineral crystal, this Privé Tank Cintrée encapsulates quintessential Cartier aesthetic codes, showcasing a tastefully restrained and serene design with a subtly brushed finish that pays tribute to the very first Tank models. Noteworthy details here include a subtle light grey-coloured railway minutes track, a pair of polished and highly ornate Arabic ‘12’ and ‘6’ hour markers applied at 12 and 6 o'clock respectively, a set of blackened steel sword hands, and the iconic and striking ruby cabochon set on its beaded crown. Here, this ruby cabochon serves not only as a distinctive Cartier signature but also as a contrasting design element, effectively breaking up the overall monochromatic colour scheme as we see in this example.
Powering the Privé Tank Cintrée from within is Cartier's manual-winding Cal. 8971 MC, essentially based on Jaeger LeCoultre’s Cal. 846 and features a power reserve of 36 hours when fully wound.
Given everything I have discussed above, it's no mystery why the Cintrée has prominently held the esteemed position of the flagship model within the renowned Maison — it simply looks and wears like a dream. This particular Privé Tank Cintrée in platinum made its debut as a 100-piece limited edition at SIHH 2018 (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, now known as Watches and Wonders), unveiled alongside two other regular production variants in 18-carat rose gold and yellow gold. Undoubtedly, it stands out as one of the most iconic Cartier timepieces in the Maison’s most coveted metal, an absolute must-have for any serious collector.