The name Cartier needs no introduction. As one of the most influential and celebrated jewelry 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 a unique position in the watch brand hierarchy that no other possesses.
While there are many iconic models from Cariter, it would be hard to argue that the Tank Cintree sits atop as one of the flagships of the brand. With the original Tank being released in 1919, the much more elongated and slim Cintree debuted 2 years later in 1921 and has remained in the brand’s repertoire intermittently ever since. One special thing to note about the Tank Cintree, in general, is that it has always been either made to order or in a limited edition, making the model itself, irrespective of variant, a very special one.
With the recent growth in appreciation for rare and special Cartier watches, 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the Tank Cintree and ardent collectors were excitedly anticipating a huge anniversary model. While Cartier certainly did deliver as expected, what was surprising was how they did it. Instead of a ceremonious unveiling with events and press kits, the 100th Anniversary Tank Cintree was instead released quietly and delivered to VIP clients slowly. Soon enough, a few pieces started popping up on social media, spreading like wildfire through word of mouth. In my opinion, what they did was a perfect celebration and reflection of the model itself, a watch that is striking in its design, but understated and elegant at the same time.
This Cartier 100th Anniversary Tank Cintree was made in a limited run of 150 pieces and quickly sold out, making it a watch you will certainly not come across very often. Faithful to the original 9 ligne sizing, the 46mm by 23mm sizing sits perfectly as it gently curves across the wrist. Furthermore, the yellow gold case and eggshell dial are certainly nods to traditional Cartier styling, further emphasized by the Breguet style hands, exploding Roman numerals, and the classic chemin-de-fer minutes track.
With all Tank Cintrees, it is hard to describe in words just how elegantly and thoughtfully the design of the case is. It is only once one wears a Cintree, that they really understand what it is all about. I have never seen a watch sit so flush to my wrist before and that is a testament to the masterful design of the Cintree.
Powered by a Jaeger-LeCoultre derived manually wound caliber 9780MC, this Cartier Tank Cintree is the complete package. The specialness of the Cintree combined with the celebration of the model’s 100th anniversary makes for not only one of the most collectible pieces in Cartier’s lineup but in all of watch collecting.