In 2021, Cartier celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Tank Cintrée by unveiling a limited edition in gold. This year, Cartier takes another step in horological excellence with the introduction of a new limited edition Tank Cintrée, this time crafted in platinum. It’s not a reissue of a specific Tank Cintrée model but draws inspiration from its heritage to create a modern watch brimming with vintage charm.
The Tank Cintrée, quintessentially Cartier, epitomizes formal elegance and simplicity. This unique timepiece boasts a large, curved case that sets it apart as the boldest of the Tank models, designed to cater to modern tastes. The platinum case of the new Tank Cintrée maintains its familiar dimensions at 46mm by 23mm but is now slightly slimmer, measuring just 6mm in thickness. As a nod to vintage Tank Cintrée examples, the long brancards are polished, while the horizontal sides exhibit a brushed finish.
A signature Cartier touch, a ruby adorns the cabochon crown. Cartier enthusiasts may recognize this combination of materials, often reserved for special anniversary celebrations. In this instance, the release commemorates 100 years of the Tank Cintrée in platinum. While some might find the anniversary theme tenuous, there’s no denying the sheer beauty of the timepiece.
Powering this exceptional watch is the Cartier caliber 9780 MC, which is actually based on the ultra-thin Jaeger-LeCoultre 849 movement. This remarkably slim movement, measuring a mere 1.85mm thick, is perfectly suited to the Tank Cintrée’s slender and curved case. The only trade-off is a relatively short 36-hour power reserve.
This release marks the fourth installment in Cartier’s “Les Rééditions” series, an initiative dedicated to reissuing historically significant and collector-favorite watches. It commenced in 2021 with the Tank Cintrée 100th Anniversary and Pasha Perpetual Calendar, followed by the Pebble in the previous year. These re-editions faithfully recreate vintage models in limited editions, delighting collectors worldwide, and the platinum Tank Cintrée introduced this year is expected to be no exception.
The dial features an off-white eggshell hue adorned with large Roman numerals encircling rail tracks. Notably, the numeral at 7 o’clock exhibits a slender serif that gracefully follows the path of the rail track – a delightful detail reminiscent of vintage Tank Cintrée examples. Completing the vintage aesthetic, the Breguet-style hands add a final touch of refinement.
The Tank Cintrée has always been the most coveted among the Tank models, thanks to its rarity and its combination of a large yet refined form. Among Cintrées, the platinum variant reigns supreme. In fact, a meticulously restored vintage platinum Cintrée sold for $350,000 earlier this year.
Cartier has produced the platinum Tank Cintrée in a limited edition of 150 numbered pieces, with a retail price of $38,500.
The Cartier Tank made its debut in 1919, while the Cintrée variation joined the iconic model’s lineup in 1921. With its ample dimensions and graceful curves, the Tank Cintrée presented a stark departure from the original Tank (Normale). Despite its substantial size, particularly considering the era in which it was introduced, its slim case elegantly enveloped the wrist like a cuff. While Cartier went on to create various other Tank models, none could surpass the Tank Cintrée’s enduring appeal. Sometimes, perfection is achieved on the first attempt.
This latest platinum Cartier Tank Cintrée is a stunning masterpiece. It is arguably the finest platinum Tank Cintrée produced by Cartier in relatively large quantities. It remains true to the original Tank Cintrée watches from the 1920s and ’30s, making it a top choice for enthusiasts of vintage aesthetics. Cartier has faithfully translated all the elements that made the 100th-anniversary Cintrée exceptional into a slightly slimmer platinum case. The dial has been adjusted to a lighter shade to match the white-metal case. The watch’s slim profile contrasts beautifully with its generously sized case, making it a tempting acquisition for collectors. This latest iteration preserves the dimensions of Cintrées released in 2005, 2018, and 2021, with only a couple of subtle refinements.
While other Cartier watches have garnered significant attention in recent years, the Tank Cintrée has remained relatively untouched by celebrity culture, and this is likely for the best. The platinum Tank Cintrée reigns supreme as the ultimate Tank model and arguably one of Cartier’s finest timepieces. Its substantial size, combined with its rarity and elegance, make it highly sought after by collectors. Born in 1921, it has stood the test of time and is far more than a passing trend, too regal to be relegated to celebrity watch-spotting columns.
When news of this release broke, one might have expected the price to exceed $50,000, given last year’s pricing for the Pebble model at $44,000. However, the $38,500 price tag comes as a relief, even though it likely reflects the overall increase in watch prices. In comparison to the 2021 100th Anniversary Cintrée model priced at $29,900, the cost is reasonable. It aligns more closely with that particular model than with the 2018 platinum Cintrée LE, which was over a millimeter thicker.
Considering that a vintage platinum Cintrée can now command six-figure sums, assuming one can even locate one, the price appears quite reasonable. Financial considerations aside, it’s an exquisite rendition of the Tank Cintrée, and given the ongoing interest in vintage Cartier timepieces, it’s highly likely that all 150 of these watches will quickly find their way into collectors’ hands.