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 Cartier, 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 very small quantities, making the model itself, irrespective of variant, a very special one.
With the recent growth in appreciation for rare and special Cartier watches, 2021 also conveniently marked the 100th anniversary of the Tank Cintree. What I have here today is an extremely rare vintage Tank Cintree from the 1970s. Throughout its 100 year history, the Cintree has been made in different sizes, all while maintaining its elegant proportions in different formats. This present example is a mid-size version, suitable for those with smaller wrists.
Manually wound and featuring a beautiful curved dial and case, one of the tenets of a Cintree is how it sits as it almost always perfectly follows the curvature of the user’s wrist. Furthermore, this particular example is in pristine condition, with most vintage Cintree’s having aged poorly. With exploding Roman numerals and the quintessential chemin de fer railroad track minute indicators, this is without a doubt a Cintree through and through.