While the modern brand is primarily known for their jewellery, Cartier has a rich horological heritage that has only begun to garner the attention it deserves. Up until about 20 years ago, that history was so overlooked that Cartier launched the Collection Privée Cartier Paris, or CPCP as it became known in 1998. A means of expanding their horological offerings following the Quartz Crisis, the CPCP enabled Cartier to usher in a new era for their watchmaking division with new designs and some truly remarkable feats of horology.
With the Collection Prive, Cartier began fitting their models with movements that could go toe-to-toe with the higher horology brands. One of those exact watches, the Tank à Vis Dual Time in 18-carat white gold hails from the CPCP program and so perfectly showcases that incredible level of craftsmanship inside and out.
While featuring the Tank's signature rectangular shape, the Tank à Vis was, in fact, directly inspired by the historical Tank Étanche design that Cartier created in 1931. As such, the Tank à Vis sports a slightly unique case design as the bezel is secured to the case with screws in each corner which provide a level of water resistance. At its core, the Tank à Vis Dual Time embodies a timeless case design that also prioritises practicality, which is evident with the incorporation of a single correction pin system, enabling users to easily set different time zones using just one crown. Furthermore, with its gently sloping lugs, the Tank à Vis' 28mm x 32mm case wears comfortably as the strap continues to follow the direction of the lugs across its wearer's wrist.
Encased in an exquisitely crafted 18-carat white gold case, the Tank à Vis Dual Time showcases Cartier's signature dial design. The dial is white, adorned with Cartier's iconic rose guilloche pattern, and features the inscription "Cartier Paris" at the middle. The contrast is further enhanced by the use of black Roman numerals and a set of blued steel hands, creating a striking visual against the white background. As indicated by the “Dual Time” in its name, this particular reference employs a split-dial design to represent two separate time zones. Breathing life into this Tank à Vis is a manual-winding, 18-jewelled Cal. 9901MC movement that is actually based on a Piaget ebauche. With a respectable power reserve of 40 hours, this finely crafted movement is elegantly displayed through its sapphire exhibition caseback. It should be mentioned that the Cal. 9901MC played a crucial role in achieving the remarkable thinness of the Tank à Vis, measuring only 8mm in thickness when worn on the wrist. Its impeccable finishing adds to the overall allure of the timepiece.
A stunning watch that encapsulated the CPCP's goal of showcasing true craftsmanship, the Tank à Vis is an interesting watch within Cartier's heritage and today forms a unique niche within the Tank collection. Blending heritage-focused design with top-tier horology and stunning good looks, this Tank à Vis Dual Time indeed does have it all.