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In 2021, Cartier commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Tank Cintrée by releasing a limited edition in gold. Today in a tail end of this long summer of September 2023, they have unveiled a new masterpiece, crafted not in gold, but in the lustrous embrace of platinum. While it doesn't replicate a specific historical Tank Cintrée, it draws inspiration from Cartier's rich heritage, weaving together the past and present into a watch of timeless allure.
The Tank Cintrée epitomizes Cartier's quintessential style—a formal watch adorned with simplicity and elegance. The distinctively curved case, the defining feature of the Cintrée, sets it apart as the boldest member of the Tank family, catering to the tastes of the modern era. The platinum case of the new Tank Cintrée retains the familiar 46mm by 23mm dimensions but has been artfully slimmed down to a mere 6mm in thickness. In a nod to its vintage counterparts, the long brancards gleam with a polished finish, while the horizontal facets are brushed to perfection.
A gleaming ruby graces the cabochon crown, a combination of elements often reserved for celebratory occasions. In this instance, it signifies a toast to 100 years of the Tank Cintrée in platinum. While some may find the centenary celebration a bit tenuous, it undoubtedly results in a stunning timepiece.
Powering this horological masterpiece is the Cartier caliber 9780 MC, essentially the ultra-thin Jaeger-LeCoultre 849. With a thickness of just 1.85mm, this movement complements the slender and curvaceous case of the Cintrée perfectly. The only concession to its svelte design is a relatively short 36-hour power reserve.
The Cartier Tank Cintrée Platinum Limited Edition marks the fourth release in Cartier's Les Rééditions series. This initiative aims to reintroduce historically significant and beloved watches in limited quantities. The program commenced in 2021 with the Tank Cintrée 100th Anniversary and the Pasha Perpetual Calendar, followed by the Pebble in the subsequent year. Each piece authentically recreates vintage models, igniting the passion of collectors. The dial, an exquisite off-white eggshell adorned with large Roman numerals along the rail tracks, pays homage to vintage Tank Cintrée examples. The subtle detail of the serif gracefully embracing the 7 o'clock Roman numeral echoes a classic touch. The Breguet-style hands serve as the final vintage flourish.
The Cartier Tank Cintrée has always been a prized gem in the world of watches, revered for its rarity and elegant, oversized profile. Among Cintrées, the platinum variant reigns supreme. Earlier this year, a vintage platinum Cintrée achieved an astonishing $350,000 at auction, a testament to its desirability.
Cartier will craft a limited edition of just 150 numbered pieces of the platinum Tank Cintrée, priced at $38,500.
The Cartier Tank made its debut in 1919, followed by the Cintrée in 1921, the first deviation from the iconic Tank Normale. With its large and graceful curves, it was a stark departure from the original Tank, which was smaller and more angular. Over the years, Cartier introduced various Tank models, yet none could rival the Tank Cintrée. This latest platinum Cartier Tank Cintrée is a masterpiece, possibly the finest platinum Tank Cintrée produced in larger quantities. It faithfully echoes the original Tank Cintrée watches from the 1920s and '30s, capturing their timeless elegance. While some minor adjustments have been made, such as the slightly thinner platinum case and a dial shade that harmonizes with the white-metal case, the dimensions remain unchanged from the Cintrées of 2005, 2018, and 2021.
While other Cartier watches watches have garnered immense celebrity attention, the Tank Cintrée has remained relatively untouched by the glitz and glamour. Perhaps this is for the best. The platinum Tank Cintrée is the king of Tanks, if not the entire Cartier collection. It boasts a bold and commanding presence on the wrist, coupled with rarity and sophistication, a combination that collectors covet. Born in 1921, it's not a fleeting trend but a regal timepiece deserving of more than just a passing glance.
At a price of $38,500, it feels almost reasonable in today's world of soaring watch prices. Compared to the 2021 100th Anniversary Cintrée priced at $29,900, it maintains a logical price trajectory. It aligns more closely with its predecessor than the 2018 platinum Cintrée LE, which was over a millimeter thicker.
However, when a vintage platinum Cintrée commands six figures, if you can even find one, this price appears more than fair. Ultimately, the platinum Tank Cintrée epitomizes Cartier's artistry and heritage, destined to find a home on the wrists of discerning collectors worldwide.
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